Get better equipped for church leadership with these insider ministry tips from experienced pastors.
There’s nothing like getting advice from a veteran pastor or ministry leader who’s spent years in the trenches. As many leaders remark, the day-to-day work of leading a church or ministry is vastly different than originally anticipated. That’s why it makes the advice of those in leadership extremely important and uniquely valuable.
We’ve asked our readers to give us their best ministry tips, and we’re sharing them here. While we’re at it, we can’t resist giving you some of the best ministry advice we’ve found online from trusted sources. We hope the wisdom shared will save you energy, time, and heartache in ministry!
TAKE MINISTRY ADVICE FROM OTHER PASTORS
As author John Eldredge alludes to in his book Get Your Life Back, a pastor is now expected to wear more hats than ever. In addition to being a preacher, counselor, and confidante, ministry leaders are assumed to have skills as a nonprofit expert, real estate professional, and marketer, just to name a few.
With those expectations weighing on leaders, it’s important to keep the big picture in mind and benefit from the experience of others. In the 11 pieces of ministry advice below, you’ll find wisdom that speaks to all areas of ministry, from personal health to project management. Keep reading to get the full list of tips.
11 Insider Ministry Tips from Experienced Pastors and Leaders
Tip #1: Lean on others with varying skill sets
If you don’t have the skills to market your church, or the know-how to follow the church’s finances, lean on those who do. After all, some people in your church will serve by teaching Sunday school, and others will serve by designing marketing material or taking care of the facility.
In the case of going portable or multisite, you can lean on the innovative solutions that Portable Church Industries offers to churches of all sizes.
Tip #2: Find friends
Don’t slip into isolation. Too many pastors steer clear of close relationships because they’ve been misunderstood or mistreated in the past. You may occasionally suffer harm while looking for friends you can rely on and be honest with, but the effort will be worthwhile.
Decades ago, pastors were encouraged to keep their distance from congregants, but we now know that close friendships are a lifeline in ministry.
Tip #3: Get support
Many pastors feel overwhelmed by the demands of the job, but it’s important to reach out for help when needed. Whether it’s a telehealth appointment with an out-of-the-area counselor or finding a mentor in your network for guidance and support, don’t overlook the need for an external support system.
Tip #4: Honor the Sabbath
Just like tithing, keeping the Sabbath is an act of faith. By honoring the Sabbath, you are demonstrating trust in God that your time is His time.
Without a weekly rest day, you’ll exhaust yourself rapidly, which doesn’t help you, your church, or your family. Instead, pick a day and protect it carefully.
Tip #5: Learn project management
Today, ministry life is all about managing the projects that are vital to your church’s fingerprint. Chances are, at any moment, you’re juggling the next holiday service, next summer’s outreach, a new Sunday school curriculum rollout, and maintenance on the church’s equipment. The key to keeping it all straight is learning the ins and outs of project management.
Tip #6: Have a weekly plan
In addition to managing projects effectively, turning that long-term plan into daily tasks is another skill.
Just like any other busy professional, having a clear idea of what needs to get done throughout the week helps to keep everything on track. If possible, block out specific days for certain tasks and stick with the plan as much as possible. Establishing this kind of structure helps remind pastors that they are not only responsible for themselves but also for the members of their congregation. This might sound obvious, but few pastors learn these skills in seminary.
Tip #7: Prioritize self-care
This term is often overused, but I think we can all agree that pastors are in desperate need of self-care. It’s vital to make sure that pastors and ministry leaders are meeting their own needs first before they can adequately meet the needs of others. Regular exercise, healthy meals, and prayer are vital to the mental, spiritual, and physical health of leaders.
Tip #8: Get expertise from other pastors
This piece of wisdom from Leandro Nogueira of Village Point Church in Illinois is especially important for those starting in ministry: If you don’t know how to do something, ask another pastor. From hospital visits to a new members class, other pastors will be more than happy to point you in the right direction, give you their outlines, and share inside scoop.
You don’t have to know how to do everything, you just have to creatively access the information you need.Pastors and ministry leaders, you don’t have to know how to do everything, you just have to creatively access the information you need. Click To Tweet
Tip #9: Create repeatable events
When you step back and observe your church’s rhythm over a season or a year, you’ll see opportunities to set a cadence with your events. For example:
- Each quarter, offer a baptism class and a new members class.
- Every other month, offer a new 8-week inductive Bible study.
- Twice per year, plan a large-scale event to gather those from inside and outside of the church community
Once those plans are plugged into the church calendar, the leaders in each area can begin planning out the details of each event.
Free resources: 10 Books Church Planters Should Download Today
Tip #10: Lead with relationships over robots
Your relational capital is the most valuable resource you possess. This is why leaning too heavily on digital connections can be dangerous. For instance, when recruiting for help with the nursery, make a phone call or visit the potential servant in person.
Using email to recruit volunteers means you miss an opportunity to share the vision and passion behind the work and how it’s connected to the overall ministry.Using email to recruit volunteers means you miss an opportunity to share the vision and passion behind the work and how it’s connected to the overall ministry of the church. Click To Tweet
Tip #11: Keep perspective
Finally, this ministry advice from Scott Matthews, Campus Pastor at Elkhart Campus in Indiana, is golden:
“Remain humble and remember ministry is about Jesus and loving people, and not your personal ministry success.”
Pastor Matthews continues, reminding leaders to make allowance for other people’s faults. He also shares that taking this advice helps when key people or volunteers move on to other churches. After all, God will always send the right helpers when we need them.
Follow Insider Ministry Tips for More Joy and Longevity
We know it’s hard to achieve balance in your personal and work life, but following these simple tips will allow pastors and ministry leaders to lead fulfilling lives while maintaining balance.
You might have been called to do a mighty work for the Kingdom, but you are not expected to do it all alone. Take breaks, find friends, gather support, and borrow tips from other professionals to do your job effectively and joyfully.
Need help with your church’s setup or portability? We’re here to help. Book a free consultation call with us today.