Pastor, instead of hoping for great things for the church you lead, why not decide to become the leader your church needs to do great things?
Your first step in becoming that leader is assuming the correct posture—adopting some beliefs, mindsets and attitudes that guide you. Below are five leadership choices you need to make to guide you into your most fruitful year ever.
1. Have a legacy mindset.
In Ecclesiastes 3:14, Solomon writes, “I know that everything God does will last forever …” Solomon wisely refrains from saying, “Everything I do will last forever.”
Your church is a lot bigger than you. It will remain long after you are gone. With that in mind, be a legacy leader. A legacy leader builds things for future generations, begins with an end in mind and carries a kingdom vision. He or she makes decisions for tomorrow rather than today. Legacy mindsets build stronger teams and empower leaders. Legacy leaders lead teams who go above and beyond. Lead with the perspective that success is being successful long after you are gone.
2. Keep a humble spirit.
Most pastors receive their fair share of spotlight and praise. Let’s be honest … it’s an honor! It’s fun. It makes us feel good. And that’s normal.
That said, admiration left unchecked can chip away at humble intentions. Accolades cannot drive you; calling must. Do not get into reading your own press. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Compliment other churches in your city rather than compete with them. Aggressively pray against arrogance, and seek accountability to ensure its absence. If talent scored you a seat at any table, your humility is what keeps you worthy of that seat. Look for more towels to take up and more feet to wash.
3. Work with a startup mentality.
Success lulls churches to sleep. Make your efforts this year reflect a renewed hunger, desperation and scrappiness to get it done. Exercise extreme creativity in problem solving. Do more with less.
Never believe the myth that you have arrived. You may see record attendance this year, but stay as hungry as a church plant. Risk momentary failure for kingdom success. Stay desperate to reach that one person whose life is far from God.
4. Feel with a human heart.
This is possibly the oddest-sounding item on the list. Sadly, it’s sometimes the least leveraged. Lead with a heart that beats for people. Pray with hearts broken for the lost because God searches with a heart broken for the lost. Walk slowly through your church on Sundays connecting with people. Remember that the story of an individual matters.
Simply be nice to people. Work extra, sacrifice more and abandon what’s comfortable to reach that one life. Handle the important moments of a person’s life well. Be Jesus with skin on for people who need it.
5. Adapt with an agile attitudes.
The superpower of leadership is agility. You can be strong, but if you’re not agile, you’ll soon be extinct. Businesses, churches and denominations have proven this. Our culture and people’s needs change at lighting speed. Get comfortable with change. Get comfortable leading change.
You cannot take new ground with tired methods. Do not be a slow adopter. Do not fall in love with your style. Only tolerate attitudes as positive as your changes. Resolve issues quickly and face to face, never with passive-aggressive hallway conversations. Think more new thoughts. Remain emotionally nimble, mentally flexible and operationally open-handed.
There are 365 opportunities ahead of you. Make them count.
Kevin Lloyd is the executive pastor at Stevens Creek Church in Augusta, Georgia. This article was originally posted on Lloyd’s blog, LeadBravely.org.