Leadership is a key component of being a pastor. Regardless of the your church’s governance structure, a pastor must lead well if the church is going to accomplish its mission. While some people are born with an innate ability to lead, it is more often learned. As a result, pastors should intentionally put effort into growing their leadership abilities. Here are 4 ways I try to grow in my leadership abilities that you might find helpful.
On average, I read one book a week. How? While I am a fast reader, it is something I prioritize. Most every night before bed I will read for 45-60 minutes. This reading each day is not focused on sermon prep or theological issues. This time is spent reading books that will help me grow and improve in various areas of my life.
If you follow this, you will spend between 5 and 7 hours reading for the purpose of personal growth. While there are usually no dramatic changes that will take place overnight, there is a cumulative effect that, over time, will change how we lead.
Writing can do several things. It has a way of helping you formulate thoughts. Writing can force you to determine what you think about a particular topic that perhaps you have avoided in the past. It can help you think through an issue from a number of perspectives. Writing about issues in your field helps you anticipate objections and complaints about a certain course of action.
Writing may not solve an issue that may be present, but it does help prepare the leader to lead through those issues in a more informed way.
3- Learn from other leaders
The best way I have found to learn from other leaders is to listen to podcasts while I am driving. It requires no additional time since I would be driving anyway, but allows me to be intentional with that time. On average, I listen to 5-6 podcasts per week. Four of them are focused on leadership.
- The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast
- Ronnie Floyd on Life and Leadership Today
- The Vaderbloemen Leadership Podcast
- Pastor’s Talk with Mark Dever
Listening to these leaders talk about leadership in the context of the church allows me to grow in my understanding of leadership as well as my practice of leadership.
4- Hire a leadership coach
So, this is not something I have personally done, but it is something that intrigues me. I have been reading and studying about this and have read testimonies of many people who say their leadership has been significantly helped by this. No, it may not be for everyone, but it is worth consideration.
Regardless of which of these you strive to add into your schedule, be intentional about growing your leadership abilities. Over time you and your church will notice the difference.