Pastors need to be aware of our strengths our limitations our motives, and our values in order to make the appropriate decisions on how to lead our flock. We primarily become aware of how we should lead a congregation through experience learned over time.
The experience I have learned throughout my career in the workforce will undoubtedly serve me well in my Pastoral roll if I take the time to reflect on Who it is I am serving.
As I have accumulated work experience over the last thirty-three years I have had an opportunity to make many choices and weigh those choices against both moral and practical sounding boards. Through that, I have begun to clarify what is good and what is important to me.
During my middle years (20-40) in the work force I have only had a vague sense of my talents, motivations, and values. All too often, selecting jobs and career moves that simply did not fit my family’s best interest or me very well and blurred how I saw my calling.
Because my “ strengths, limitations, motives, and values” were not clearly defined and I was not following the calling of my heart, I found myself seduced by the money, glamour, prestige and lust of the “job”
I found myself defining a “good” opportunity as one that offered more money or cars or “stuff” Wow, hindsight is so clear.
I found myself choosing jobs that were not for me. And because of this I did not fully appreciate my strengths and weaknesses, and I got myself into situations where I was simply not where I was supposed to be, I think it was a way to keep me distracted from a deeper calling I felt I had. But I simply had no time for that, I kept pressing on, more ,,,,, more,,,,, more.
So, looking back at those many years in my career I can glean some important insight through careful and systematic prayer and reflection. In particular, I look back at the persistent errors I made and experiences I had, that say something about who I am and how I fit into His Kingdom, keying into His strengths and my limitations refocusing on my inabilities and honing my core values with His enabling power to call me from the wilderness.
So, while trying to decide how to move in a leadership role, we Pastors should ponder what Ignatius of Loyola had to say.
Teach us, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve:
to give, and not to count the cost,
to fight, and not to heed the wounds,
to toil, and not to seek for rest,
to labor, and not to ask for any reward,
save that of knowing that we do your will.
— Ignatius of Loyola
Just a few thoughts off the top of my head,
People will begin to seek Christ and they will be more eager to work with us; if we as leaders show that we have conviction and proper balance. Remember, build a network of relationships and watch it grow. Take the time and be willing to sponsor and mentor younger men, do not make it an exclusive club, let those who want to serve, serve! Try taking risks on their behalf and promoting them into stretching their Faith. Do not be so self-serving that we protect the sacred “job” we hold. Remember it is Christ’s Kingdom we need to promote, not our self interest.. If we develop their expertise and use our relationships to further His Kingdom we will be in an even better position to contribute to the overall objective, Go ye therefore into all the world………
So the cycle of success becomes prolific; our credibility will continue to flourish. If we as leaders will just open the doors of our hearts and get our egos out of the way.