Welcome to Pastor Wendell’s newest blog series: Biblical Guidance for the Lead Pastor. Over the next few months, Pastor Wendell will share 40 years of ministry wisdom and experience on numerous leadership categories. This slightly edited text was originally written as a Pastor’s Briefing to Pastors Judah and Chelsea Smith upon their promotion to Lead Pastors of The City Church. The wisdom contained within these posts are biblical, practical, proven, and sincere. Our prayer for pastors is that you too would lead a life beyond reproach as a godly example to the flock over which you have been made an overseer.
Plan your calendar as far in advance as possible with the basics of things you want to do, key events for the local church and personal priorities. Two or three years out at least. This will help determine your priorities and then decisions about travel and ministry elsewhere.
- Family vacations
- Red zone times for church (Kid’s Camp, Youth Conference, Generosity Conference, and anniversaries)
- Special all church emphases
- Preaching and Teaching series
- Papa and Grammy times (ha!)
Lead Pastor’s Priorities
3“Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; 4 “but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude. Acts 6:3-5 (NKJV)
The principles below are also mentioned in other sections of your briefing, but they are listed here from a Pastor’s perspective and to help remind you of your calling and primary purposes as a Lead Pastor over a Church.
After the very top priority of your marriage and your family (which is part of your qualification of a Bishop), I would list the following as your fundamental main concerns for ministry.
This would include most of all personal and private prayer; prayer with your spouse; apostolic prayer times (praying for the church, leaders, other churches, etc.) and then public prayer; your own prayer times with the Head of the Church and the help of the Holy Spirit will be the key in knowing and accomplishing the will of God for The City Church. (Following is a sample idea of weekly prayer)
Give yourself to the reading and study of the Word of God; both for personal edification, as well as, for preaching and teaching. You would do well in this arena to involve a research team. Dr. Hagin used to say that a modern day preacher should spend most of his time meditating in the New Testament, since it gives the instructions for the churches. I have always felt I should do what I asked others to do (Psalms, Proverbs, Bible reading plan) plus my own pastoral reading. An emphasis on the letters to the Churches, the Gospels and Book of Acts an reading the Book of the Revelation is also good even when we don’t understand it, since it tells us “blessed is he who reads the words of this book”.
Proclaim the Word as the Holy Spirit leads you in developing series, either topical or expository. This is also the time to cast vision (using the Word); primarily on the weekends. Above all, PREACH HOPE.
Teaching is different than preaching in that you develop more doctrinal material to equip the saints and train them in areas of life; this would include classes, TRAKS (Training Routes and Kingdom Strategies) and even mid-week services. Creating mature Christian disciples is the Great Commission. Teaching is the “how to” of communicating the Word. TEACH FAITH
The Word, preaching, and teaching are mentioned as part of the three-fold ministry of Jesus. This would also include altar calls, praying for people, and mobilizing members into small groups- personal ministry. HEALING LOVE
Mentoring is one of the most rewarding parts of ministry. It is not counseling problem people, instead, it is selecting and training quality leaders at every level in the church. People who want to serve and want to help others draw closer to Jesus. Equipping them, answering their questions and constantly adjusting their perspectives will build a great team around you.
People are the most important thing. You must balance your priorities according to create a mature congregation who is strong in faith and committed to building the vision God has given for your church.
Our prayer for you pastors is that you would discover the priorities for your church. God has a specific vision and plan for you. Prayerfully understand what it is and enlist your flock to build the Church!
– Pastor Wendell