Quality Over Quantity

Listen to the podcast of this post by clicking on the player below, and you can also subscribe on AppleSpotify, or Audible. 

I had a great time on the Ailbe Podcast with Rusty Rabon. 

Rusty referred to the opening chapter of my book Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter where I talk about how many of our churches and church leaders are attempting to climb the wrong ladder of success. Rusty noted how many people become frustrated because they are not seeing the success the way that so many people define it.

Before addressing frustrated pastors, I first spoke to the board members that are supporting that pastor. 

In Shepherd Leadership I wrote,

“Businesses think in terms of quantitative gains—things they can count—but churches and nonprofits should be thinking in terms of qualitative gains—a quality improvement that isn’t as easily counted. I think we all know this, and yet we still persist in wanting to define success in a church or a nonprofit by those quantitative standards such as attendance growth, donations, and the like. When we think qualitative over quantitative, suddenly what seemed “small” is so significant and so valuable that it cannot be calculated!”

I’ll be sharing more clips from this interview soon, so please stay tuned. If you would like to check out the other clips I have already shared from this podcast, please check them out here. Shepherd Leadership: The Metrics That Really Matter is available in print or ebook, and in audiobook through either Audible or Apple. 

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Three For Pastors (book reviews)

I consider it such an awesome privilege—and a heavy responsibility—to be called to be a pastor. Despite the challenges, I love doing what I’m doing! And although I don’t want this message to become diminished by over-use, I truly do mean it: I My Church!

Because I want to be the best pastor I can be, I frequently study the lives of historical pastors, and I try to keep current on thoughts from my contemporaries as well. So, if you are a pastor (or if you want to better support your pastor), here are three books I recently read which I would highly recommend to you.

The Heart Of A Great Pastor by H.B. London and Neil B. Wiseman emphasizes how pastors need to take personal responsibility to make sure they are continually giving their best. From revisiting the call of God on their lives, to maintaining a vibrant private prayer and devotional life, to organizing ministries in the church, pastors can never coast. I love this insight from the authors:

“The God-initiated summons takes us [pastors] into life’s main arena where people wrestle with ultimate issues such as birth, life, death, sickness, broken relationships, health and hope, as well as ambiguities and apprehension. This partnership with God takes us to private and public places and to sorrowful and cheerful places. It is our lifetime ticket to represent Jesus at weddings, hospital waiting rooms, grave sites, baptisms, Holy Communion and life-shaping questions that good people have reason to ask, such as ‘Where is God now?’”

Elite Prayer Warriors by Dave Williams is a renewed call to prayer. I grew up with a cliché ringing in my ears and my heart: The church moves forward on her knees.  If this is true for the church (and I firmly believe it is), it is even more true for pastors who serves the church as her under-shepherd. Elite Prayer Warriors encourages pastors  to raise up a team of people who will commit to the spiritual battle of praying for their pastor.

Then Pastor Dave Williams addresses an area that can derail a church in Toxic Committees And Venomous Boards. I’ll let the cat out of the bag right up front: Pastor Williams states unequivocally that committees are unscriptural. After showing the biblical basis for his claim, he then makes the case for a scriptural form of pastoral support: teams. He says, “Committees meet; teams score!”

I also like this quote in the book from Rick Warren:

“Committees discuss it, but ministries do it. Committees argue, ministries act. Committees maintain, ministries minister. Committees talk and consider, ministries serve and care. Committees discuss needs, ministries meet needs.”

Three outstanding books to help you be the best pastor that God has called you to be.

I am a Decapolis book reviewer.

Wind Or Anchor

I so appreciate my church Board!

They are by no means a bunch of “yes men” (especially since one of our Board members is a woman!), but they are definitely great teammates. When I want to dream, they dream along with me. When I’m looking for a new way to do something, they help me explore our options. When I propose that we experiment, they give me the latitude to make the attempt.

They are the wind in my sails.

Unfortunately I’ve been around too many board members who feel it is their job to play devil’s advocate, or to hold the pastor to the time-honored traditions (without any regard to their effectiveness), or to always play everything safe.

They are an anchor around a pastor’s ankle.

French novelist Andre Gide noted,

“One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.”

Thanks, Calvary A/G Board, for allowing us to lose sight of the shore every once in awhile so that we can see what new lands God will help us discover. You are definitely the wind in my sails.

What about you, dear reader? You may not be on an official board, but your comments and attitudes can either be wind or an anchor to someone close to you. Which are you?

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