This past week I had the privilege of teaching an App Session at the ARC Conference. For those of you who don't know, I serve on the Lead Team for ARC, which is a church-planting organization that plants life-giving churches. It stands for Association of Related Churches. I shared how to reach your city without losing your mind. What I shared is applicable for anyone, not just senior pastors.
1. BE AUTHENTIC – You’ve got to be yourself! Being fake is exhausting. You may impress people with your success but you connect with them through your failures.
James 5:16, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”(NIV)
2. HAVE MARGIN – this is something that I am still trying to be consistent with.
If there is one mistake I’ve made - it is not having enough margin. I am learning that we must have margin in our time, leadership, and finances. We can’t live at 100% capacity all the time or we will burn out. The most conservative number I could find is that at least 250 pastors leave the ministry every month in America. We must take a step back and look at our schedule:
What do you do every day?
Every few years?
3. EMPOWERING CULTURE
2 Timothy 2:1-2, “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”(NASB)
Make sure that you:
This is definitely easier to read that than to live out. As leaders we want things done a certain way, but we must learn to empower others. Two areas we must not compromise when we are empowering others are in the: vision and values. As leaders, we have to be okay with 80%. As long as they are in line with the vision and values, we have to understand that 20% may look different than what we would do.
Communication is the key. Spend most of your time encouraging and a little time critiquing.
4. DECLARE WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST
As pastors we can experience loneliness, discouragement, fatigue and feelings of being a failure. I share this in the I AM book, but I had an experience when I was young in ministry and lost my job. This was when I had an identity crisis and did not know who I was without a job title. I allowed my job title to become my identity. This opened the door for be to start believing the lies of the enemy, like experiencing shame, thinking I'm a quitter or just average.
Discover - When I encounter the Great I AM that's when I discover who I am.
Declare - Declare what God says about you over our life! That’s why in the book I AM I share 31 I AM declarations that you can declare over your life every day. There is one for every day of the month.
To access this App Session along with all the other sessions from the ARC Conference, click here!