Dear Pastors,

Leadership is important. Servant leadership is the Jesus example. Follow His method.


Don’t just see yourself as a typical CEO Leader. Lead, yes, but as a mentor, coach, counselor, servant.


Be honored to serve as a pastor. Do not take it lightly and do not take it with pride. Neither is Christlike shepherding. With humility and passion, lead and love and live as Christ. 


Value the importance of the many parts of your role but especially these two: preaching and pastoral care.


Preaching? Proclaim the biblical story. Modern methods are okay and new trends are fine — sometimes. But don’t let them take the place of a biblical text guiding the words spoken. Value scriptural narratives rather than tossing them in to almost fit the topic you want to address. Let them lead the topic.


Pastoral care? See each person through the lens of Jesus. How does He see them? Care. Empathize. Affirm. Validate. Accept. Listen.


And take care of YOU. Sleep well. Don’t carry the load yourself. Laugh every day. Cry when you hurt. Confess your sins and hurts and fears to a counselor.


Have fun. Enjoy the days, the moments.


Learn from other leaders and pastors and churches but don’t be controlled by comparison or numbers or events.


And pray often. Pray specific prayers. Deep prayers. Biblical repetition prayers. Listening prayers — where you aren’t the one speaking. God is.


Have true friends. Not to impress. To love and learn from. To enjoy and grow with. Be friends with people who aren’t in your local congregation.


Read good books. Take nice walks. Step outside. Listen to creative songs.


Those are a few of my thoughts. Any suggestions from you?


If you want more thoughts from Chris Maxwell and other leaders, get a copy of his book, Pause for Pastors