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March 26, 2019

How to Balance Your Time with Leaders and the Lost

By New Churches Team

As a church planter, there never seems to be enough hours in the day to get things done. At times, it can feel like the very life and breath of the plant falls on your shoulders — if you are not answering questions, you are putting out fires. If you are not planning, you are meeting someone.

Practical demands increase as the church plant grows, so how does a pastor balance spending time with leaders and the lost? In order to continue strong Kingdom work for the gospel, it is important to not get caught up in the isolation of simply caring for church people. However, it is also important to invest time into your leaders.

Spending Adequate Time with Your Leaders

From a pipeline perspective, as your church grows and as your leadership grows, it is important develop the people who are leaders of ministries — these leaders can be staff members, lay people, or both.  The reason why you should pour time, energy, and resources into these leaders is to model to them what it would like for them to do the same with others in their specific ministry areas.

Another point to consider is that it is less about you feeling like you are spending enough time with your leaders and it is more about if they feel like you are spending enough time with them.  For example, you could have a high capacity leader who is leading leaders or leading a department. For him, what does it look like to be spending enough time with you? Is it meeting for coffee once a week or lunch every other week? Maybe that is the case for a period of time as you build him up.  And maybe, as time goes on, such frequent face-to-face meetings will be too much for his schedule to bear. At that point, perhaps your check-ins will turn into phone calls or text messages.

In the end, it is important to ask your leaders whether or not they feel like they are being supported, cared for, empowered, and equipped.  This end goal may look different for each leader and may change for each leader as time goes on.

Carve Out Leadership Development Time

It is important to have definitive times in your schedule to develop and disciple leaders. If you have staff members, you will naturally be investing in them because that is part of your job. But, in general, you should have a mix of staff and non-staff that you are pouring into and spending time with.  

It is also important to invite these leaders into this development commitment with a ballpark time frame of how long you will be working with them. For example, For the next year or 18 months, we will meet to develop you as a leader with the purpose of you being able to develop and disciple others.

Spending Time With the Lost

No matter how many congregants you have in your church, do not forget that you will never outgrow your need to relate to the lost. No matter how busy you get with developing leaders, never get too busy so that you feel like you have grown out of the Great Commission.

Though the lines between church time and personal time can be challenging to distinguish, spend time with the lost in your personal time.  It is important to model to those in your church how evangelism can happen in the every day of our lives. Wouldn’t it be great if spending time with the lost was considered normal, every day culture in your church?

Adapted from the New Churches Q&A Podcast Episode 322: Spending Time With the Leaders and the Lost. Click here to subscribe and listen to more to church planting, multisite, and multiplication tips.



New Churches Team

NewChurches.com wants to help you build a strong foundation by connecting you with top experts in the field of church planting and multisite ministry, and by regularly providing you with the resources, information, and community you need to thrive as you multiply the mission of Matthew 28.


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