I am honored to have a chance to share join this blog with a guest post. I had a chance to spend a few days with the Vanderbloemen Search Group. They invested in group of Executive Pastors from around the country. David asked me to share some of my thoughts from the experience. All I can say is if you are considering using Vanderbloemen and some of their resources my recommendation would be an emphatic yes! This is a top-notch company whose heart is huge for investing in the church. They truly want to see the church be the best she can be.
Here are a few of the challenges I am personally taking to heart from my time with this great company.
1. Management is Ministry.
As a leader, we have been entrusted with so much. We’re trusted with budgets that range from hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions of dollars. There may be a team of 5 people or 50 people looking to us for guidance and leadership. There are hundreds or thousands of people in our churches we are responsible for leading to Christ and discipling. The resources that God has placed under our leadership have weighty eternal implications.
In the parable of the talents the Lord says something I am sure all of us know. He says “Well done my good and faithful servant…” in Matthew 25:21. We will be judged for how we leverage the resources Jesus has entrusted us with. Notice he doesn’t say “Well planned” or “Well thought out” or “Well intentioned”. Instead Jesus points out what was well done. He points directly to what was executed well with the resources the Master entrusted to His servants.
This makes management of these resources a key piece of what the Lord has entrusted to me and you our ministry. The employees, pastors, directors, finances and resources are all pieces you need to see as your ministry. The lives that will be impacted for eternity will happen as a result of how you utilize these key pieces.
So for me, I feel challenged to consider these questions when I think about how I manage these resources.
- Is this the best use of this person’s time, talent and abilities?
- Is this a ministry that is still producing what we intended it to produce?
- Have the needs of our church changed? If so, how can we change how we resource to meet those needs?
- Are all these resources accomplishing what the Lord has intended them for?
2. There’s No Such Thing as an Innocent “Yes.”
This point for me was personally a huge one. Everytime I chose to say yes to something I am choosing to invest some form of resources into the thing I said yes to. Everything you say yes to has consequences and costs.
In the church world we are notorious for saying yes to everything. When you choose to say yes to everything you eventually strain resources too thin. It will cost more time, money, or volunteers for the new ideas you want to see implemented.
So this begs the question – What do you need to kill in order to invest the time, energy and resources into the new things the Lord is leading you to do? We don’t like to ask this question, but we need to. If you don’t you will stretch your people and your resources too thin. You may start a lot of good things, but you will never see the great things the Lord wants to birth through you.
I am coming out of this time with Vanderbloemen wanting to learn to guard my yes more. For me, this means I have to prioritize the important things. You have to have a clear picture of what is important. Then when a good idea comes up you ask yourself a tough question. Which of these important things am I doing that I will set aside to make room for this new idea? The answer to that question will help us shape what we choose to say yes to.
3. Find and Equip Other Leaders.
William Vanderbloemen ended our last session with this question and it has stuck with me. He said he evaluates his employees with this one question: “Have you made yourself less essential to the success of this organization?” This feels like such a pull in the opposite direction of most of our leadership egos. We like people depending on us and needing us. We often let this desire be the thing that feeds our value system.
There’s a problem with that model of leadership – you aren’t going to be around forever. Who are you raising up around you to replace you? What leaders are you investing in that will carry on the dreams and legacy Jesus is building through you?
I want to be driven by a desire to make myself less mission-critical to the success of the ministry Jesus has entrusted me with. The only way I know to do that is to follow the example Jesus left for us. We must invest in people and raise up new leaders. If the work of ministry in your church depends on you then you aren’t being successful. You may actually be in danger of building your kingdom more than His Kingdom.
I want to be a Moses to a generation of Joshua’s. One day I want to work myself out of a job. I want to raise up volunteers and leaders that can one day step in and seamlessly replace me. I hope that my ceiling becomes their floor. But I will only do that by investing and building great leaders around me that don’t have to depend on me.
I took away so much from my time with the Vanderbloemen team. These are just a few areas I feel like God is challenging me in my area of influence.
I would love to hear your thoughts? Where is God challenging you to grow and expand as a leader? How can I help you?
I am the Executive Pastor at Lone Star Cowboy Church in Montgomery Texas. I’ve been here for 5 months now. Before being here I served at North Shore Church in Hastings Nebraska for almost 5 years. I spent half that time as Youth Pastor and the other as Associate Pastor. Before making a career in ministry I worked for Stewart Concrete for almost 6 years. I worked in management and sales. I would love an opportunity to connect with you. Come find me on social media – Instagram: @jason_mauck, Twitter: @jason_mauck, or Facebook: facebook.com/jason.mauck.