Why Missional Leadership is Hard

Ok, so here’s my situation:

Photo by qwrrty (Creative Commons)Photo by qwrrty (Creative Commons)       • I’m a dad of three kids—a boy (7), a girl (5), and a brand new baby boy (7 weeks).
       • I’m the pastor of Northminster Presbyterian Church in San Diego.
       • I’m a Doctor of Ministry student at Fuller Seminary.
       • And I’m trying to get this new blog started.

Let me say that this blog is not coming easy to me. I’ve got a list of about fifty blog topics I want to write about, and when I look at my list I think to myself, “I have no idea what I want to say right now.”

Here’s a cheesy segue…

That reminds me of what it’s like to try to lead missionally.

Like I said—cheesy.

But it’s true. As a pastor, I’m faced with a ton of roles and responsibilities:

       • Preach every Sunday.
       • Visit the sick.
       • Do weddings and funerals.
       • Contact new Sunday guests.
       • Make sure small groups are happening.
       • Teach the new members class.
       • Make sure we’re meeting the budget.
       • Meet with staff.
       • Lead the board of elders (we call it “Session”).
       • Meet with the deacons.
       • Etc.
       • Etc.
       • Etc.

But wait, there's more!

On top of all that, I also need to be aware of how God is leading us to be involved in ministry in our neighborhood and around the world. This is not easy.

Here's what I'm saying.  Missional leadership is hard. It’s hard because there is so much that vies for my attention.

More and more, I have come to recognize that I can’t do it all—not if I’m to be the pastor God has called me to be. And not if we’re to be the church God has called us to be.

I believe that God wants to work through our church in ways that I can’t yet imagine. And that’s the trick—as the pastor of our church, I need to be able to imagine some ways that God might be at work around us. But as long as I’m too focused on the day-to-day and week-to-week routine of ministry, I’ll never begin to imagine what God might be calling us toward.

How about you? What’s keeping you from imagining what God might have in store for you?

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