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If you’ve been a pastor or church leader for more than 5 minutes, you probably have some regrets. 🙂 Thom Rainer recently asked 25 pastors (all of whom have been in ministry for over 25 years and are over the age of 55) what they wish they would have done differently. MB_pastor_regrets CLICK IMAGE TO WATCH VIDEO (Length:  6 min 09 sec) Subscribe to MinistryBriefing on YouTube What was YOUR biggest regret in Ministry?  Leave a text or video comment here…
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Staffing
Search committees in churches are notoriously bad at communicating to candidates… at least that’s what I heard time and time again when I ran a church staffing website.  Thom Rainer has put together a great list of suggestions your search committee should consider: — Understand the potential disruption caused by your contact of a pastor. Most pastors at least pause and pray when they hear from another church. They often include their spouses in the early discussion. They may wonder if the contact is indicative that God may be leading them to another place of ministry. If a search committee contacts a pastor, at least be aware of the disruption that could take place. Perhaps it’s not best to send 200 inquiry letters to 200 different pastors to see if anything sticks. — Have a clear plan for the process of calling a pastor. Let the contacted pastor know that plan on the front end so he won’t be left wondering what the next steps are. — Prepare any questions before you contact the pastor. I have heard from many pastors who meet in person with the search committee, as well as those who first communicate via phone or Skype. They are often frustrated at the randomness of questions asked, and how different members of the search committee don’t know what the other members will ask. — Do your homework thoroughly before showing up in the pastor’s present church. Many congregations recognize a search committee immediately when they attend a worship service. These church members soon become worried, frustrated or angry at either the pastor or the inquiring church. The presence of a search committee can be highly disruptive. Many pastors do not even know that a committee is visiting his church. He, too, is caught off guard. — Communicate regularly and clearly with the prospective pastor. As long as the process is open, stay in touch with the pastor. Many times the greatest frustration is the lack of communication. One pastor recently told me that he resolved not to talk further with a church because he had not heard from them in such a long time. He assumed that they had moved in another direction. The search committee was shocked when they heard that information from the pastor several months later. — If the search committee decides to move in another direction, let the pastor know immediately. A courtesy call, even an email, will always be appreciated even if the committee concludes that the pastor is not a fit for the church. Many pastors have told me that they thought they were still under consideration, only to discover sometimes later that the church had called another pastor. via Baptist Press – FIRST-PERSON: Suggestions for pastor search committees What are your thoughts?  Have you ever sat on a search committee?  Was it a good or bad experience?      
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Leadership
Thom Rainer is the President of Lifeway Christian Resources, and was a pastor for many years.  In a recent article, he shared the seven things he wished he would have done differently in ministry.  Wise words: 1. I would spend more time in the Word and in prayer. I would follow the biblical pattern of the church leaders in Acts 6:4: “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the preaching ministry.” 2. I would give my family more time. No one remembers the church committee meetings I missed. My family still remembers those times I was too busy for them. 3. I would spend more time sharing my faith. Paul told the young pastor Timothy to do the work of an evangelist (2 Timothy 4:5). Those words apply to all pastors today. 4. I would love the community where I lived more. I would try to live more incarnationally. I would prayerfully seek to see how I could serve the community rather than see it as a population pool of prospects for my church. 5. I would lead the church to focus more on the nations. I would lead in helping our church grasp that missions is more than just an annual offering. 6. I would focus on critics less. Most church members have no idea how many criticisms and “suggestions” a pastor gets each week. It can be overwhelming and distracting. Though I would be willing to listen, I would not obsess about every negative comment that was made about me. 7. I would accept the reality that I can’t be omnipresent. So many people and groups want the presence of the pastor. Saying “no” can be difficult, but it can free the pastor to focus on some of the priorities noted above. You can read all of Thom’s thoughts here… What were YOUR biggest mistakes in ministry (so far!)? Todd
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Leadership
Interesting stats in a new post at The Christian Post by Thom Rainer… * Pastors of effective churches sleep slightly over six hours per day. Pastors of comparison churches sleep almost eight hours per day. * Pastors of effective churches spend twenty-two hours in sermon preparation each week versus four hours for pastors of comparison churches. * The effective church leaders spent ten hours each week in pastoral care compared to thirty-three hours for the comparison group pastors. Pastoral care included counseling, hospital visits, weddings, and funerals. * Effective church leaders average five hours per week in sharing the gospel with others. Most of the comparison church pastors entered “0” for their weekly time in personal evangelism. * Comparison church leaders spend eight hours a week – more than an hour each day – performing custodial duties at the church. The typical custodial duties included opening and closing the facilities, turning on and off the lights, and general cleaning of the building. * Leaders of effective churches average 22 hours a week in family activities. The comparison church leaders weren’t too far behind with 18 hours of family time each week. Hmmm…  great questions follow: How many hours to YOU sleep?  (It seems less is better) How many hours do YOU prep for your message (22 is norm for ‘effective’ church pastors How many hours do YOU spend in pastoral care?  (Less is better… are you closer to 10 or 33?) How many hours a week do YOU spend sharing the gospel?  (Is it closer to 5 or 0) How many hours a week do YOU spend with your family? Are these fair questions to ask?  Do they have anything to do with whether or not your church is effective?  What do YOU think? Todd Here’s the link to Thom’s article. See what you think…
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