I’ve been leading a church for over a decade now. There were things I did in the early days that I don’t do now when it comes to church leadership. Here they are:
1. Have a private cell phone number.– Reading Bob Goff’s “Love Does” messed me up for life. In the book he gives out his cell phone number. Yep it’s really his – I called it – had a great conversation. I came to realize that I pastor a small church, spend a lot of time connecting with civic leaders in our community and shepherd a lot of messed up people. In order to do that people have to get in touch with me. I started giving out my cell phone to a BUNCH of people. Pretty much everybody and their brother has my number – and they respect my time. Also I can always turn it off – which I do often. For those that don’t have it – here ya go – 863-409-5914 – be cool with it.
2. Go to a lot of conferences. – In the early days I used to go to about a dozen church leadership conferences each year. It cost a ton of money, was a place to be seen and yielded very little tangible ideas that were applicable to our church. These days conferences are even more irrelevant to what Impact! Church is doing. For the most part they are the same speakers saying the same thing year after year. I still go to conferences, but they are few and far between – and normally not the cool ones that everyone else is going to. There are some really great conferences out there that have speakers that no one has ever heard of, but are bringing fresh ideas and strategies to reaching people for Christ in the 21st Century.
3. Let friendships slide with other pastors. – Over the years I have come to realize just how important friendships with other pastors are. In the early days I was so caught up in my own little world that I never actively pursued friendships with other pastors. I was a loner Dottie…a rebel (pardon the Pee Wee Herman reference). Being alone in ministry just plain sucks! When my doctor told me I had a life-threatening condition I got serious about being intentional with friendships. I started praying daily for other pastors, started texting or calling other pastors regularly and try to have lunch with another pastor about once a week. I don’t know if it is a benefit to them – but they have greatly blessed me.
Being alone in ministry just plain sucks!
4. Giving a rip about building a platform. – I spent a lot of my ministry life trying to be noticed by people. I was an idiot! One day a pastor friend asked me, “Do you want to be developed by God or discovered by man?” That wrecked me. I shut down my blog for a year, dropped off of social media and stopped going to conferences just to be seen. I spent time hearing from God. I also spent time trying to get people to notice the Lord instead of me. I am greatly disturbed by the whole “build your platform” movement. It seems to run directly in contrast to what God called us to do.
5. Trying to be culturally relevant. – I spent a lot of time and money trying to be culturally relevant. Nothing is more pathetic than seeing a man in his 40s wearing Red Wings, rolling up his jeans and growing a stupid looking beard. Get a clue – even MumFord & Sons have ditched the banjo and moved on. Culture moves too fast to keep up with it. What culture deems cool today is irrelevant tomorrow. You just end up with a closet full of clothes that you’ll never wear again – culture is solely based on cool – and never fully grows up. Over the years I have come to understand that the greatest movements in history, in culture, in Christianity were not culturally relevant – they were all counter-culture. They were a direct contrast to what was cool at the moment. They rejected the mass cultural lemmings migration and turned to a new direction. It was a refreshing light in the darkness of cool.
So there you go. The five things I used to do as a church leader that I don’t do now Feel free to comment or text me – you have the number. 🙂