Time

As a small church pastor, time is a subject that all of us can relate to. Many of us feel that our time is pulled in many directions. We have God, our families, duties at church, and if we can squeeze it in, time for ourselves. Time is something that everyone needs, but we don’t have enough of it to go around.

The biggest thing with time is making sure that we spend time in the most appropriate places so that we can get the most important stuff accomplished.

So, how do we do this? Good question. I don’t think any of us have the perfect answer, but maybe there are some things that we can do to keep us on track. Here are my suggestions.

I believe that there are three things that you need to help you stay the course. You need a calendar, notepad to write a to do list down, and some form of communication device.

Now if you are like me, you don’t have the luxury of having a full time staff member to work with you, so you have to depend on volunteers to help with the ministry and it may require you to get supplies for them or even take on an extra role at the church.

Probably most of us have cleaned the church, been the youth pastor or asked our wives to volunteer as the children’s pastor at some point while our church was small. Maybe you are doing that right now.

The three items I listed will help you with your time management skills.

A calendar – I have used a paper calendar for years. I am slowly moving to the digital age with this one. I keep my Google calendar updated along side my paper calendar. My Google calendar updates to my phone so that my personal dates and church dates are on there. This, I believe, is a must.

Notebook for a to do list – I have purchased a set of notebooks that have “do it now” on the left column and “do it later” on the right column and a place to check it off. Personally, I like checking stuff off. It helps me to keep up with what I am doing.

Electronic Communication Device – I use email always. If one of my volunteer team members wants to give me something, I tell them to send me a text or email. That way I have it with me at all times no matter where I am. My phone is with me always. If I were to write something down on a piece of paper, I would loose it. I also use a laptop in the office and at home. I also have found that using a cloud service lets me have access to my important files everywhere I go. I use Google Drive.

As a small church pastor it is important that we stay on top of everything that we have to do. Make sure that you schedule time with your wife and kids above everything else.

If we learn to manage time better, then that will help us make the church better.

Don’t Quit!

If you are reading this and you are a pastor of any church I am sure that many of you at some time or another has woke up on Monday morning and wanted to turn in your resignation because of how bad you thought Sunday went.

If you are pastoring a small church of 200 or less and you have awaken on Monday morning then I know that you have felt like turning in your resignation on Monday morning. Just about any pastor has felt this way at one time or another.

The sad thing is too many pastors turn in their resignation too early. The truth is, it isn’t God’s timing, but because they are discouraged that things aren’t going the way they think it should, they decide to quit and God is just getting started with something great that is happening in their church.

I believe one of the reasons that small churches stay small is because there is no stability in leadership. The church has gone from pastor to pastor and never has a chance to do something great because the leadership won’t stick it out.

I heard a statistic that said the average stay of a small church pastor is 3 1/2 years. This is just not long enough. I believe that my congregation did not fully accept me as pastor until my 3 1/2 year mark. Pastors we have to give it time and don’t quit.

Just because your church isn’t running as many as you want it to at first does not mean that you are not successful. Just because you still feel that you are in the former pastor’s shadow does not mean that the people don’t love you. Just because the only mouth at church you are hearing is the one that barks the loudest does not mean that all the people feel the same as that person. God has placed you there for a reason and you need to stay until that reason is fulfilled. Don’t Quit!

Now I know that God truly calls some people to a particular church for a short season, but I believe that many pastors that leave after 2 or 3 years in a church are leaving prematurely.

We as pastors love to preach messages on Isaiah 40:31, but when it comes to us we get impatient waiting on God. Let me encourage you, don’t quit, God isn’t finished with you yet.

Before you surf on to any other site, please be encouraged by a video that I am sure many of you have seen. It’s from the movie Facing the Giants. It is found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fOXgn98t0Q