Post Pandemic Pastoral Priorities

I’m here today to riff on some post pandemic pastoral priorities. This is in a way, a continuation or an expansion of the last podcast, which was too many weeks ago. Really boy, I’ve been slacking here in the summer sun. I did one on re-entry resolutions, just talking about how this was a unique time to make some changes in our routines, much like a new year, but in a bigger way.

As things open up and restrictions are lifted, just a great time to change routines and patterns of life and ministry, and I hope you’re doing that. I want to suggest three post pandemic pastoral priorities that might fit into your re-entry resolutions or not, but I’m going to throw these out for your consideration.

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How Power Messes You Up

I saw an article the other day from The Atlantic titled “Power Causes Brain Damage: How leaders lose mental capacities–most notably for reading other people–that were essential to their rise.” Here is the opening paragraph. “If power were a prescription drug, it would come with a long list of known side effects. It can intoxicate. It can corrupt. It can even make Henry Kissinger believe he’s sexually magnetic. But can cause brain damage?

The article really unpacks how, when people experience power, they actually lose the capacity to empathize, and of course, that is related to reading people and responding to people and ultimately leading well. Basically it actually affects our brains.

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It’s Not Your Job

Just the other day I was listening to a pastor who is a Christian leader who I respect greatly, but he said something that made me kinda sit up in my seat and question what I heard. I came to the conclusion that I had to disagree with him, and in disagreeing, I realized what this man stated explains a lot of challenges that we’re facing in the church right now.

The statement had to do with this fellow expressing his call to build the church. When he said that, I stopped and thought to myself that Jesus is the one who builds the church and that our call is to make disciples that as we make disciples. The church grows and Jesus puts the body together and builds the church.

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Measuring Ministry Success

Today I’m just going to read the table of contents of an old book. I’d be surprised if I’ve never referenced this book in the past because it’s a classic, incredibly helpful, encouraging book in all areas and all times and places for pastors. It’s a book called “Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome” by Kent and Barbara Hughes. It came out in 1987, with a rework in 2008.

I came across this book early in my ministry life. In fact, it may have actually been on internship where someone recommended it to me or in my pastoral training before I was a pastor. I became a pastor in 1990, so it would have been out by then.

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You Won’t Like The Answer

Today’s topic is a question: what is the greatest challenge, the greatest need of churches, large and small right now? What is the thing that is bottle-necking, hindering, or in some way slowing down churches of every size from moving ahead?

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