6 Areas Where Pastors Need to Be Trained
One of the greatest qualities of a leader, a pastor is to be teachable. The moment that we believe that we have arrived and don’t need to be equipped or trained anymore is the moment we will fail to lead people to where God wants them to go (Yes, you can tweet this, give us credit though). Here are the 6 areas, as pastors, we need to be seeking to grow in. Think about which areas are your strengths and which areas you avoid. Are any of these areas where you don’t think you need to be trained anymore?
1. Leadership – Leadership is our ability to know where God wants to take you and move people who are following you to where He wants them to go. It is not, getting people to do what you want them to do. Leadership can take the form of how you interact with people, volunteers, or staff. How well do you lead others to where God wants them to go? How well do you build teams of people? Are you investing in people and training them to be effective in ministry? If you really want to know how well you are doing in leadership, just see if you are filling your time with things that other people could easily be doing. Do you delegate well, or do you find that you like to be in control of the little details? Do you embitter your staff or volunteers or do you empower them to reach their full potential?
2. Vision & Strategy – Vision and Strategy is vital to a church’s growth in that if your church or ministry doesn’t know where God is taking you and how you are going to get there then there is a great chance that you won’t grow. Are you seeking to put yourself around people who know more than you, do things better than you, and who have more vision than you? Think through the things you need to communicate to people and then
3. Pastoring – This is probably an area where as a Pastor most people feel they have this covered. The reality of it is that we need to keep a fresh perspective on how we are shepherding the people God has placed in our lives. Are you someone who seems to be so busy doing things, that you don’t have time for people? Are you at a point in ministry where you struggle finding time to be with people because you have too many tasks to do? This goes back to leadership. You may need to delegate some things so you have time for people. No matter how good your strategy is, how how great your vision, or how well you think you lead people, if you can’t rush relationships and you can’t leave people out of your ministry.
4. Preaching – Can I first say that this is one of the hardest areas for many preachers to admit they need to grow. The biggest issue with our unwillingness to be trained to grow in our preaching is our pride. I can promise you, that every one of us is more prideful than we are even willing to admit. Because we want people to like us, like what we teach and think we are great communicators it is almost embarrassing if anyone knows we are spending time trying to get better at our communication of God’s truth, our teaching of God’s Word, our preaching! I dare you to video yourself preaching and then watch it and critic it like you do other people who teach. Yes, I said it. I know as teachers and communicators we find that we can be critical of others when they teach.
5. Staff Relations – Do you have a staff culture where the people who work in ministry with you and for you love working with you and for you? How does your staff handle conflict? How do they respond when people don’t agree with them? When was the last time you gave public praise of your staff? How do you spend time encouraging each of your staff? Take a few minutes and think of the kind of person you would work for and enjoy working for, do you see yourself as that kind of person? What can you do to strengthen the relationships staff members have with each other and with you?
6. Personal Growth – Simply put, God is working on us and will be working on us until we die or Christ returns. Philippians 1:6, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ.” We don’t have full knowledge of God. I love the quote by, A.W. Towzer that says, “What we think about God is the most important thing about us.” The reality is that because we don’t have full knowledge of God we need to be sure to invest our time in getting to know what God has revealed about Himself to us. We can’t know everything but we can know a lot of what He wanted us to know about Him. We need to have daily exposure to God’s word and not exposure just in our preparation for teaching. We need to take time each day to rest in Him, to pray, to refresh our relationship with God. What are you doing to keep your focus on God and not your job, your ministry, you own self? When you are thinking about God’s will for your life are you putting God in the center of the equation or are you in the center?
I pray that each of you fill carve out time to work on these 6 areas. Don’t feel like you have to grow all 6 in one day. Set some goals, and be disciplined in growing some in each of these areas. The question is if you read this article in 6 months, how much further along will you be in your growth process in these 6 areas?