When I made the transition into ministry, I saw a lot of well-intentioned pastors driving themselves crazy doing just that. They were starting from scratch every single week, with everything from Sunday follow-up to sermon preparation and worship planning.
As a result, not only did their time with God get pushed to the periphery, but they also had no time for personal growth, and their families felt neglected. Given my engineering mindset, I began designing systems, checklists, and strategies to help these dedicated pastors better cooperate with God’s plan for their churches week to week.
Over the years, these systems and strategies become highly developed and refined. Pastors around the world borrow and adapt them to fit their church environments, saving themselves the time, energy and stress of having to reinvent the wheel week in and week out.
These pastors now lead healthier churches, without letting their time for God, family or their own personal development slide. They’ve learned the importance of working in conjunction with the systems and principles God put in place for His Church in order to be both more efficient and more effective.
Learning to borrow and adapt what’s already working for others is a much-overlooked necessity of ministry, particularly early on. For a new pastor, on top of family and work, are often overwhelming. The pressure of having to come up with a fresh message every week can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, sending him into desperation.
That’s one reason I often encourage young pastors and church planters to borrow and adapt not just strategies but even specific messages from other people, especially in their first few years of ministry. Repurposing already preached sermons can lighten the load considerably–and there’s nothing wrong with it.
Learn, borrow, and adapt from those who have come before you, just as they did from those who came before them.
– Nelson Searcy and Jennifer Dykes Henson
The above excerpt is from pgs. 40-41 of The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry.
Drawing from Nelson Searcy’s decades of ministry experience, The Renegade Pastor is a relevant, step-by-step resource for church leaders who are ready to step up in surrender to the pursuit of God’s best for his or her life and work.
Your partner in ministry,
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