A leadership hack is a practical way(s) to go further, faster into the call of God over you. I am able to write this for you because, after 17 years of ministry, I AM SIMPLY. STILL. HERE! Still loving God. Still loving people. Still loving ministry. This is the heart of this post – to help you with some leadership and ministry hacks that could help you grow and influence your ministry further, faster and not blindside you personally. Here they are:
Get a mentor
Too often we wait for a mentor rather than find one. Don’t wait! Pray, ask, look for a mentor... and, if you can’t find one, you can learn from everyone and anything. Don’t wait! Be a learner of who you want to be, who you don’t want to be, and be intentional. Ask good questions.
Get a budget
If you want to thrive, not just survive, in ministry, you need a budget. I know that putting a budget together makes little sense when you can barely live on it, but a budget helps build a plan for you to get creative and allow God to work (because He will provide for you).
Pay off debt
This is a big one! Take care of your debt. Most pastors don’t take a hack at this one and it limits their potential and calling. Some will tell you that ministry education is too much or that it is necessary, but I think there is a simple solution – work! Work on the side, build a side income with your hobbies, or write! Do what it takes to pay off debt because it will set you up in the future.
Deal with your stuff, NOW (or it will slowly kill you in the future)
A great leader said that each of us have an average of 3.4 blind spots in our lives. That leader, ironic enough, was Bill Hybels (GLS, Session One, 2015). Nevertheless, we all have them. You need to understand your blind spots and be able to allow God’s Spirit to refine and heal you or they will blindside you. Mentors, personality assessments, personal sin patterns, and insecurity realities will all show you where your blind spots are... don’t let pride sideswipe you! Your call and His mission is too important.
Think long term
Look at ministry in the long haul... anything worthwhile takes time. Don’t change things too early, push people, or become territorial in your leadership. Work with people, build trust, and love as Christ loves you... you’ll be amazed what God does in your ministry when you love people well for the long haul with no strings attached.
Bringing it home:
Do you have an active, intentional mentor in your life? If not, why not consider what people are saying about #ANEWME.
What passion, hobby, and/or skill do you have to make a side hustle to help meet your needs as a young pastor/worker?
What are your blind spots? If you don’t know, who can tell you yours (aka your spouse, good friend, mentor, parent, pastor)?
50/30/20 principle – 50% housing, 30% living, 20% saving/giving – budget
Shop at Thrift stores (this one is great)
Meet with your mentor once a month
Journal every day
Get a weekly “admin” sheet
Reflect on highs, lows, challenges, joy, and lessons/week
Have a hobby AND stick with it
Eat healthy (drink 4L of water/day, stay away from pop, eat whole foods)
Meet up with your leader/month for coffee and you pay for it. Ask good questions to learn from him/her.
Educate yourself, beyond podcasts/friends/socials, take a class and grow beyond your preferences.
Discipline yourself to rhythms in your schedule
Pray! Not for stuff or for “things” God to do for you... but to listen... to quiet yourself - let God renew you.
NEVER decide to quit after your youth event/program/ retreat/service
Find good friends that do life with you... that you can be REAL with. Side note, sometimes this is BEST outside of your church context.
Find a counsellor to speak life into you with an objective viewpoint
Know your blind spots - it’s ok to embrace your humanity because if don’t, you will get blindsided. In other words, please be honest with yourself!
Read a book once a week or monthly. I would encourage a book on leadership, shepherding, and management/month (or listen to it).
Challenge yourself EVERY DAY
Use Quicken (an online budgeting program). It is GREAT!
Looking for more practical ways to thrive, not just survive in ministry, feel free to connect with me ANYTIME and/or add to the convo below.
Keep leading well! Don’t just survive, thrive!