Leadership

Finding the Rest of Ministry Leadership

Finding the Rest of Ministry Leadership

In the Gospel of Mark, we hear the incredible story of Jesus feeding the five thousand. Leading up to this event, Jesus and His disciples were in the midst of intensive training and ministry.  What did Jesus promise the disciples after a very busy season of healing and teaching? Get away and rest. Did they get it? No and yes.

In Mark 6:31, the author gives a key detail to illustrate the disciples’ need for rest: they had no leisure even to eat (ESV). This already-weary group stepped away with Jesus for rest only to be greeted by another large crowd. And what was their concern with this crowd? Send them away for food. We can’t host them.

Closing The Pastoral Gap

Closing The Pastoral Gap

Ministry leaders are particularly vulnerable to feeling compelled to present a sparkling “public ministry persona.” It’s not easy to admit that the things we promote (desiring God, pursuing godliness, loving others, etc.) are sometimes the very things with which we struggle. If Papa John ate and enjoyed another brand of pizza would he own up to it? Do we expect financial advisors to disclose previous investment mistakes? Probably not.

Navigating Difficult Transitions in Ministry

Navigating Difficult Transitions in Ministry

Every ministry leader -- whether young or mature -- must lead well, and this often includes navigating through the complexities of multiple transitions as God brings changes, challenges, growth, and even retirement. There are four critical areas a leader must address in order to transition well: Identity, fears, leadership style, and preparation. These challenges have the potential to sabotage you and your ministry unless you intentionally and proactively address them.

The Solo Shepherd

The Solo Shepherd

In the lean and hard years of ministry I often prayed, “Lord, would you move me somewhere else? Would you put me in a church where I don’t have to do everything, and where I can have more influence? (for your glory, of course!)” The Lord answered those prayers with a “No.” In His wise and gracious providence, he kept me as the solo shepherd of a small congregation.

The Lord is teaching me through being a solo shepherd that I am not the savior of the church. By looking to Jesus Christ as my joy and reward, I can more easily be, as the hymn writer puts it, “Content to fill a little space, if Thou be glorified.”

When Toxic Leaders Hurt Ministry Leaders

When Toxic Leaders Hurt Ministry Leaders

Dave Wiedis, Copyright 2017

After listening to a six-page performance review filled with accusations and criticisms, a youth pastor asked his boss, the lead pastor:

"Why did you wait until now to tell me these things? I didn't even know you had concerns with my performance."

The lead pastor replied: 

"I want to see how far down I can kick you and if you can get up."

Can you believe a pastor would say such a thing? How should the youth pastor respond? How can he minister life to those he serves while working in such a toxic environment? Have you ever been in a situation like this? 

Dealing With and Healing From Burnout

Dealing With and Healing From Burnout

Dave Wiedis, Copyright 2011

Burnout! Twenty-five years ago I knew I was burned out when I carelessly walked in front of a SEPTA bus, and stupidly tried to defensively block it with a karate move. I had been working in a large Philadelphia law firm, and the relentless pressure and demands of practicing law had gradually depleted my energy and judgment (who walks in front of a bus and tries to block it??). The near miss with the SEPTA bus, whose driver’s quick reflexes saved me from tragedy, convinced me that I was beyond burned out, needed a break, and had to make wiser choices in my life.

Burnout is a real problem, and for pastors, it is a real threat to you, your family, your ministry and your church. According to one study on why pastors leave the ministry, moral failure is only the second most common reason pastors leave the ministry. The first is burnout.