Juggling Sheep
Welcome to Juggling Sheep, Jay Perry's blog about time management and personal productivity for pastors. Learn to balance work, life, family, and personal spirituality.

Share your best practices, tips and tricks, processes, sermon planning ideas, and resources. Feel free to email me: jaylperry[at]gmail[dot]com.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Pastor's One Minute Job Description

In Kenneth Blanchard's classic One Minute Manager, he talks about having One Minute Goals so you (and your supervisor) know what you're about (and not about). Something that you have prominently displayed so that you can review it in about One Minute every day.

One of the biggest problems facing a pastor is that there is virtually no agreement on what a pastor's job description is or should be. Your denomination thinks your job is to promote denominational programs, values, and initiatives (and get your paperwork in on time). Your church thinks your job is to visit everyone (especially the elderly (especially those in the hospital)), preach good sermons, do some janitorial work, be good at fundraising (but not always talking about money), do a lot of Bible studies with the lost, and make sure the next generation doesn't leave the church. You (straight-out-of-seminary-smartypants) think your job is to "equip the saints for the work of the ministry," give yourself "continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word," and "go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them..."

It's really easy to fall into the trap of trying to make everyone happy all the time. But there just aren't enough hours in the day. If you try to be all things to all people, you'll end up losing your sanity, spirituality, family, sobriety, or will to live (or a combination of all of them).

In Ron Gladden's book 7 Habits of Highly Ineffective Churches, he describes a situation where he was half-time pastoring in a multi-church district. And the small church wanted him at their worship service every week. He was able to refer them back to a mutually-agreed-upon job description that revealed the priorities of the position. His point is that every time we say "yes" to one thing in ministry, we necessarily say "no" to something else. We must be sure we are saying "yes" to the right things.

I created a One Minute Job Description just over six years ago. It has served me very well. I laminated a bunch of copies and put it on my wall at work, on the mirror in my bathroom, on my bedside table, and on my computer. I shared it with my church board. My only regret is that it doesn't include an evangelistic component (quite the oversight). Here it is:
Goal 1: to get as close to God as possible through daily Bible study, prayer, and meditation, putting aside all things that destroy my relationship with Him.

Goal 2: to produce one sermon by Friday of every week. Each sermon will be biblical, interesting, relevant, balanced, and Christ-centered.

Goal 3: to train and equip my church board members to be effective leaders in their various areas of responsibility so that they can train and equip all church members to live a life of faithful service to God.

This has really helped me to remember the essentials. It's what I'm paid to do. Everything else the church gets out of me is a bonus.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Coming from a church that has had pastor conflicts in the past, a pastor should be sensitive to the needs of others and actually care about his flock. He ought to adhere to the Bible and not lead others astray with teachings of his own. He ought to be able to take critisism and also be able to give it gently. Provide examples of errors and specifics of how to correct them. THere ought to be a vision for growth and plans for the future, not just day to day. The congregation ought to show respect and remember that the pastor is human too!