I am a mother of 3 elementary aged children and a pastor’s wife and a pastor. “Simple” is not how I would define my life. I know that my life needs to be simplified in order for me to maintain my sanity, my relationships, and my priorities determined by God. I would like to encourage church leaders to look at their lives and see if they could simplify their ministry area. Ministry can be very demanding and overwhelming at times. If you, as a church leader, are feeling as though the schedule is daunting….imagine how the families in your church may feel. The two largest areas in my life are ministry and family. In the last post, I threw out some ideas on how to simplify your family schedule. Here are a few ideas of how to simplify the ministry side of life.
Determine the vision, priorities and focus of your ministry. If you are clear on what God has called you to, what he has called your church to, and what he has called your specific ministry area to, it makes saying yes or no to commitments simpler. When you are approached with an idea you can easily determine if this helps or hinders your team in fulfilling the purposes that God has placed before you. This cannot be done once at a retreat and carried throughout the years. You must continually determine the vision and keep it in front of yourself, your team and the families in your church.
Delegate much of the tasks at hand. “Do what only you can do, and delegate the rest!” This phrase has been a mantra for our staff. You do not have to do everything…but you must make sure everything gets done. Gather a team around you. Guide people to find a place to serve that fits their personality, gifting and passion. To maintain a team that is excited and passionate about the ministry you must continually keep the vision and purposes clear and communicated well. People will go above and beyond to fulfill a vision…they will not sacrifice just because of a need.
Decline invitations or requests that do not directly pertain to the vision God has placed in front of you. This also goes back to determining the vision. If you are clear and confident in what God is calling you to do it is an easy decision to say no to ideas that don’t get you there. Many people have come to me with ideas of events, programs, changes, or tasks that would add to my plate. Some of these ideas have been excellent and right in line with the purposes we are going after. We have proceeded with them and it’s been amazing. Some have been great ideas, but they are not in line with what God has for us. Having a clear vision makes it easy to know what requests need to be declined.
Church leaders, please share your ideas on how you have simplified your ministry. What has worked for you? What are you going to try?