I’ve been considering and exploring various styles of ministry lately. I have certain core values that compel me to hold to an emphasis that is strong in the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, but I’m also seeing many churches that could be termed “seeker sensitive” that are seemingly experiencing a lot of growth. Is it possible to integrate certain principles from other churches without compromising our core values? Are there pros and cons in this area?
By nature, I’m a people-pleaser. I want to accommodate people, but I find that I often say “yes” to some requests on the spur of the moment, only to regret it later. I find myself getting over-committed and wishing I wasn’t so impulsive to agree to things that seem good at the moment, but really aren’t beneficial in my overall schedule (or in the church’s overall ministry). Can other pastors help me learn how to say “no” without offending people? How can I be more strategic in what I say “yes” to, and how can I keep better control of my life, my commitments, and my schedule?
https://tonycooke.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/TCM-LogoColor-300x105.jpg00Tony Cookehttps://tonycooke.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/TCM-LogoColor-300x105.jpgTony Cooke2014-10-15 18:59:212020-10-08 16:52:20Learning to Say “No”
When a disgruntled exiting staff member or church member spreads lies about you as the pastor among people in the church what is the best response? Address it publicly, privately with the parties involved, or ignore it? It used to be that lies, gossip, etc. were spread only by word-of-mouth, but now these things can be posted on blogs, etc. and that seems to extend their shelf-life. Any thoughts?
Are there any techniques or mechanics that I should know to be more effective when I receive the tithes and offerings from the congregation? No one has ever really taught me “how” to receive an offering, and it seems there should be principles that I could benefit from. I don’t want to hype or pressure people, but neither do I want to feel backward or apologetic in receiving the offering. Are there any tips seasoned pastors could share that will help me be more effective?
I am trying to become more disciplined in my reading habits as a pastor, and I’m curious what other pastors do to stay well-read. What percentage of your reading is from the Bible, and what percentage is in other types of books? How much do you read per day, per week? How much of your reading is geared toward spiritual books, theological books, practical books, etc.? Are there certain authors you read after more than others? Are there some books that you find yourself reading on an annual basis? Do you ever do any recreational reading?
I am considering entering into a capital campaign for a building project. What are the best ways to raise funds for new facilities? What are the pros and cons of capital campaigns? Is this something we should do in-house, or should we look for an outside company/service to assist us? Everything that we have done until now has been taken care of from the general budget in terms of construction and purchasing land, but our next project is going to be much larger. Thanks for any advice along these lines.
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I’m trying to find the balance in my ministry and church between pursuing quality and quantity. I want to reach a lot of people, but I don’t want to sacrifice quality of ministry in the process. Any tips on how I can establish a healthy balance in this area?
Is there a proper protocol for people leaving the church? It always seems difficult when people leave the church. Some are gracious in departing, some are not, and others just disappear. This can be painful to me as the pastor and unsettling to church members when their friends leave. I’d like to be able to teach some reasonable guidelines to people about the proper way to leave the church if that becomes their decision, but what’s reasonable for me to expect of people who depart for whatever reason? Has any pastor taught his people on the proper way to leave the church, and if so, what are the main points or considerations?
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As a young pastor, I’m trying to learn how to get and keep my priorities straight. I’ve heard people say to put God first, family second, and church third. But how does that work out practically? What is it that pastors actually do to protect and to practice those priorities?
As a young pastor, I’ve just been preaching about whatever I feel inspired to preach. Sometimes I don’t know what I’m going to preach on Sunday morning until Saturday night. I don’t want to eliminate all spontaneity or being led by the Spirit, but should I have some kind of “preaching overview schedule” to make sure I cover certain topics each and every year? How do other pastors plan their preaching schedule and establish which topics they’re going to cover over the course of a year to ensure their people receive a well-rounded diet?
Our church has been feeling a pinch financially in the light of the current economic conditions. Are other churches being affected by what’s going on economically as well? If so, what types of things do pastors minister to encourage their people during these times, and what types of adjustments are pastors making to keep their churches healthy financially?
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What are the two or three most important skills you’ve found that are necessary in dealing with people, and how do these skills help you lead? Did these come naturally to you, or did you have to work at developing them?
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As a young preacher, I’m finding it helpful to get inspiration and ideas from others in writing my messages. Where is the line, ethically speaking, when it comes to gleaning and borrowing from other people’s material in my own sermon preparation and delivery? At what point should I give credit to others? I’m also curious how much other pastors borrow from and are inspired by what other people have said/written, and how much of other pastor’s preaching is entirely original to them?
What do you as a pastor do on a personal level to keep yourself fed and spiritually nourished? What are your personal reading and devotional habits? Also, what do you do in terms of your study and message preparation habits? How much time do you spend reading, studying, and listening to others preach, and how does that integrate into your message preparation?
When I went to Bible School, I learned a lot of great things about Scripture and ministry. However, since becoming a pastor, I’m finding out that there are many other skills that are necessary, and I’m trying to get a handle on those. Is there a major skill you’ve had to learn for your personal well-being or in order to lead well? What is that skill, and how are you implementing it to be more effective? Can you describe it in such a way that will help me understand how I can be better equipped to live and to lead in ministry?
Our church has grown, and our one Sunday morning service is getting crowded. I feel like we’re going to start losing people if we don’t start an additional service. We’re praying about what to do, but I’d love to hear from pastors who have added another weekend service. When is the right time to do it? How do I make sure that we’re ready for another service? How do I prepare the people? Are there any pitfalls I need to watch out for, and what do I need to do to make sure that this really benefits our church?
As a church grows it becomes more and more difficult for the pastor himself to make all of the home and hospital visits that need to be made. What are some methods that churches employ to communicate to the people that the pastoral staff truly cares even though the pastor cannot personally make all of the visits that are being required of him?
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We recently became aware that one of our staff members was using a ministry computer to visit pornographic web-sites. What type of accountability systems do other churches and ministries have to help keep their staff members on “the straight and narrow?” What type of guidelines and education do churches provide to help staff members avoid inappropriate moral and sexual behavior, and finally, how do churches deal with it when a staff member or leader has behaved inappropriately in moral and sexual matters (not just on the internet, but also by inappropriate conduct with other individuals)?
Our church really isn’t doing as much for missions as I’d like. What kinds of missions support and missions programs do other churches provide? What do other churches do to reach out to missionaries and their families on a personal level?
What surprises did you encounter during your first years of ministry? Was it what you expected it to be? Did you have any unrealistic expectations prior to entering ministry (or early in ministry) that had to be adjusted and changed to accommodate for reality? What advice would you give to a young minister to help them prepare for the realities of church and ministry?
It’s been difficult for me to balance ministry and marriage. Ministry seems to have so many demands that my marriage has suffered. Can seasoned pastors share some tips with me about what they’ve done to keep their marriages strong and vibrant in the midst of ministry responsibilities?
As the pastor of a fairly young congregation, I’d like to know what practical, proven methods are effective in growing a church. Should we invest in advertising and marketing, and if so what type of marketing is the most effective? What pros and cons have other pastors experienced in this area? Is there a ball-park figure (percentage) of our church budget that we should designate for advertising?
We’re looking to improve how we help couples prepare for marriage. How do other churches help prepare engaged couples? How many times do they meet with them and what topics are covered? What kinds of resources are used (e.g., books, DVDs, classes, inventories, etc.)?