Leading From the Pulpit and the Table

church vision

Some of the Most Important Ministry Happens Outside Sunday Morning

Most of us know the pulpit is the main place for leading in a local church. You have a captive audience. You are committed to expository preaching but you can also make applications related to the vision you have for the church and can lead the church with challenges and visionary hopes and biblical applications to programs ahead.

It is probably not done enough. Pastors can easily think vision explanations and hopes are reserved for staff and board meetings. But the pulpit (or stage table) cries out to be a source for challenge about the future of the church.

But our greatest influence for leading is while preaching, at the pulpit (OK, or round stage table.

But a close second is the regular table, a place for coffee or a meal together. I am saying we may not use it enough to lead the church and cast strong vision and promote love.

And while love relationships can be strengthened at the pulpit, they also can at the table.

As in these times:

… to go over the next board agenda with the chairman, and a breakfast is better than a quick phone call. Relationship, relationship, relationship.

… with visitors who tried your church. Wait, not all of them, and not man with woman. But it is healthy to meet one or four of them each month, for a feel of their search and their needs.

… with members of your oversight board, one at a time, so you can get to know them more personally. It’s also the best way to welcome a new board member.

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… with staff one at a time or two if a different gender, to talk about their family or worldview or church view. Not a staff agenda, a trust builder. This too can be on your coffee or meal agenda once or twice a month at least.

… of course with families who have just experienced tragedy, and sometimes on an anniversary of that severe loss. They need company that knows God and his promises.

… with new neighbors to your home.

… with your family! Wait, not just once in a while. A pastor’s master schedule includes many almost-sacred times for family, not just these ministry times we are talking about here.

But back to the leadership-relationship appointments: With many pastors, the early 6:30 a.m. spots are good to use to do these often neglected shepherding privileges of the pastor—at a restaurant or at the coffee table at church. They are important connections often skipped in newer pastors’ strategy blogs and videos.