10 Basic Things All Lead Pastors Do, Say And Feel

Leadership, Personal DevelopmentBy Dr. Frank Damazio

Throughout my time in ministry, I have traveled to countless churches and talked with many lead pastors. I try and ask the lead pastor what they do and what is working for them. I want to know what they hope to accomplish by doing what they do. Most of the time, I hear the same answers, because we all do so many similar things. The 10 basic things all lead pastors do are listed below.

I Lead

I am called to lead and I do lead the church every one of the seven days of the week. Decisions teams, new ideas – I lead them.

I Preach

I am the main preacher. Fifty weeks of the year I study, dig, research, pray and preach my heart out. I preach all the time. It never stops.

I Work Hard

I am not passive or lazy. I work seemingly nonstop, usually seven days a week. I get time off, but even on my time off I think about church, people and sermons. I work hard.

I Raise Money

I am always burdened and responsible for the budgets and resources. I raise awareness and faith; and I prod the church to tithe, to give offerings and to give to special needs. I may not be the best at this, but I do it all the time.

I Find Volunteers

I am the person who always asks people to serve and get involved. When people don’t volunteer, ministry departments ask me to make an announcement, preach about the necessity of serving and get people into serving, which usually does not create enough volunteers. But I feel a continuous pressure to recruit help.

I Dream Big

I am always seeking to dream big – at least its big for me. I have more dreams than time and resources will allow. I read, pray, and stretch my faith. I’m not a small thinker, but I’m sure some might think I am.

I Have Strong Convictions

I feel that I am a strong leader with strong values and convictions that I don’t budge on. I try to be courageous as I face moral crises, strive to maintain church values and preach the gospel message. Some might even say that I am stubborn and immovable on most things, but I think other leaders are weak at times.

I Believe in Evangelism

I believe in sharing the gospel with people, and I try to practice what the gospel preaches. I don’t manipulate people, but I encourage them to share their faith. I believe evangelism is not about converting people, but it is also about telling the gospel. I will not use guilt to drive people. I’m not sure if our church is evangelistic; we don’t see a lot of conversion growth, but we are faithful to the gospel.

I Worship

I am a true, passionate worshiper. I enter the worship service with all my heart, and my worship inspires the entire church to worship. It’s probable that not everyone worships, but I am leading by example.

I Grow the Church

I am dedicated to the church I pastor, and I am doing everything I know to grow the church. I occasionally get discouraged with our small growth or lack of growth, but I work hard at growing the church and believe things will change in the near future.

When I finish hearing most pastors tell me these 10 things about their leadership, I then ask two questions: Are the things you are doing working? Are you satisfied with the results? Ninety-nine percent of the time, the pastor answers, “No, I’m not sure they’re working, and I am not satisfied with the results.” Why are so many pastors discouraged and perhaps depressed? A survey of 1,050 evangelical pastors resulted in some unsettling statistics.

89% considered leaving the ministry at one time

57% said they would leave if they had a better place to go – including secular work

77% felt they did not have a good marriage

75% felt they were unqualified and/or poorly trained

71% stated they were burned out, and… battle depression beyond fatigue

23% felt happy and content on a regular basis with who they are in Christ, in their church, and in their home

I am not sure if these statistics would play out better or worse if all lead pastors and leaders in the church were surveyed. I do know that leading today’s church is a challenge, and spiritual attacks from the dark side are real. Any ministry leader who is discouraged knows how hard it is to preach, lead, plan, strategize and have great faith for an amazing vision. If that leader plateaus, declines and experiences spiritual crisis and burnout, then getting the church back on track is indeed almost impossible.

If you have lost heart because you are doing the 10 things all pastors are doing but not seeing satisfying results, click here and let me offer some suggestions so that you can get better traction and better results. Let me match the 10 things pastors do, say and feel with 10 questions need to ask about what they do, say and feel. Your answers could help you change things.