As a pastor or ministry leader, you probably have some pretty specific goals when it comes to your church or organization.
You want to see people in your church and community know and serve God. You want to see your members reach out to those who aren’t. You want to see the lives of individuals and families change for the better as their relationships with God grow deeper.
That’s what you want to see happen. But the truth is, sometimes you feel like you’re doing everything but reaching those goals.
You’re not alone.
Every week in our eaHelp offices, we hear from pastors and church leaders who feel overworked and overwhelmed from all of their responsibilities. Quite often, they’ve taken on more than one person can handle and sustain for the long haul.
When that happens, your purpose—the whole reason you went into ministry in the first place—can quickly get lost in the juggling of email, meetings, budgets and day-to-day fire-fighting.
Here are four ways your ministry purpose may be getting hijacked:
1. You’re reacting instead of acting
There is nothing more mentally draining than when you have a full inbox of email to answer, phone messages to return and figuring out time for unexpected but important meeting requests.
Instead of feeling in charge of your week, you feel like your week has taken charge of you. That’s easy to experience when you’re spending all of your time responding to others with no time to focus on your own important projects and tasks.
But successful leaders realize they are only effective in their callings if they can carry out their callings. When you recognize your most valuable responsibilities, the ones only you can do, and acknowledge what can be handled by others, you free yourself up to focus on what’s really important.
Let’s put it another way: When you decide someone else can work on the $20 tasks, you now have room in your schedule to work on the $20,000 projects, instead.
Ask yourself: What are the things that ONLY I can do? What are the things someone else could do for me?
2. You feel more like an event planner than a church planter
If your church is growing, then your congregation is gathering, and not just for your normal weekly services on Sundays.
Building campaigns, giving campaigns, holiday events, home groups and outreach can all require a great amount of coordination and a whole lot of attention to detail.
But figuring out where to order supplies or which caterer you should book is probably not the best use of your time as a leader, especially if you’re also giving the keynote or primary message for an event or campaign.
Focused leaders understand they can’t do everything, and still do everything well.
Ask yourself: How much time do I spend in my main responsibilities as a pastor or church leader? How much time do I spend with other responsibilities that would not fit in those main categories?