issue 38 navigating the two types of work in the church

Issue #38: Navigating the Two Different Types of Work For the Church

Feeding & Leading the Sheep

Many pastors and ministry leaders end up in the weeds of their ministries. People need counseling, so we do it. Events need executing, so we do it. Supplies have to be ordered and retrieved, so we do it. Volunteers need direction and encouragement, so we do it. Conflicts need resolving, so we do it. You get the picture. You likely live the picture.

There’s nothing wrong with the things mentioned above. This is a part of what ministry is about. But one of the challenges that it poses is we find ourselves so busy in the day-to-day, week-to-week functions of the ministry that we lack the time to get above the fray to see and know what long-term directions and plans we need to make. We spend more time working in the church than working on the church.

This is the topic of this week’s newsletter.

Working In vs Working On

This simple distinction makes a big difference. Working in the church is what most people do. Working on the church is what the rare few make time to do. As a leader, if we only find ourselves working in the church, we will get trapped into being constantly reactive to needs and fires and we won’t be proactive to make the ministry better.

Working on the church or ministry is about getting above the fray to plan and dream. Working on the church requires thinking about the future, creating strategies and plans for improvement, progress, and executing them. Fires always pop up. Challenges always emerge. We don’t avoid those or ignore them. We handle them as they come, but leaders must be thinking about the long-term plans of the ministry.

One example of this for me in the last year was seeing the needs in our community, coupled with the resources and vision we have as a church, and recommending to our team that we should launch a school. This won’t come to pass quickly. But looking forward and dreaming about our future is what leaders alone can do. This is what working on your ministry looks like.

1 Actionable Tip

Spend dedicated time for working *on* the church and not just *in* the church.

Pastors must spend time working on the church if the church is going to advance and move forward. No organization or ministry gets better without focused action. Those who get lost in the daily grind and fires of working in the church can stay busy, but they won’t push the church forward to new places. That requires time spent working on the church. Pastors must push themselves to do it or it will never happen.

Opportunities for Students & College Age Young Adults

Are you helping the students and college-age kids in your church stand firm against the opposition coming at them in the culture? If you’re not actively equipping them on issues of gender and sexuality, you can be sure the culture is. We’re here to help.

Join us October 13-15 at Black Mountain, NC (at Ridgecrest Conference Center). An incredible line of speakers will be teaching students about who they are as image-bearers of God. These foundations will supply students with important understanding of their identity. Plan to bring your students. It’s going to be a fantastic conference.