by Bryan Miles
Church planters are high-energy dreamers. They are fidgety. Their thoughts are all over the place. They are bursting with passion. They are ready to charge hell with a water pistol. I love the energy Church Planters exude, but I am struck by the overall inability and disinterest to focus. Squirrel!
Today, more than ever before, we need to FOCUS. Focus on what God specifically charged and called us to do. Focus on leading and investing in people. Focus on developing sustainable growth. Focus on systems. Focus on processes. Focus on casting vision. Focus on disciplining. Focus on volunteerism. Focus on giving and generosity matters.
We need to STOP focusing on things that someone else can do for us. What?! Stop!? What is that? How can a church planter stop anything in the early days of their church? That’s impossible … right? WRONG!
We need to stop as much as we start. For church planters, engaged in planting a church for the first time, I offer these examples of things to STOP:
- Stop doing administrative tasks.
- Stop trying to figure out payroll.
- Stop trying to pay their bills.
- Stop trying to manage cash flow.
- Stop adding in data in their Church Management System.
- Stop trying to develop financial reports. Most of us can’t interpret this data way.
- Stop doing their own expense reports.
- Stop proof-reading their blogs and scheduling them.
- Stop returning every single call and voice mail.
- Stop answering every single eMail.
- Stop scheduling their own tweets and Facebook posts.
- Stop booking their own meetings.
Here’s the deal. When we, as leaders, focus on the tasks above, we lose focus. I get it. You’re poor. However, being cash poor is no excuse for lack of focus. Hear me on this… in our attemps to demonstrate “good stewardship” by trying to do everything … our “focus stewardship” and “leadership stewardship” suffers significantly.
Good stewardship is not just about cash. It’s about focus and leadership too.
In my role at MAG, I see this across the board. In attempt to cut administrative costs, many churches have gone too far, leaving countless church pastors/leaders to arrange their own travel, file expense reports, and schedule meetings. Some churches may be drawn to the notion of “put your big boy panties on” … believing this assistant-less structure represents solid leadership … when the church staff see the lead pastor loading paper into the copier. The idea (in theory) that the lead pastor wants to convey with budget cuts to church admin is this … “we’re all in this together.” But why?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you doing only what God called you specifically to do in your church plant?
- What are the things you are doing today … that you know anyone else could be doing for you with little-to-no training?
- Do you believe that “good stewardship” goes beyond cash? Could it mean your time, your focus, and your leadership as well?
Church pastors/leaders (regardless of size of the church), we need to wake up! Generally speaking, admin work/tasks should be delegated to the lowest-cost employee who can do it well. Not you. Sure you could do the admin work … but why? What is accomplished by taking YOU off task? What’s the potential Kingdom impact?
We need to do what God has called us to do. We must FOCUS.