12 Practices to be a Better Leader and a Successful Pastor

Sometimes, being a pastor and a leader can feel overwhelming. However, in reality, leadership is easier than it first seems. In most cases, fantastic leaders master some basic things that other people miss. After all, you can gain a leadership qualification and read books on leadership and still not be an effective leader. And yet, some leaders have very little formal education but lead effectively and powerfully every day. In most cases, these leaders are more effective because they have learned a few basic skills that other people overlook. If you want to know how to become a better leader and more successful pastor, here are some of our top tips:

1.     Read and Understand the Bible

The Bible is an amazing resource for leadership development. After all, Jesus was an amazing leader. And there are numerous other examples of great leaders in the Bible too. Even if you do not follow or believe in Christ, you can learn a lot about leadership from the Bible. 

2.     Never Stop Learning

To be a better leader and a more successful pastor, you will need to keep learning. Here are some of the things that happen when you keep learning by reading:

While some people read books for entertainment purposes, successful people read them to learn and grow. Although most pastors read the Bible for sermon prep, growing pastors read more. 

3.     Work Smarter Not Harder

The church can feel incredibly complex at times. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work you must complete, or the number of sermons you must write, be assured you are not alone. Research suggests that 90% of pastors frequently feel worn out and fatigued. 

The good news is that data and technology have made it easier than ever to reach people and raise money. This is not about increasing your workload; it is about finding ways to work smarter and not harder. 

One great way to work smarter and not harder is by using an online bible verses resource for pastors. The Bible is filled with verses that touch on certain themes and topics. This can make it extremely difficult to find them when you need them. Pushpay has created a bible verses resource for pastors. Whether you are trying to find certain verses for an event or you are planning an interesting sermon, they have resources to help. 

4.     Do Not Make Yourself the Hero

If you want to become an amazing pastor, it is a good idea to point to God and not yourself when you speak. Spend more time worrying about whether your congregation is connecting with God and less time worrying whether they are connecting with you. 

If we think about it logically, we all love leaders who point beyond themselves and praise other people, so why not be that leader?

5.     Turn Your Mobile Phone Off

There is nothing worse than having a conversation with someone who is on their mobile phone. No matter whether you are talking to your colleagues, your congregation, your friends, or your family, choose to put your phone away and have a meaningful face-to-face conversation instead. 

However, while it is important to put your phone away when you are having an important conversation, it is also important to be accessible. As soon as your conversation is finished, it is a good idea to check your mobile phone to see if any of your congregation needs you. 

6.     Lead Yourself First

If you want to be able to lead other people, you will need to be able to lead yourself first. It is hypocritical to expect others to serve, give, and read the Bible more if you do not do it yourself. Set a good example for others and they will follow you.

7.     Keep Your Promises

One of the best pieces of advice is to do what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it. Keeping your promises not only makes you look good; it also shows that you are trustworthy. Of course, there will be times when you are unable to keep your promises. When this happens, it is a good idea to be honest with your congregation. 

8.     Maintain Eye Contact

Although most pastors do not need reminding of this, it is an extremely important part of being a good pastor and an effective leader. Evidence has shown that you are much more likely to engage your audience if you talk directly to them and do not stare past them. 

9.     Remember to Smile!

While we all have a default expression, it is often hard to know what yours is because we never see ourselves as others see us. However, it is important to be aware of the expressions you are using. If your default expression is not what you had hoped, then now is the time to change it. Smiling instead of frowning can make a huge difference. 

10.   Be Fun

Highly successful leaders and church pastors are people persons. Other people are drawn to them because of their personality. They are enjoyable to be around. Try to emulate the most successful pastors out there and be fun and personable. 

11.   Analyze Current Conditions 

Very few leaders stop to analyze how well they are performing or where they are currently. What is working for them, and what is not? While the best leaders do not have all the answers to these questions, they do have a lot of great questions and ideas. 

12.   Find a Mentor

One of the best ways to become a better leader and a more successful pastor is to find a mentor to help you achieve your goals. Your mentor should be someone you respect, who is at least ten years older than you.

It is almost impossible to become a better leader and a more successful pastor by accident. While many pastors shy away from the next steps to becoming a better leader because it seems overwhelming, it does not have to feel like this. If you want to become a more successful pastor and better leader, follow the tips above. From finding a mentor to using a bible verses resource for pastors, there are lots of things that can help you to achieve your goals.