7 Ways I Want to Improve as a Pastor

This week I start a new journey. You can read about it HERE.

I’m in a good place in life for this change. I’m old enough to have learned a few things, but also old enough to know I have so much I need to learn. As I do with the start of a new year, only on a larger scale, I view transitions as an opportunity to make significant improvements in how I lead. I get a fresh start. There are a few things I want to do differently.

Here are 7 areas I want to improve in my new ministry position:

Celebrate more – I believe in celebrating. I would advise other leaders to do so. Occasionally, I take my own advice. Sometimes, however, I get distracted by the next opportunity and fail to adequately celebrate along the way. I want to do better.

Pray more fervently – I believe in prayer. I want to be a person of prayer. I surround myself with prayer warriors. (I wrote about that HERE.) This time, I want to discipline myself to pray even more and see my ministry defined my prayers and the prayers of the church I’ve been asked to lead.

Stress less – Some would say I don’t stress at all. I tend to be fairly even-tempered. But, that false appearance is only because I’m good at hiding my impatience at times. (Cheryl sees it unfortunately.) This time, I want to trust more and stress less. After all, God is in charge; not me.

Be more disciplined – Again, people would think I’m fairly disciplined, and in many ways I am. I’m not sure, however, if I’m always disciplined in the right areas. Maybe I should have titled this one “prioritize better”. Either way, I want my life defined more by where I want to end up someday. The best way to do that is to live that way now.

Take bigger risks – That seems strange coming from a church planter, former small business owner, entrepreneur and in light of the risk some believe I’m taking now. Looking back, however, over business ventures, and the last two plants, which were both phenomenally successful, there were a few things I wish I’d done differently. I wish I’d acted sooner when I sensed God leading. I wished I would have waited longer, when I didn’t necessarily sense God leading. It would have required acting contrary to popular opinion more than I did, but, as I’ll continue to believe and teach, God’s way isn’t always easiest, but it’s always best.

Satisfy fewer – I’m actually pretty good at this. It’s one of the signatures of my ministry and people continually say it’s what attracts them to my leadership. I am who I am. I don’t usually try to pretend otherwise. People typically say I’m “real”. It’s not that I don’t want to be liked. I feel the pressure to please everyone that all pastors feel. Ultimately, I want to honor Christ and keep the respect of my family. Beyond that, it’s okay if I’m not popular, as long as I’m being obedient. When I try to “satisfy” people, I only make less of the will of God and more of the will of man. That seems counterproductive to my calling.

Rest better – Perhaps my biggest weakness is that I’m always doing something. I do protect my Sabbath, but I don’t always take time during the week or for periodic seasons to simply rest. I’m a doer. I want to be productive. I’m usually busy from early morning until late at night. I will probably never rest by doing nothing. The sound of that drives me crazy, but I do want to take more time to do what I want to do to rest. Read a book. Take a long walk. Maybe even play a round of golf. (Oh no, let’s not get crazy. 🙂 )

I realize I could have changed all of these without changing churches, but I’m simply being obedient today…and it affords me a unique opportunity. I can change some things about who I am and how I lead.

Let’s do it!

If you could do things differently in your ministry, what is one thing you would improve upon?

Perhaps you can do that now…with or without a change of position.

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Ron Edmondson

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