Why our ministries should be purpose-driven, people-focused and promise-delivered.
Churches and their leaders are still experiencing the uncertainty of the last twelve-month period related to the effects of COVID-19. The words pre- and post-COVID-19 have become part of many leaders’ vernacular when trying to explain the pandemic’s impact.
Many local churches are struggling with attendance numbers. The offering is behind budget projections, and pastors struggle to navigate the new leadership landscape before them. Quite frankly, I think we all have struggled one way or the other. Across denominational lines, pastors today serve in various areas outside of the church and still balance their calling by filling gaps that members have left behind as some have not returned.
Serving in the church today can be seen as thankless and can cause the pastor to lose heart. So what does a leader do when burning the candle at both ends while still having to prepare the church for the future?
Do you remember the day God called you into ministry? That calling has not changed. While circumstances have changed, the calling has stayed the same. It is in that calling that you should find your purpose and allow it to drive you. I know it is easy to get distracted by the negative voices in your life, but you have to clear away those distractions from your ministry and embrace the ministry God has called you to.
Pastor, you have to serve with a purpose. Serve with passion and a commitment to be your absolute best in all that you do. Serve with a future-focused mindset that understands that this too shall pass. A purpose-driven focus is one who knows that the best days are ahead for the ministry and that God is already there, preparing away. Pastor, hear my heart as you read these words: You have to be deliberate in all you do for the glory of God if you want the glory of God to impact your life and ministry.
One of my favorite things to do is to stand in the church lobby and greet as many people as I can each Sunday. It gives me a perspective of who is there, who is missing, what new families have come, who is struggling, etc. Ultimately, what I am doing is being people-focused. Sunday mornings should be your Super Bowl, a time when people can connect with the pastor and vice versa. Being the best you can be as a leader is understanding that people need their pastor to be laser-focused on service days and not distracted by the world around them.
Leaders cannot control other people or circumstances, but they can control how they allow those circumstances to define them. If you are not an outward-style leader, find a small group to connect within the lobby until you feel more comfortable reaching more people each Sunday. Turn your entrance into an outreach post and practice the evangelism that you yourself challenge your people to live out.
When I read the Bible, I cannot find where God says, “Give up and die.” God has called you for such a time as this, and what a time to be called a ministry leader. In this season, you have an opportunity to be your best by realizing that the promises found in the Word of God are still promises that can and will come to pass in your ministry. Embrace the challenge, embrace this season as an opportunity to step up your leadership game, and allow God through you to deliver a blessing for the people he has called you to serve.
COVID-19 has not changed the central message of the church. While the pandemic has stretched the church, it has not broken her. A year into the pandemic, you should be delivering on the promises that God has placed in your heart. Faith should replace fear through the adaptation to the needs of the local church. From blocking off pews and adding hand sanitizer stations to hosting drive-in church, the church must continue. You should be at your best to deliver on the promises of God with hope and optimism for your people.
As the year marches on, pastor, be encouraged that God is leading the way, but he is counting on you to do your part by being your very best in living out a purpose-driven, people-focused and promise-delivered ministry.