Role as a Pastor
Leader of Leaders
By Craig Groschel
Speak Well of Others
We should all seek to become more “Kingdom-Minded. We should not just focus on our ministry, but embrace, celebrate, and partner with God’s Spirit in our cities, countries, and around the world.
Let’s start by honoring other ministries with our words. As a ministry leader, I am trying to always speak well of other ministries. (I’ve been guilty of speaking poorly about other ministries in the past.)
To speak well of others, it helps that we feel good about them—even those who are different in style than our own. To embrace others, I have to acknowledge: My way of doing ministry is not the only way, nor is it the best way. My gifts, passions, talents, anointing, calling, context, and call are unique. (So are yours.) If everyone did ministry the way I do, we would never reach the whole world. I don’t understand why some people do what they do. I don’t have to. I choose to give them the benefit of the doubt. I can learn from those who are different from me. Some good rules: Don’t participate in church gossip. Don’t talk badly about some pastor you don’t know. Don’t talk badly about some pastor you do know. Don’t bash churches on blogs. (There are way too many jerks with a computer and an internet connection.) Brag on other ministries—especially in your community. If you’re going to be guilty, be guilty of speaking well of the body of Christ—rather than being guilty of being divisive.
Celebrate Other’s Successes
Someone said… When your ministry is small, people ignore you. When your ministry is growing, people are jealous of you. When your ministry is large, people hate you. As Kingdom-Minded Leaders, we should be the exact opposite. When someone’s ministry is small, we should invest in them. When someone’s ministry is growing, we help them continue to grow. When someone’s ministry is large, we should celebrate what God is doing. Let’s get practical. How can we show our Kingdom heart in our cities? When someone moves into a new building or opens a new campus or ministry, we can send them a note or flowers to celebrate. When another ministry gets good publicity in the media, we can email and congratulate them. When someone is raising money for a building, we can send them an offering. When a pastor in town writes a book, we can give them a good review on Amazon. When another church hires one of our staff members, we can speak well of the church and bless our staff to go. Rather than feeling threatened by the church plant down the street, we can pray for them, send them an offering, or invite our people to go help. When a ministry becomes more outwardly successful, we can sincerely thank God for what He’s doing. When did we start selling the Gospel?
I understand why ministries have stores. We have one (that we lose a lot of money on every year). The goal is to get Christian material and tools into the hands of people. Surely there’s nothing wrong with that. Books cost money. CD’s and DVD’s cost money. It takes money to buy the cameras and recording equipment, and it takes time, equipment, and resources to duplicate the material. Surely there’s nothing wrong with covering the costs, or even making some money that will be used to further the cause of Christ.
But when we CAN GIVE SOMETHING AWAY, why don’t we? We don’t have to sell everything!
What can we give away that other churches and ministries could use?
We could share the resources we’ve already produced. This could include artwork, outlines, videos, graphics, messages, etc. Share our buildings. If you don’t use yours on Sunday night, maybe there’s a church plant in town that could. Have roundtables—for no charge. Invite twelve leaders to attend a one-day meeting to share ideas. Give away our time. I’ve found that blogging is one of the best ways to be generous with what we’re learning. Sure, it takes time, but it can help a ton of people
I’m becoming increasingly passionate about intentional ministry partnerships.
The driving question should be: How can we do more for the glory of God together?
Here are some ideas. We could:
Share buildings. (I know I already mentioned this before. It’s worth mentioning again.) When does your building go unused? Who could use it at that time? (If you need to charge them to cover your costs, do so. If you can give them a gift and let them use it for free.)
Partner in target ministries. Maybe your church can’t afford a full-time singles pastor. Consider bringing four or five churches together for monthly combined singles events. (What other areas could you partner in?)
Offer free pulpit supply. If you believe in the power of video teaching, here’s a great idea… Say a church loses its pastor, and is struggling to find another one. Your church could let them use your video messages during their search.
Give all our video teaching away to churches… for free. We’re very excited about “network” churches. These are separate churches who use our teaching. Praise God that His message is getting out. We don’t get money for this. We don’t count their attendance. We simply get to help. Yeah!
Partner in missions. Instead of all 400,000 American churches trying to do separate mission work, consider partnering with another church (or two, or 20) to make a difference in one significant place. Instead of your overseas trip not filling up and ending up canceled, maybe it will overflow and you’ll have to book a second.
Merge ministries. We’ve partnered with a few churches who decided to become a part of LifeChurch.tv. Across the country, many ministries are realizing they can do more united than they could divided.
Do a series together with other churches. Our church and three others decided to do the same series simultaneously. As pastors, we prepared the messages together. All of our churches prayed for one another. We played videos of each pastor and reported what God was doing in each church. All our people loved it and grew together in an awesome way.
Adopt a church. Find a church that could benefit from what you’re doing and adopt them. What does that mean? I’m not sure. You prayerfully decide. How can you help? Maybe your leaders can mentor theirs. Maybe you can give them your old choir robes, or your church van. You might help them find the worship leader they’re looking for. Whatever it means to you, do it.
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