Let’s face it, leading a church can feel frustrating. You have a vision but they’re not be buying it. You have aspirations for church growth but it might not be happening. You have dreams of feeling successful but feelings of failure loom instead.
During seasons of frustration, it is helpful to pull away for a day of prayer and personal reflection. Listen to God and listen to your own heart. After you’ve invited the Holy Spirit to search your heart and mind take some time to answer these questions:
- As a communicator am I building bridges or burning bridges? Think through key relationships in your church: your board, fellow staff members and the congregation at large. Do they perceive you as someone who is trying to build bridges of understanding or as someone who is steamrolling forward and as a result, burning bridges relationally?
- As a visionary leader am I leading change intentionally or is change catching me off guard? Change happens. And, change often makes people nervous. In your leadership role as a pastor, how are you intentionally preparing and shepherding people through change.
- As a decision maker am I decisive or do I continually waffle? If you’re not decisive, spend some time quietly listening to your own heart and seek to decipher what your hesitation is about? For example, are you fearful you’ll make the wrong decision?
- As a team builder what am I doing to strengthen and shepherd my team. People development and mobilization is important. You’ve probably noticed some people are rock stars at mobilizing volunteers while others have great difficulty recruiting. If you’re one that is continually having struggles getting volunteers you might consider investing in yourself as a leader and finding a ‘leadership coach’ who could walk alongside you and provide support in this area.
- As a spiritual shepherd am I taking time for soul-care and self-care, or am I giving over all my time to sermon prep? You can’t effectively teach something you haven’t internalized yourself. And, if you don’t take time for self-care you’ll burn out.
When you take some time to pull away and reflect the results are amazing. The answers to why you’re feeling frustrated are inside of you. They just need to be drawn out. Proverbs 20:5, teaches us that each of our hearts are “deep waters” that need to be drawn out. Taking the time to understand the deep waters of your heart will always be worth the effort and help you become a more effective leader.
Becky Harling is an energetic speaker, author, and coach, inspiring audiences to overcome their greatest life challenges and reach their full God-given potential. Becky’s life experience as a Pastor’s wife, Women’s Ministries Director, survivor of breast cancer and childhood sexual abuse, all bring depth and realism to her message.www.beckyharling.com