In my early years of ministry before dad life (even before marriage), one of my mentors taught me something that I have not forgotten: Balance! Fast forward to when I started my family. I now had an opportunity to implement this wisdom. I made a commitment to be at home for dinner at least four nights each week. This meant that even if the church had four evening meetings where I was suppose to be present, my calendar was already booked! I, therefore, had to prioritize and determine which meetings I had to be at and which one I could miss. It’s things like these that have helped me lead well at home and church.
I could share a lot of thoughts on leading well like the importance of vision, constant communication, being positive, staying humble, leading by example and many others. However I’d like to focus on these four specific ones today:
1. Think before you _____.
We tell our children to think before they speak. As leaders, we need to take heed to this valuable lesson, not only before we speak but also before we act as well! Strategic thinking is probably one of the most lacking tools in both our homes and our churches! We so easily get lost in the day-to-day requirements that longterm strategic thinking rarely occurs. And it’s easy to see why. We’re so busy wearing countless hats that we get lost in the whirlwind of leading, teaching, preaching, parenting, paying bills, running errands, etc. Don’t make this grave mistake!
Take away – Think strategically regarding where you’re going as a church, where you are going as a family, and how you’re going to get there!
2. Time outs are essential!
Time outs often help kids to pause, focus, and reflect on their actions and adjust their attitude. As leaders, I believe we should all take time outs! I’m a better dad when I get a little time to myself. I’m a better pastor, leader, husband, and father when I remove myself for a short time to pause and reflect on my actions, my attitude, and all that’s happening around me. The best way for me to make time outs a regular practice is by scheduling them in advance. It’s actually part of my morning routine.
Take away – Take a moment–right now–to schedule some time to focus, reflect, and adjust this week.
3. If it stinks, change it.
This phrase doesn’t just refer to diapers. It refers to everything that’s not working. If something is not working whether it’s our parenting style or our current follow-up ministry, we need to be willing to make changes. In a culture that is ever changing, some of the ways we do ministry need to change. For example, people’s eyes are fixed to small screens–whether it’s a laptop or a smartphone. Because we are a screen culture, we need to learn to leverage this digital age rather than resist it. Some of our old ways of doing things aren’t working and we need to change!
Take away – Think about what’s currently not working, whether it’s at home or church. Be willing to make whatever necessary changes may be needed.
4. You need to share!
We’ve all heard this one growing up, but how well are we practicing it today? Early in ministry, I was challenged by this thought, “Don’t hog ministry!” I was encouraged to share ministry opportunities with others as a chance for them to grow and mature. Really, it’s a form of discipleship! And it’s modeled after the ministry of Jesus. Think about it. He shared ministry! He invited the disciples to do what he was doing, and we ought to be inviting the people around us to do the same! Secondly, we need to share responsibility, this is called delegation. It works both at home and church and as leaders we need to delegate in order to accomplish all that God’s called us to!
Take away – Ask yourself, “Where am I hogging ministry? Where do I need to share? What do I need to delegate?”
Lastly, remember to first lead well at home, for this will position you to lead well in all of the other areas of your life!