The next of the Mistakes Leaders Make is to spend too much time on hurting people and not enough time developing future leaders. Dave Kraft is not the only one to warn of this propensity. It comes up in The Trellis and the Vine.
He isn’t saying churches, and leaders, should not care for the hurting people in the congregation. He is saying that you need to make sure you spend time cultivating future leaders too. The hurting can often demand your time. The hungry usually aren’t calling you to set up appointments.
“If all the leader’s time is devoted to shepherding and counseling hurting people to the exclusion of nurturing hungry future leaders, the ministry cannot continue to grow as God would desire.”
So it can be easy, particularly as a smaller church pastor, to focus too much energy on the hurting.
I suspect some of this has to do with gifting. The more priestly pastors are highly empathetic. They will spend lots of time working with the hurting. They will not place as high a value on the future. They won’t be preparing future leaders as much as a pastor with a strong prophetic or kingly gifting.
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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Counseling, Dave Kraft, discipleship, Good to Great, hiring, leadership teams, Mistakes Leaders Make, Peter Principle, priest and king, prophet, recruiting, submission, the hungry, the hurting, The Trellis and the Vine | Leave a Comment »
No doubt about it, ministry is time consuming. Some people think we read books all day (yes, I read plenty of books- that is part of my job responsibilities). There are also plenty of meetings, during the day and in the evening and sometimes on weekends. There are phone calls, e-mails, personal counseling, working lunches…
Ministry takes time. I don’t say that to make it sound like pastors are busier that other people. I say it because some people think it isn’t. And that busyness can be a problem. Being too busy is one of The Mistakes Leaders Make.
“… it seems that most leaders are moving too fast and trying to do too much. There is precious little time set aside to think, pray, plan, and listen to the Lord.”
Ministry is more than doing. Leadership is about more than doing things. It is about setting a pace, a direction and a tone. And if you do that intentionally (thinking, praying, planning), it will just happen and when that happens the results are usually not pretty. The pace becomes too fast, there is no real direction and the tone is “don’t bother me now.” It happens in parenting, and it happens in ministry.
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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged busyness, Dave Kraft, John Frame, John Piper, leadership, management, mysticism, Stalin, status quo, vision | Leave a Comment »
One of the Mistakes Leaders Make is to shift from pleasing God to people “mere” people. This temptation is always there. There are budgets to be met, goals to achieve, etc. And all those require people.
One of my professors used to tell us that if you make your living from your faith you risk losing either your living or your faith. It was then that he’d say “Two car garage, two car garage.” Essentially we are tempted to fear man instead of fearing God.
“In ministry we will always have those who try to push, manipulate, and even bribe the leader into doing what keeps various people happy. … But the temptation to keep people happy is always nipping at our heels.”
It is there when people pressure you about how long you preach (I don’t have that problem anymore, aside from CavWife floundering if I’ve gone on a rabbit trail). It is there when budget time arises. It is there when people come to tell you how they think we should be worshiping (what song or style or …). It is there when people make special contributions. It is there!
10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I tryingto please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1
Paul felt it. He was under pressure from the church in Galatia on the issue of circumcision. Sometimes the pressure is about something of lesser importance. Sometimes, like in Galatia, it is a gospel issue. Either way, we are to remember that we are servants of Christ and therefore are supposed to do His bidding.
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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged fear of God, fear of man, Ministry, pressure, servant of Christ, temptation | Leave a Comment »
In a recent Session meeting, one of the elders asked a particular question that related to the issue of men and women in the church. It was a question about which people have differing opinions, even if they are in general agreement regarding the larger issue.
I sent him some exegetical and historical work I’d done on the pertinent texts in years past. I also sent him links to a few books on the topic. One was a book I had not seen before, and decided to read for myself. That was Kevin DeYoung’s Freedom and Boundaries: A Pastoral Primer on the Role of Women in the Church. I was particularly interested because DeYoung serves in the RCA, a denomination in which many egalitarians have found a home. He is a complementarian, so I wondered how he handled this particular issue.
He wrote the book (published in 2006) for congregations similar to his own which did not have “official” positions on the subject. He wanted the book to be understandable for lay people. He wanted to display an irenic spirit. The goal was not to bash those who disagree with him. He did not want to descend into vitriol or presenting strawman arguments (how a view is presented would not be recognizable to those who hold the view).
I believe he succeeded in both cases.
Much of the book is taken up with looking at the passages at the heart of this discussion (Genesis 1-3; 1 Corinthians 11; 1 Corinthians 14; 1 Timothy 2 and 1 Timothy 3. He also handles some common objections as well as briefly outlining the many things he believes women can do in the church. In the appendices he includes his sermon on Ephesians 5 and the similarity in arguments for those espousing egalitarianism and the acceptance of homosexual behavior in the church.
“Controversy, because it makes us think more carefully and support our ideas more substantially, can actually strengthen the church.”
He begins with a series of questions to “set the stage” for the larger discussion. He affirms that this is not a “salvation” issue (I disagreed with one of my favorite professors in this issue, and have friends with whom I disagree). It is a question for the well-being of the church. As such, we should investigate it.
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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged 1 Corinthians, 1 Timothy, Adam, complementarianism, created order, deacons, egalitarianism, elders, Ephesians 5, Eve, Genesis, Government, helper, Kevin DeYoung, male headship. Creation Mandate, Prayer, prophecy, Puritan, status | Leave a Comment »
Pride is a problem for everyone, and this includes people in ministry. Pride is “the mother of all sins”, and the third of the Mistakes Leaders Make. The chapter is “Allowing Pride to Replace Humility“. Since pride is our default mode as sinners, I think “Not replacing pride with humility” would be more accurate. Just saying.
“It often hides under the cloak of confidence and conviction.”
Kraft rightly says that pride is often in stealth mode. It does not often come out overtly, brash and in your face. It lurks under the surface, corrupting our motives and tainting our actions.
Often churches set themselves up for the problem of the prideful pastor. They hire guys based more upon gifts than character. We want competence, or exceptionalism, and realize that we have to let people go because their character sabotages their ministry.
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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Andy Bernard, Dave Kraft, false humility, humility, inner GPS, Michael Scott, Mistakes Leaders Make, pride, selfish ambition, submission, The Office | Leave a Comment »
Envy is a problem for everyone. The 10th Commandment is essentially about envy- wanting what someone else has. It is a cancer to the soul, breeding complaints against God like a whiny teenager. “If you loved me …”
Ministers are not immune. We can be tempted to envy how God is at work in other churches. At least in how we perceive it.
I had one of those experiences recently as a few fellow pastors gathered to discuss a common project. One, a church planter, noted upon being asked how their new facility is already packed. The attendance is about 50% higher than ours.
For me it turns into self-condemnation of a sort. “You stink. If you were a good pastor/preacher/leader you’d see that and more.”
Envy destroys contentment. And that is the 2nd mistake that Dave Kraft addresses in Mistakes Leaders Make.
It isn’t limited to ministry success. You can envy how much other pastors make. As a Presbyterian, I know how much new pastors in the Presbytery make. When you pastor a smaller church, that is tough. Suddenly you think about your retirement, that cruise you wish you could take and a host of other things. It can easily distract you from the task at hand.
“I think it is good to compare what is happening through me (and in me) with what could potentially happen. It is good to compare where I am with my growth and ministry effectiveness with where it is possible to be, with God’s grace. Where I get into trouble is when I compare with others who have different gifts, callings, capacities, and personalities.”
There are several important things there. First, comparing is okay if I’m wondering what God could do with me (keeping my gifts and limitations in mind). It becomes a question of faithfulness, am I being faithful? How can I be more faithful? That is a far better standard than success.
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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged calling, circumstances, contentment, Dave Kraft, envy, Faithfulness, gifts, goodness, personality, sovereignty, Success, wisdom | 1 Comment »