3 mistakes to avoid before going full-time

You’re a church leader working two jobs, you have a family and your church is growing, there are pastoral challenges and the Sunday sermon is regularly being written late on Saturday night. You’re living with that constant sense of guilt that something important is not getting the best from you – your job, your church or worse your family and you’re tired. Really, really tired.

The solution seems obvious: it’s time to give up one of those two jobs. It’s time to go full-time.
I’ve been there, I’ve done that and I got it wrong. Here are my mistakes so you can avoid them:

  1. I ended up generalizing not specializing: I probably quoted Acts 6:2-4 when pushing for the move, but the fact is the net result left me doing more general tasks not less, because suddenly I had more time when no one else did. I was also unclear about what my strongest and most helpful contributions to the church were (as, probably, was everybody else) so I lacked the necessary focus on what I should specialize in.
  2. I generalized because I failed to delegate: Now it simply isn’t true that I hadn’t delegated at all. I wasn’t the treasurer, the worship leader, the maker of cakes, the children’s leader or sound technician. But because I failed to know what only I should do, I did what others could have done.
  3. I generalized because we had a failure of ecclesial imagination: We (and I really mean me) didn’t creatively approach our structures, our rhythms, our habits, our meetings, our teams and examine each one to see how could they change or adapt to keep with our mission. One of the reasons I’m in no rush to develop public meetings is because they demand and lock in a vast amount of energy and resources on a weekly basis, and you have to be confident that is the best use of that energy and resource, that it best fulfils the mission you have. If not, why are you doing it?

Going full-time can be a really good move but I’d want to ensure I had several other strong team members in place before I did, so I could do what I did best and not end up doing what others could do far better.

Photo by joshwept

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