Ed Stetzer: “To create boundaries, pastors must be able to say no when other people want them to say yes.”
No. 3: Guard your flock.
And sometimes you have to guard it from other Christians. It may seem ironic, but some of the people from whom you have to most tenaciously guard your church are other believers.
At the church I pastor now, I encouraged a first-time visitor to move on from our church and find another that was going to best meet his passions. I was protecting the flock God has entrusted to me from someone whose friends called “The Prophecy Terrorist.”
Your church is not a public square for specific-issue-driven Christians to debate and opine. It’s a place you are to guard and shepherd. It doesn’t sound very American, but it is very biblical.
No. 4: Know what you can and cannot do.
At my current church, there are three things and only three things that I do: I meet with the staff, I preach about 70 percent of the time and I lead a small group in my home.
Why those three things? They are the three things that only I can do. The key to establishing this boundary is knowing what you can and cannot do. Churches will want you to do everything. You should do something, but you should do the right thing.
Typically, your “right thing” will line up with your gifts. Bring others alongside you and build a team to tackle the other areas. This team is what will truly help you to accomplish what God has called you to do as a leader.
When you establish these four fence posts, you will enable and encourage growth in yourself and your church. Without these four, you will more than likely experience ministry burnout and hinder the development of those under your care and the church as a whole.
You must be intentional about the long-term health of yourself, your family, your ministry and your church. If you are not, your boundaries will be compromised and your schedule will be full, but your body and spirit will be exhausted.
Ed Stetzer holds the Billy Graham distinguished chair of church, mission and evangelism at Wheaton College and the Wheaton Grad School, where he also oversees the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism.