Friday, April 23, 2010

Advice for Young Clergy, Part III

11. Solicit help from laity who know how to build strong organizations and allow them to assist you in building a strong infrastructure in your church, from finances to HVAC systems.

This just seems like a no brainier, unless you are a control freak who wants to be the expert at everything.

12. Develop good work habits and a schedule that allows you to accomplish what you have stet as your priorities. Working smarter is much more effective than working harder. I have used variations of the 3-3-3 option. Try to organize your meetings so that you maximize your availability. Set limits on your evening meetings, especially if you have small children.

The 3-3-3 option is that Rev. Cantrell would sit down 3 days a week (while in the local parish) and write 3 letters, make 3 phone calls, and visit 3 people. This way at the end of each week he had 27 contacts with members of his congregation. He only did 20 minute visitations and he would call and let them know it as well. "Bob, I'm coming to see you but I only have 20 minutes, please be ready to share anything you would like to tell me." He said that his congregation never complained about it and he was able to see them more often. His shut-ins appreciated the 6 20 minute visits a year instead of the 2 one hour visits. He stated it is a better use of our time as ministers. Of course if the visited needed longer, due to a tragedey or news that they shared, he stayed but he always asked their permission first.

As far as night meetings, this is something I strive to do but fail at sometimes. It is hard work to get non-paid volunteers (or ALL church committees) to meet in order to get stuff done, not on weekday nights. I am a huge fan of Sunday meetings and maybe I need to move more of them to them. My son told my wife (after I left for a meeting yesterday), "Mom, we need to buy a new Daddy, because the old one is gone again." OUCH!

13. Make Stewardship a year long activity that teaches stewardship of everything with which we have been blessed.

I like this because Stewardship goes far beyond money. Have I preached a non-money stewardship sermon this year? Ever?

14. If you want to know why some churches are effective and doing well, visit them to see what they are doing. Schedule some time to visit with the pastor and other leaders so that you can ask questions and speak with them about best practices.

How honored would you feel if another clergy person called you and asked you if you could spend an hour with them walking through the ministries of your church and how you got them to where they are? That would be awesome and if you were the person who called, think about what you would learn. We are a connectional system not a competitive one. We need to work together more and teach each other how to do the most effective ministry possible.

15. If you hear yourself saying, "I just need to do that myself," repeatedly, you should know that you are in trouble.

Dear Lord, please remove that phrase from my mouth so that I can realize more people need to be involved and connected to ministry. Amen.

1 comment:

Rich Tuttle said...

I know all about leaving the kids. Its hard. What's nice is when I can say "don't worry, I don't have anything tomorrow so we can be together all day as a family." Its rare, but its rarity helps me value that time even more than I would. I've left the house almost dragging the kids with me because they didn't want me to leave. We as pastors, really have to remember the positives about being in ministry, so that we don't let the negatives rule our world.