This past week was the monthly Southwest Church Planters Forum. This was my second visit (here’s my first) and it was really cool – Jen got to come with me this time, which always makes it better. It was such a relief to go to something a little more stress relieving after last weeks CMA District Conference. Once again, Pat & Oscars was on the menu (those breadsticks are a killer! literally). My good friend, Eric led worship and this month Hal Seed, pastor of New Song Community Church in Oceanside, Ca was our speaker. (by the way they are rockin’ the CCB website, not my favorite but apparently it’s working for them). Here’s my notes on his talk (italics added for emphasis and my thoughts are in parentheses):
Leadership Stamina: Staying the Course (Hal Seed)
- Heb 12:1-3 It is always easier to quit than persevere.
- Ga 6:9-10 It is always easier to “grow weary” that to persevere. (I got distracted on this one so it could be wrong).
- Phil 3:13-14 Paul’s strategy for staying the course was to look forward not back. To keep his stamina, Paul did whatever he needed to do.
Of all the jobs God has assigned you as a leader, the most important one is self leadership.
The Three Most Draining Circumstances of a Leader:
- Success (adrenaline wears off quickly)
Why Church Planting is Draining:
- Spiritual Warfare – Eph 6:12
- Often there are few people praying – Col 4:3-4
- Usually there is a lack of commitment
- Your job is about people
- Church planters have much bigger dreams than most others (thus more disappointment when those dreams are not reached, or reached soon enough)
Minimizing the Drain:
- Listen to criticism at the right time (not right before events, etc. I actually believe the best time to change things for the better are ASAP. How many times have you been in a church service and said, oh I hope we aren’t doing that again next service… well, then DON’T. If I had my way we’d completely evaluate the worship experience immediately after our 6pm Sat. and make any changes for the next morning).
- Give grace on Sunday & Monday (again, I agree, but if we’re going to get better, we’ve got to catch things when they’re fresh. Pastors have a tough job, maybe one of the most personally draining, but we chose it. We’ve got to get over that and realize that presenting the [insert your area of ministry] Word of God in a relevant and passionate way each week in an effective way is crucial, and without measuring standards there will be no growth).
- Resist the temptation to give in to depression – Phil 4:8, Ps 103:1
Maximizing the Gain:
- Pray joyfully (as opposed to praying in fear, desperation, rambling on and on)
- Make a list of things that fill or energize you (I have to do this)
- Exercise, Diet, and Sleep are important (amen!)
- Learn from others (I call this staying teachable, the Bible calls it humility, either way, probably the hardest thing for pastors to do – God help us!)
- Get out of town! Dan 9 (spiritual warfare)
- Borrow great ideas (I agree with the footnote that you don’t always borrow – God has to have placed something in your heart that needs to be developed and expressed sometime)
- Keep your mind saturated with scripture (another one I need to work harder on)
- Remember these scriptures:
2 Cor 1:3-4 Comfort
1 Cor 10:13 Temptation
2 Tim 2:22 Flee