Last Update 17th October, 2016.
Are leaders born?
Yes, I’ve never met a leader who wasn’t born yet.
If you want to change your church then you must first change you.
I don’t like that, but it’s true.
And I don’t like it because it means I have to change…
I don’t know about you but I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished so far but I know there’s so much more.
The best is yet to come for you and me, but that to be realised means we need to change.
Be the best leader you can be
We’ve got just one shot at this – we need to be the best pastors and church leaders we can be.
I’m not satisfied unless I’m constantly growing, learning new and fresh ideas and getting better all the time.
Luke 2:52 reveals a fascinating concept – it says that Jesus grew in wisdom, and in favour with God and men.
We’re talking about God – learning.
If Jesus grew and developed then how much more should we study and read and learn and grow?
2 Samuel 5:10 says “David went on and grew great.”
We love to read about David’s accomplishments but don’t be quick to forget the process of growth he had to go through.
In a world that focuses on fruits (the public parts of our lives everybody sees), taking time to keep our roots (the secret, inner-life) can easily be neglected.
Investing into our personal development is not glamourous because it’s done in secret when no one’s looking but what you do in private is building a solid foundation which will be your platform for future accomplishments and exploits.
And get this – nurturing strong roots will automatically bring about fruit.
The wisest man, Solomon put it this way in Proverbs 4:
“Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom! Write this at the top of your list: Get Understanding!
Throw your arms around her—believe me, you won’t regret it; never let her go—she’ll make your life glorious.”
Investing time to grow yourself as a leader will pay off time and time again.
So let’s get straight to it, here are 3 steps you can take to grow as a church leader:be successful:
1) Clarify Your Vision
What are your ministry goals?
Where do you need your church to be in 1 year, 3 years, 5 years?
What’s your vision for your youth ministry, children’s work?
What do you want your legacy to be?
What do you want to be remembered by?
Don’t worry about the ‘how’ for now (see step 3), just focus on where you want to be and what you want to achieve.
Clarifying your vision and goals like this helps you keep the main thing, the main thing.
“Vision is a mental picture of what could be, fueled by a passion that it should be.” [Tweet this]
Here are some good priorities to live by:
The Five ‘F’s:
2) Develop a Personal Growth Plan
Once you know what your dream goals are, it’s time to make a plan.
We all want to be ‘there’ but a lot of us are not willing to take the necessary steps it takes to get ‘there’.
Some people think they’re going to get where they want to be in one big step; little do they realise it’s most often a series of small, incremental steps that gets us to our destination.
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3) How are you going to get from here to there?
“A goal without action is pure hallucination.” [Tweet this]
Whatever your goals or vision is for your life and church, we must learn to be doers.
Sometimes we expect to get from ‘here‘ to ‘there‘ in one fell swoop – the reality is, rather than one giant leap, success is more like a series of small, cumulative and daily steps.
“Direction, not intention, determines your destination. – Andy Stanley” [Tweet this]
Here at Grow Church we have lots of practical ‘How to‘ but only you can answer the ‘Why‘.
Whatever your reason is, I encourage you, no, I urge you – take action.
Whether you’re looking to grow in your capacity as a leader, improve your preaching, become better at putting healthy church systems in place, whatever it is, your growth plan should have daily, weekly, monthly and yearly measures.
So for example, if I want to have a healthy, heaven-on-earth marriage then I you will prioritise that and schedule some quality one on one time each day, a date night each week, a trip away once a month and a holiday twice a year.
“Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.”
If you want to be the best pastor you can be then it starts by setting aside a daily personal time with God – you don’t just want to be opening the Bible to prepare for sermons!
Daily – Read 2 chapters of the Bible a day, listen to a sermon a day.
Weekly – Read a book a week on church management/leadership
Monthly – Every month you could decide to meet with a leader who’s gone further than you and is where you want to be.
Yearly – Plan to visit somewhere expand your thinking.
Book yourself into a conference, get some online preaching training or maybe visit a big church that has a powerful impact in the surrounding community, take a look at the facilities they have, see how they run their services.
Prioritise your priorities, make the main thing the main thing and you’ll soon start taking the right actions.
Habits are everything; what you do today determines where you’ll be tomorrow.
If you are serious about growing your church, your worship team, youth group or children’s ministry but you are not doing anything about it then guess what?
Remember: It’s your direction not your intention determines your destination.
There’s no magic formula for growing your church overnight, but it’s in those seemingly small, daily steps that will you to take your church to the place you want it to be.
Always be open to new ideas, don’t be afraid of change and always be learning, always growing.
Growing pastors have growing churches.
Why not take the time to evaluate your daily calendar and ask yourself:
“Does your daily growth plan reflect the size of my dream?”
If not- adjust it.
What direction is my daily calendar taking me? Do I need to re-order some things?
Whatever dream you have, whatever vision God has given you – start working towards that now.
Have you taken the time to evaluate what’s important to you? What are your top priorities?
What steps can you take today to invest in yourself as a leader? Please comment below and share any helpful advice with the GrowChurch Champs.
21 thoughts on “A Growing Pastor Has a Growing Church”
Thanks for sharing such vital info . It’s has helped me regain my balance and focus. More grace abound towards your life and keep doing more, to the glory of God.
Thank so much for the article. It has actually given me a new look to ministerial growth. My counsel is that wishes does change anything but action does.
Am so grateful to met you here, this will help me a lot to take action and work it out. Thanks for wonderful information and advise you gave to through this word of knowledge to me.
thanks am blessed coming across this write up. it will be helpful to me .
Thank you for your article, and also for all the good comments, it all helped me to see where I’m, at this point in my ministry…”stagnant, and going backwards” I can see it now…wow! But praise God…I also see what must be done to move forward!
That’s amazing Lorenza! It can creep up on us without us really knowing and I think everyone finds themselves in a rut from time to time (I know I do!) Now you know your starting point you can start moving forward – exciting times ahead! God bless you!
Simon, the topics you have shared would be a great help for our church to be moving forward. I learned so much from you.Thank you and God bless your heart.
This has really refreshed my spirit man to do more than am doing now in order to get the result I really desire to have.
thanks a million.
Go for it Sam!
Thank you Simon, I consider this site an avenue and opportunity to grow myself, the church and others. I will contact you anytime you are needed.
Great, we can all learn from one another 🙂
Hello Simon, Wonderful article, and I can’t wait to read further. As I read, I kept hearing something that one of my teachers in Bible College used to say; “A church will only go as far as the pastor will go.” I thought I understood that back then, today I really understand it. Its exactly what you stated in your article, if the pastor doesn’t grow, the church won’t grow. I have a lot to re-prioritize, a lot of fat to trim away, frankly a lot of work to do. Having just gone to a pastor’s conference this past weekend, and now reading your article, well, I’m left kind of speechless. Thanks again!
Wow thanks Gary, if it makes you feel any better, you’re certainly not the only one! Even though I wrote this it’s still something I have to remind myself of often.
The things we learn at Bible College suddenly become more real once we have experience of it first hand that’s for sure!
Hello and thanks for sharing this post, when you talk about church growth it begins I believe with each believer spending time with God in His word and in prayer, we see Jesus who is greatess example praying and preaching the word of God. We are told to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our lord and savior Jesus Christ these are some of the ways besides fasting and witness. Thanks again for sharing this wonderful post, all the best to you.
Great points Norman, it’s totally true.
In Growing Your Church in the Word we talk about a church is only as strong as your members and a few ways you can create a church culture of devotions, prayer and worship.
It starts with your leadership team too, recently we just ran a 40 day devotional with our leaders where we shared scriptures and prayers in a private Facebook group. We did this to strengthen our leaders and get them into the habit of daily devotions and also, because the new people who come into your church will follow the culture you’ve already created.
Every Sunday we also emphasise three things: read the Bible daily, pray daily and come to church regularly.
The advice in this article can be applied to many avenues of life. Theocratic, secular and even family life.
Long-Term and Short-Term goals are important but their implementation is key.
Probably the most key to success is to read the bible each and everyday. (Joshua 1:8) I’ve found this personally helpful in my ministry.
Implementation is the key – absolutely! Thanks Keith, great to see you around the blog.
You make valid points in growing a church. In order for a church to grow the pastor has to grow in order for the pastor to they have to realize they have to grow. I agree values are important. I was taught to have core values a mission statement and a vision set before I launch a ministry that way it doesn’t crumble at the seems. I agree about reading 2 chapters a day in the Bible reading a leadship book a month and meeting up with someone further along than you. These are all great points because like the Bible says iron sharpens iron. Where should one start reading the Bible?
Very good points Tim, thanks for sharing!
As church leaders we are constantly pouring out into the lives of others, this time of personal development, instead of being selfish, is actually so we can pour out even more into the lives of others – our whole church benefits.
YouVersion has some great Bible reading plans you can start at any time. Here are some recent posts you may find useful:
12 Compelling Reasons To Read The Bible, Dust It Off & Start Reading
How To Read The Bible In A Year – Take The Challenge
The Best Way To Study the Bible Effectively – How To Do Daily Devotions
That is a brilliant point.
It is my honest opinion that if you are not constantly learning and progressing, you are actually regressing.
I think that people should devote their free time to learning rather than laziness and greediness. If you commit for 2 hours per day to learn about the world, religion, business and self-progression, just think about where you will be in a year from now.
We are supposed to be constantly moving forward in our lives and always be moving closer to our true purpose.
Great article, thanks for publishing it!
You’re spot Mark about if we are not progressing, we’re actually stagnant and going backwards.
Every leader should always be hungry to learn more, do more and be more. It’s what separates leaders from followers.
There are so many resources available and I think all of us want to grow, the big difference is giving yourself, say 30 minutes a day to read a church leadership book or invest in an online preaching course.