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Leadership Priorities: Five Thoughts on How We Can Lead Better

At the same time, pastors suffer from higher rates of obesity, hypertension and depressionthan the average American. Beyond this, over half say they are often concerned about their family’s financial security (an indictment of churches who should pay a decent wage but do not in a misguided theology of money) and close to half feel the demands of ministry are more than they can handle.

This paints a picture of an American pastorate that loves their flock and their calling but needs encouragement, help and wisdom to avoid hurting themselves and, in turn, their churches. Why? Because pastors want to minister to people. But as leaders we need to view our time as a finite resource that God calls upon us to steward. Every time we spend our time, we must view it as an investment in the kingdom. As we think through priorities, we need to begin thinking exponentially.

5. Pastoral opportunities are incorporated necessities.

As a counterbalance, I will end by recommending that pastors and ministry leaders must still engage in the ground-level ministry work in some capacity. Whether it is hospital visits or leading a Bible study for a season, this is crucial for two reasons.

First, it is a way leaders can remain humble as their organization and responsibilities grow. The tendency for isolation and success to influence our habits and attitude for the worse is real. There are unfortunately many more examples of high-level leaders acting arrogantly than in humility. The willingness to serving occasionally is a reminder of Jesus’ own servant-leadership model.

Second, it feeds that initial impulse that pulled you into ministry in the first place. Most pastors and ministry leaders began out of a call to minister and, through a combination of their leadership skills and God’s blessing, their responsibilities have overtaken that original calling. These opportunities are an important outlet.

For me, I love to spend time encouraging and praying with those in ministry. I unfortunately have to turn down many meeting requests, but if I am stuck in the car for a long time, I will tweet out and ask if anyone wants me to pray for or talk with them. I often find myself on a phone call with someone I don’t know, but it’s an opportunity to serve them in prayer and encouragement.

This article originally appeared here.

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Ed Stetzer, Ph.D., is a professor and dean at Wheaton College where he also serves as Executive Director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center. He has planted, revitalized, and pastored churches, trained pastors and church planters on six continents, has earned two master’s degrees and two doctorates, and has written hundreds of articles and a dozen books. He is Regional Director for Lausanne North America, is the editor-in-chief of Outreach Magazine, and is frequently cited in, interviewed by, and writes for news outlets such as USAToday and CNN. He is the Founding Editor of The Gospel Project, a curriculum used by more than 1.7 million individuals each week for bible story. His national radio show, Ed Stetzer Live, airs Saturdays on Moody Radio and affiliates. He serves as interim teaching pastor of Calvary Church in New York City and serves as teaching pastor at Highpoint Church.