Why Every Pastor Should Have an Agenda

Pastors and ministry leaders don’t want to come across as if they’re always trying to push an agenda.

But every pastor should have an agenda.

Whether it’s in a staff session, during a visit with a new couple at church or at home around the dinner table, pastors should carry an agenda into every conversation. Let me explain.

For years I used to say, “I have no agenda.”

I wanted to make sure the people knew I wasn’t interested in using or abusing the relationship for personal gain. But then I realized my “anti-agenda” mentality simply wasn’t true.

Granted, my agenda was never solely for selfish purposes. But every relationship I developed, every conversation I had, was for a purpose—an agenda.

There’s one question that distinguishes whether the agenda you bring is appropriate. The question isn’t, “Do you have an agenda?” (Because you do!) The question is, “Does your agenda have the best interest of the other person in mind?”

Having an agenda is actually a good thing, ensuring you use your time wisely.

The issue is when your agenda is exclusively self-serving. If your agenda is always to push your ideas, beliefs and opinions, you will eventually leave others burned out, abused and defeated.

However, if we embrace an agenda that is in the best interest of others, we’ll build teams that exceed our expectations.

So when you head to your next meeting, check your agenda. If you have none, embrace a helpful one. Remember, agendas are neutral—it’s the focus of your agenda that matters.

What do you think about this ministry principle? How do you keep your agenda in check?  

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Justin Lathrop
With over a dozen years of local church ministry Justin has spent the last several years starting business' and ministries that partner with pastors and churches to advance the Kingdom. He is the founder of Helpstaff.me (now Vanderbloemen Search), Oaks School of Leadership, and MinistryCoach.tv all while staying involved in the local church. Justin is obsessed with connecting people to people and lives his life daily to make the world a smaller place. He now serves as a consultant in the area of strategic relations predominately working with the Assemblies of God, helping to build bridges with people and ministries to more effectively reach more people. He blogs regularly about what he has learned from making connection at www.justinlathrop.com.

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