Charles Stone has an excellent post for pastoral leaders who are trying to stay on mission, lead well, and keep a healthy balance in their lives. – Steve
by Charles Stone
Five years ago I began a new adventure…leading a new church in a new country. I accepted the lead pastor role at a great church in Canada, West Park Church in London, Ontario. This church is filled with great people committed to God and the cause of Christ. I’ve loved my time here and although I faced some challenges the first year, it has been a great experience. Before I even started, I spent three weeks preparing for my new ministry and I learned these 4 keys necessary to start well and sustain healthy ministry. I’ve also included 13 questions that help us determine how well we are leading.
I use the acronym PALM to illustrate these 4 simple keys. It describes four practices that not only make a new transition go smoother, but represent leadership priorities I recommend every good leader embrace whether or not he or she is new to a ministry role. I’ll briefly explain them and then pose some questions to help you evaluate how well you are embodying these principles.
Prioritize family and self care. This concept simply means that to lead well, we must lead ourselves and our families well. I once heard Chuck Swindoll say that a healthy ministry flows out of a healthy marriage.
- Key questions to ask.
- How would your spouse or kids say you are doing in keeping family a priority?
- How often do you take a day off when you truly disconnect from your leadership role?
- Are you getting enough sleep and exercise?
- Are you saying ‘no’ enough to demands people try to place on your time that you know if you said ‘yes’ would not further your mission?
Avidly over-communicate. This concept implies that leaders must intentionally use multiple means to keep theirs churches and teams informed of what’s happening.
- Key questions to ask.
- Do you have an intentional process you use to communicate to others progress in achieving your goals and key initiatives?
- How many tools do you use to communicate? Or, do you count on one method and hope it’s successful?
- How often do you repeat your church’s overall purpose and objectives?
Listen and learn. This idea embodies the principle that good leaders are learners and learning happens when we assume a listening posture.