Yesterday was the 4th anniversary in my current role as a denominational Mid-Council Leader and I”m thankful every day for the privilege of serving in this position. Part of my job is to help churches call pastors who will be effective leaders and to help pastors be those effective leaders.
Leadership is the #1 factor determining whether a congregation will thrive or not. I urge you to listen to the TED Radio Hour Talk here featuring executive coach Patrice Gordon, organizational psychologist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, and educator Shabana Basij-Rasikh. Seriously. I’m begging you, especially if you serve on a church personnel committee or a pastor nominating committee.
Evaluating church staff members can be tricky business and the common mistakes are that:
- Evaluations never happen. This is more prevalent than you might think either because church leaders don’t know how to do them or they simply don’t want to.
- Evaluations are done by human resource people who don’t understand that business metrics and church metrics cannot be measured the same way. The Holy Spirit plays a part in Church World and less obviously so in Business World. (Read this. Seriously every person responsible for evaluating a church staff needs to read it.)
Things I observe everyday:
- Gifted pastors who are called to be a spiritual leader among spiritual leaders in a congregation thriving because they exist in a culture of spiritual growth and community service.
- Gifted pastors who are called to be a spiritual leader among spiritual leaders in a congregation that values their own comfort and appearances more than authentic ministry.
- Pastors who need to learn how to be effective leaders who seek out coaching, continuing education, and therapy to become the best version of themselves.
- Pastors who need to learn how to be effective leaders who are unteachable/unwilling to make an effort/holding on until retirement. Retirement could be 5 years away or 25 years away.
You can probably guess which congregations will still be here in 5 years.
COVID has accelerated what happens when gifted pastors and congregations thrive, when gifted pastors serve congregations who don’t actually want to thrive, when teachable pastors want to grow and when teachable pastors have no energy to grow.
This week, I’m pondering some of the nuggets that TED Radio podcast examined. Stay tuned.