3 Reasons for Protecting Your Lead Pastor

I asked a question recently of a church leader that I respect greatly, ‘What can I do in my role to make sure that I am helping my Lead Pastor do his job the best that he can?’ 

The answer came like this. ‘Great question. Make it easy for him to lead, so that he only has to focus on the things that only he can do’.

My heart is to serve my Lead Pastor and be the best help to him possible. I don’t always get it right. Sometimes I don’t protect him enough, other times I’m sure some think I overstep. The key is to have some agreement between us – what are the things that only he can do. As one church leader once said to us ‘Why are you both at this meeting?’ And pointing to me said, ‘If he’s here, you (Lead Pastor) don’t need to be.’

I love my Lead Pastor. He is not only that, he is also my friend. We have known each other a long time. That can have it’s advantages in that I know him very well, how he works, what he needs to know. It can also be difficult too as familiarity could easily breed contempt.

My heart is to honour my Lead Pastor and to do this well I make sure to do my very best to not take the lead in the areas that I believe are the things that are his primary concern. It’s a short list but huge in its impact. There is a lot more in these 3 thoughts than you probably imagine, plus I’m sure others would place other things in here too.

Be the Primary Leader and Vision Caster. To have the time to pray and think about the future of our Church. To seek God and then to not stop talking about it.

Be the Principal Communicator of Gods Word. Bringing the Word for the Church. Out of the prayer and thinking time with God comes the revelatory preaching and ’those’ words from God moments.

Be a Developer of Others. We can all impact and influence others. Personally, I really enjoy the coaching and development of other leaders. Yet the Lead Pastor has a unique role to play in the spiritual and leadership development of others, along with empowering and releasing people into ministry opportunities.

There is a tension here, and I hope I am not speaking out of line. How far is too far? How far is not far enough? To become the Church the Lead Pastor sees means protecting him and his time. He doesn’t need to know some stuff and that’s not because he doesn’t care, it’s because others can handle it. That’s why I have the conversation or send the email sometimes and not him.

I hope this makes sense and you don’t mind the share. We are a team but ultimately I work for him. What he sees, what he wants, what the vision requires, that’s what creates my role and determines my priorities for each day. I believe that we all have a part to play in this, but rightly or wrongly, in my own position, I do see this as one of my own primary roles.

If you are part of a local church, why not take a moment to pray for your Lead Pastor and all that they have to carry on our behalf. Then send them a message of encouragement and let them know that you are with them and will do whatever is needed to help see the vision come to pass.

Is It Only Tuesday?

Been a jam-packed couple of days. Lots going on. I’m sure your week may have been the same.

I realise that the life of Pastor might not seem that fast-paced to most but it’s definitely never dull with lots of variety. It is not all sitting, reading my Bible and praying. Sometimes I wish it was.

Meetings ~ of all kinds. Finance. Operations. Diary. Xcel Bangalore. Key Leaders & Congregational Pastors. Goodbyes. Catch ups. All about moving toward the 2020 vision. Asking the right kind of questions, hopefully, that challenge the process and make sure we always remember ‘why’ we do what we do and do it as well as we can.

Happy to do all of these with some amazing people who share the same determination to get the job done. To do all we can to help set up the opportunity for someone to connect with their Saviour. It may sound cliché but nonetheless true.

So, it’s only Tuesday. That just leaves me 5 more days of this week filled with more catch ups, discussions about ideas and the future, conversations about life, praying for people, lunch with good friends from Australia, Friday night prep, and then Sunday with my Xcel Church family. Always excited for a Sunday and this one is extra special as we have the wonderful Steve & Rachel Mawston with us.

Don’t feel sorry for me. I love what I do and why I get to do it. Building local church is my passion. Serving my Saviour is the most exciting thing I think I could spend giving my life to. How about you?

Saturday = Lazy Day

We are no different to your family. We have had a busy week, kids included, so Saturday’s are a great opportunity to pause. Today we had nothing planned and we kept to that plan.

Rest is important. It’s an opportunity to catch up on all the normal household stuff. To hang out as family. To have a laugh together. To support one another as we get on with our work. To chill.

We do try hard to not overdo it on a Saturday so we are ready for Sunday. I always look forward to Church with a sense of expectancy. My prayer is to see lives changed, to see salvations, to see new people in our services. I am expectant for us coming together as church and lifting up the name of Jesus.

This Jesus Lifestyle preaching series is pretty hard hitting and this week is no less strong. How to handle people is a life skill and Jesus spoke very clearly about it. Personally, I like these kind of topics. Don’t get cross with those who are preaching, we are just pointing out how we are supposed to be living according to the words of Jesus.

Thank God for the Holy Spirit to help us to live it.

That Friday Feeling

It’s Friday but Sunday’s coming. That’s definitely a good Friday feeling. For me, everything flows from a Sunday, through the week, to the next Sunday. Our corporate worship is very important and we want to come prepared for a great day in Gods House. We work hard to make sure that the experience people have when they come to Xcel is a great one, whether it’s for the first time or the thousandth time.

Friday is about preparation. Often that means finalising messages that will be preached on Sunday. The run for a service is done on a Thursday but final checks can be done today. Everything gets printed off. Service boxes readied for the volunteers on Sunday. We are improving communications all the time but I hope that most of the time we get it right.

Friday is about Planet Youth. Tonight we relaunch after the summer break. It’s a PY United Night, all the 11-17s together. The team are busy with the finishing touches, not just for tonight but for what we believe is going to be a season of growth in PY. We desperately want to see more young people connect with Jesus. Please pray for the team.

It’s been another full week in the office. I was asked by someone today if I was busy. The answer is yes. There’s always things to do. The list never really gets any shorter. We are just wanting to see a whole load of people become Christians. I love doing what I do. I don’t know if I’m any good at it but I’m working every day to get better at it. There is so much to my role that I am not qualified for (maybe should not have said that), but I hope you know what I mean. I love God. I love my Saviour. I love local church. I love just being able to help make it all happen. I’ve only ever done what was in front of me to do and that will be my philosophy until the day I die.

Next week will be the same, but different. Can’t wait.

Getting Things Done

It’s easy to become tunnel-visioned.

It’s important to remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing. My role is no different. There is a need on some occasions to just get my head down, get stuff sorted and get the information out. I’ve been accused in the past about spending too much time at my desk and not enough time with people. It’s a balance. On one side, I am a Pastor and that could be considered the people focused part of what I do. Yet, on the other side, much of the day-to-day church management is mine to oversee, which is about getting things done.

How does this balance play out?

Protect the Church diary. Someone has to do this. We don’t want it so full of events that people start to resent no free nights without opportunity to be with their own family or hang out with friends. How can we ‘go’ into all the world if we spend all our time at Church? Sometimes I have to say no. Not because I don’t like the event, more to just make sure we use our time wisely.

Help others discover what they can do. This is about being a leader of leaders. It’s about the delegation of tasks that I don’t need to do and keeping hold of the projects that only I can do. It’s not just about passing stuff around but more about helping others see what they are capable of. The only limit we have is the one we often put on ourselves. ‘I can’t’ can be changed. It takes time, encouragement, leading, equipping and sometimes just a good old-fashioned kick up the butt.

More conversations. Face to face catch-ups, both organised and organic. This is how you do the above. It’s time consuming but I probably have anything from 1 to 10 catch-ups each week. Some are intentional and made as an appointment, others are more impromptu. Most of these are with leaders in church, as well as those I am coaching via XFL.

Always look ahead. Occasionally I get called ‘statto’. I am a bit like Rain Man. Definitely. Definitely am. If I don’t know it’s happening then that probably means that it’s not official. A long range vision helps to know what fits and what doesn’t. A long range diary helps protect the diary and to know where people can get involved.

I’m no expert. I am just trying to do the best I can. Hopefully, most of the time I get it right. I am aware that sometimes I get it wrong. For that, I am sorry.

A Day Off?

I don’t get up as early as some but I do like to try and grab 10 minutes to pray before the kids are up and about. I have kept a journal of prayers for just over 2 years. It’s great to be able to look back and see what God has done. It might not be a day in the office but this part of my daily routine doesn’t stop.

Wednesday is usually a more restful day. A chance to do some of the household stuff like cleaning the house and putting some washing on. Contrary to popular belief angels don’t come and do that, which I think is a shame. Most Wednesdays I will do a bit of reading. I always have a pile of books on the shelf. Also I’ll do some writing too. This goal I set myself of blogging every day throughout September is challenging but a good discipline. I have a desire to write a book, so all this is just the practice.

If I’m preaching on Sunday I will take some time for study, gathering thoughts and ideas for the message. I don’t know how others put a preach together but I am slow burner on ideas. I am pretty much always making some notes, collecting illustrations and stories, ready for use in the future.

Even on a day off I did call into the office briefly to pick up the papers for the Grace Series I was working on yesterday so I could do my best to them finished off at home.

Church never stops. Tonight was Girls of Xcel. Whether you were there or not the top secret news was about the change of its name to DAUGHTERS and fresh, exciting future for the women’s ministry within Xcel Church.

Don’t forget that in the morning we are praying between 7-8AM. If you can join as the Centre that would be great, otherwise why not just pray at home. As a team we are coming together, praying and fasting every Thursday, We believing to see some healing and miracles.

A Full Tuesday

Today I had a few things I wanted to get completed…

The next preaching series. Every month those of who are involved in preaching across Xcel get together to discuss upcoming themes. We share scriptures, ideas and resources with the aim of planning what we hope will be a helpful, inspirational and challenging series. After we complete The Jesus Lifestyle we will be heading into a preaching series all about Grace.

Right now we are in the series formation stage. This involves getting everyones input and then creating the journey. The series is actually going to be called ‘GRACE THROUGH THE EYES OF…’ and we will use Bible characters to help display the many facets of God’s amazing grace. The journey will take us from Old to New Testament, to see the ever present thread of God’s grace, moving to the place of looking at grace through our own eyes and the eyes of the Church.

So today was about getting that together which will obviously help the teaching team. It’s also useful for the Planet Kids and Planet Youth teams as they also teach from the same theme but in their own style.

Almost finished this today.

The Xcel Future Leaders programme [XFL]. There’s a whole bunch of admin that goes with this so we are ready for the launch next Monday. We have learned some stuff from last year, so we take the best of that and add to it for this time. I can delegate some of this but the overall design of this years XFL as well as any other short courses we run at Xcel is on my desk.

Catch-ups. One with my Lead Pastor. One with our PAIS team leader. They are up and running and will be in school all day tomorrow. Another with our Youth Pastor who was popping in ahead of the relaunch on Friday night.

Never got to the XFL stuff. Never chatted with PAIS. I forgot about a dental trip for 2 of my daughters so that kind of interfered with the day, which meant leaving the office at about 2pm, doing the school tour, get to dentist, back home and then food shop so we can eat tonight. That stuff moves to Thursday now.

Tonight was CG at Pastor Johns. Good food, great company, a bit of conversation, discussion and then we prayed together too. The team I get to do life with are incredible. So much wisdom, strength, faith, experience, ideas, encouragement and real desire to build the local church and see God’s kingdom established. I don’t want to be anywhere else!

It’s been a FULL day. Just not quite as planned. I love my job and count it a privilege to do what I do.

Planet Youth, Piano’s & the Presence of God

The last 3 days have included 3 very different experiences.

1. Friday night was the relaunch of Planet Youth. It was a great night. Fun, full of life and a bit of chaos just to keep us focused. I count it a privilege to be involved in helping the team get ready and launch into a new year. Believing for BIG things this year.

2. On Saturday evening I had a guest ticket for a piano recital. Not my first choice for a night out. Definitely a new experience for me. I honestly don’t know if it was any good as I have nothing to compare it too but I was impressed by the talent & the ability to remember all those pieces that were played [no pics allowed].

3. Sunday at Xcel Church. I love my church. Wouldn’t want to be anywhere else on a Sunday. Nothing beats the presence of God and today I experienced the presence of God. Loved it. For me it was that proper, deep breathing, drink it in, presence of God. God’s word was ‘breakthrough’ and I’m taking a hold of that. Believing for my breakthrough in these next 7 days.

What was the highlight of the last 3 days for you? Please share…