Leaders in the church must always seek to become more for God tomorrow than they were yesterday. Our life mission demand as much. The churches we serve will be better and stronger tomorrow for our attention to this issue today.
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This is not for the feint-of-heart. Pastors who become satisfied with their spiritual station in life will soon find a slowing of and halt to their own spiritual growth and that of their church. However, the pastor who seeks to better themself will be positioned to see growth opportunities presented both personally and within the church as a whole.
Be sure to note, as you read the four steps, that to pursue these with wrong motives will short-circuit the end-result desired. In every situation, do all you can to become a better pastor/leader/multiplier, because you want to do that for God. Do not do so as a quasi-formula to grow your church. With that noted, here are some ways a pastor/leader/multiplier can becoming more tomorrow than they were yesterday, a better for the church they serve.
- Pray – For those pastors who are strong in their own rights, submission to prayer can be a difficult endeavor. These folks have a lot of great human gifts and talents as given to them by God. However, I can assure any pastor that to start with prayer and not human gifts and talents will, in both the short- and long-term, move you miles down the line in becoming the best pastor/leader/multiplier possible. To state the obvious, it is within the purview of our Lord to make you into that which you cannot imagine. Why would you not want that which is conceivable only in the mind of God not to become a reality for you? In order for God’s plan to become a reality, you must immerse yourself in prayer, seeking after all God has for your life. When you do so you will become a better pastor/leader/multiplier.
- Think – That which you think, you become. For example, studies have shown that basketball players who only imagine themselves shooting and making free throws do just as well in game situations than those who physically practice making free throws. The mind is powerful and God has given you this mind to exercise the ability to think. When you think you allow God to speak to your heart. When you think you use God-given abilities to reason and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, you acknowledge a great human gifting of God. Think about those things which are not and imagine about how with God they can be. Imagine your own limitations and envision what God can do as you pray and give them over to Him. Thinking is for pastor/leader/multipliers who want God to do more in and through them than they can do on their own.
- Be – This is the real you. It is not the façade we carry. We are what we take in. Garbage in, garbage out. The Word in, the Word out. Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. It speaks what we are. It is critical that a pastor/leader/multiplier be what God wants them to be. Being is different than doing. It is more than that. Although doing is important, to be reflects what we are at the core. Pastors must want to be all they can be for God. In doing so, their ability to be multiplies in effectiveness and jumps exponentially.
- Act – It is one thing to pray, think and be but in the end we must act. Taking action will make you better. Imagine what we have missed throughout history with those who prayed and thought but never acted. May it never be said of you as a pastor/leader/multiplier that you were afraid to act. You may be afraid but never let that fear prevent action. A man or woman who acts puts their faith and trust in God to do in them what they could not do in and through themselves. They are a better pastor/leader/multiplier as a result of acting. Take action and let the chips fall. God does the rest.
To pray, to think, to be and to act – these are four steps to becoming a better pastor/leader/multiplier. When that happens you will find an increased sense of who God wants you to be. This is important for all believers, especially those God has called to positions of leadership.
At the same time, the local church God has called you to will benefit greatly when the pastor/leader/multiplier within you continually develops. How can the church grow when the leader God has placed there is no longer growing? It cannot! However, as you become better, the ways in which the Lord will work are limitless. The local church will move forward.
I cannot encourage you more than to pray for God to make you into a better pastor/leader/multiplier. Then think like you want Him to make you a better pastor/leader/multiplier. Follow that up with being who He wants you to be and then act on it. When this happens, you will be on course to be the finest pastor you can be, and the stage will be set for your church to be all it can be. I will celebrate with you to that end.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dick Hardy is the Founder and President of The Hardy Group, an Executive Consulting firm for senior pastors of churches. Everything but preaching is his theme. Dealing with the stuff that keeps you up at night is his focus.
Dick brings a wealth of experience to the table for pastors when dealing with the tough issues of the church relative to growth, organization, leadership, administration, and change. His service as Administrative Pastor at two mega churches and as Vice President at a flagship denominational Bible college makes him a resource your church will want to retain. Dick is also available to serve as a speaker on this subject and many more.
Copyright © 2010 by Dick Hardy. Permission is granted for the free redistribution of this article. You may contact Dick at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.thehardygroup.org.