by Dennis Park

A couple weeks back, I had the privilege of traveling to Nashville for two days to rub shoulders with 20 executive pastors from large Southern Baptist churches.

This group of leaders gathers annually at the Metro XP meeting to fellowship, network, and share best practices on topics related to the operation and administration of their organizations. This year, conversations ranged from staffing, budgeting, and leadership to volunteer management, organizational design, and worship style transitions.

While the topics themselves were not always exciting, what struck me about this group was the passion each had to his calling and the commitment to help one another. And the two days were anything but boring. There was plenty of laughter, camaraderie, and even some tears.

Here are a few take-aways worth passing along to you:

  1. Don’t forget the big picture. It’s easy to get so immersed in the day-to-day of leading or managing your ministry that you forget what’s most important. This is true whether you’re the senior pastor, business administrator, bookkeeper, or youth pastor. Take time to connect back to your calling and mission.
  2. No need to reinvent the wheel. Chances are, someone out there has been there and done that. Learn from the successes and failures of others. Implement and improve on someone else’s ideas.
  3. Connect with others like you. You can find powerful encouragement from others who are in roles similar to yours. Fellowship with like-minded and gifted individuals will help to inspire and re-energize you.

There are a many great local and national associations for leaders and ministry professionals to connect with and learn from. Ask your denomination if you are part of one. Or, check out some cross-denominational organizations, such as the National Association of Church Business Administration (NACBA), Christian Leadership Alliance (CLA), and Willow Creek Association (WCA).

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