I spend a great deal of time talking to Pastors. I am shocked by how many pastors don’t start preparing for Sunday until large in the week. I am even more shocked by how many teams never evaluate their services and try to improve from last week.
In their fantastic book, The Power of Full Engagement, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz write, “Energy, not time, is the fundamental currency of high performance.”
For instance, my times of highest energy and greatest creativity are in the early morning. So, I get an early start on my study days to maximize my creative energy. Conversely, my times of lowest energy are in the mid-afternoon, so I schedule appointments during those times because listening doesn’t require as much energy as creating. I encourage you to figure out what your best times are for study and preparation and block those out first. Then, schedule everything around your study time. It will increase your effectiveness exponentially as you cooperate with you body’s natural rhythms.
Second, create moments where you give opportunity for feedback and evaluation of the Sunday service during the week. As a pastor, you must give your staff time to review the previous week’s service, so you can improve in the areas that fell short. We do this in our weekly staff meetings. We set aside thirty minutes every week to discuss four questions about Sunday’s services:
What went right?
What went wrong?
What was missing?
What was confusing?
We praise God for what went right. We send thank-you cards to show appreciation to volunteers who went beyond the call of duty. (We send out 5 of these a week). We encourage one another for a message well preached, a song well sung, or a video produced. We all need encouragement. This creates an opportunity to build up staff and servants who are working very hard.
Then we discuss the three other questions at the same time. This allows us to be specific about problems that took place on Sunday and how they can be remedied. Lastly, we assign the task of fixing the problem to a specific staff member. The solution may be as simple as buying duct tape (because doesn’t that fix most problems anyway?) or cutting ten minutes off a future message (I believe duct tape could fix this problem too).
More on this tomorrow…