10 Keys to Growth for Every Pastor and Leader

Shyju Mathew

"Experience the Word of God, in the power of the Spirit."

May 22, 2013

Recently, I met a humble Pastor who was sharing about his vision. As he asked for directions ahead in ministry, I got to share a few things from my heart, which I feel, if shared here on Guarding the Heart blog, would benefit more people.


Here are ten points which I feel are important for leaders in the ministry:

1. Spreading Too Thin

It may seem hard to resist the temptation of taking up everything that comes one’s way because most of the opportunities that come look very attractive, but one of the dangers in the ministry is to lack clarity in focus, and committing to doing anything and everything one can lay their hands on. What happens here is that, in this process, one risks the danger of a burn out.

If you want to be successful in your assignment, you should rather concentrate your efforts on that one thing  than taking up whatever comes your way. The threat of being the ‘Jack-of-All-Trades’ is that, in the end, one has no strength to do what one is best at. [ClickToTweet]

2. Functioning in the Rest

When ambition gets onto us, we have a virtual time bomb ticking away somewhere. If we can remember that ministry is an assignment from God, we will not end up striving in our own power to make things happen. Don’t let ambition work you up the ladder of anxiety in search of fame. [ClickToTweet]

3. Searching for God’s Will

All things, both good and bad, tie you down from your destiny when it is out of God’s will. [ClickToTweet]

Many great ministers who drifted from their actual calling, to do things that looked lucrative, have either lost a lot of money, character or time in the process. The greatness of a leader is his power to say “No” even when his flesh wants to say “Yes”. [ClickToTweet]

4. Not Being Need Oriented

We would be terribly wrong to think that Jesus was moved by needs. In fact, in Mark 1, even when the disciples let Jesus know about the pressing needs of the crowds, He moved on to the next town. Yet in other instances, we see Jesus moved with compassion and healing a select few before leaving the town.

Remember, no matter how pressing, not all problems are your assignment from God. [ClickToTweet] Knowing which is, helps you stay on the track and on time.

5. Minimising Activities and Maximising Potential

Engaging in numerous activities or events does not necessarily mean one is more productive. It could also mean there are more distractions, chaos, burnout and waste of time. Even while focusing on your vision, choose not to do a lot of things in at one time. Instead, give your best in the minimal choice of work.

To expect excellency is not practical when the number of activities distract the clarity of a vision. [ClickToTweet]

Instead of preaching in a dozen places in a week, focus on doing one excellently. Pray and soak in God for that one, rather than engaging in a lot of work throughout the week without prayer.

Narrow your focus to maximise your potential.

6. Taking People as Your Greatest Resource

Treat people well. Don’t burn them out. Pressurising them to go on a performance overdrive is not fair. To take an example, yes, they will finance you, but one shouldn’t take that for granted and ask them for their entire salary, like some do.

What people do out of love and passion stays over and above what they do out of fear and compulsion. [ClickToTweet]

Let love lead.

7. Valuing Yourself

Ha. I can’t stress how much this is important. I do not say you should think highly of yourself. But if you undervalue what you carry, then can’t expect others to respect it either.

No matter how small a ministry you have and how least popular you are, what you carry is from God and you have to honour and treat it well. By that I mean there will always be people who belittle you and push you to treat your gift with contempt. But carry yourself as the ambassador of God you are – The Lion and The Lamb is in you.

Even while you set an example through your speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, you still cannot let anyone despise you (I Timothy 4:12). It’s a fact that people cannot receive when what you carry is not honoured. And most of the times how we behave is what causes people to lose respect for what we carry. Let us remember to guard the name of The Lord whom we represent.

8. Being Secure in Your Calling

Remind yourself to slay the demon of jealousy everyday. Nobody can replace who you are. What someone else is, is what God has called them to be. To celebrate another’s success is to display your security of your own success of being in God’s will. Your security in God empowers you to say no to what is not of God. [ClickToTweet]

Secure leaders have no time to fight people around them. The greatest inner security comes from soaking in God. [ClickToTweet]

Enuff’ said.

9. Focusing on Maximum Impact on Minimum Time

This is possible! Look at the life of Jesus. A little more than three years is all it took for Him to establish His ministry. Pursuing the clarity of your mission at the feet of Jesus helps you to have maximum impact in minimum time. [ClickToTweet]

Some people take up everything they can lay their hands on, and end up wasting decades. Everyday, seek God for His perfect guidance over every little thing. You will do more in less time.

10. Praying

Nothing can replace prayer. Any ministry success that comes from strategies outside God are humanly built Towers of Babel that God himself will fight down. Let’s pray my friends. Let’s pray.


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