Nine Mistakes I have made as a spiritual leader


1. Undercommunication – I have done this and it leaves people wondering what is going on and that is unhealthy for a church or any organization.  I have learned that not only is communicating critical, but over communicating is necessary.  When there is no communication or spotty communication it causes anxiety, confusion, and misunderstandings.  Leaders need to overcommunicate with their leaders, and with everyone else.  I have learned this the hard way.

2. Passion begins to wane – See #3 and #6.  Don’t lose your first love…Jesus!

3. Vision is lost in busyness - Our lives are so busy and have the potential to be busier!  We sometimes do it to ourselves.  We over-estimate our time and abilities and overwhelm ourselves.  The vision is lost in our heart and mind and then we are not driven by it, and can get the whole thing off course.  Stay on course and don’t let “just keeping up” steal the motion and focus toward the Spirit inspired vision.

4. Respond don’t react  I should have always waited when I felt my emotions well up. NOw I know, some things do not need confronting, some things do, not right away.  I have learned to get the mind of God, be patient, and pastor a situation with wisdom, not react, and then go back and apologize later.

5. Not enough encouragement- I tend to be a fixer and forward dreamer with my apostolic bent, but I also need to be a pastor! Encouragement from us, can breathe great courage and life into weary, broken, and discouraged people.

6. Spiritual Disciplines - Don’t neglect your spirit.  Feed your soul with the Bread of Life.  Enjoy the Word, the presence of God, other books, prayer and fasting, fellowship and solitude! There is always something to do, somewhere to go, someone to call.

7. Decision Procrastination – Some decisions are hard, but putting them off can frustrate our leadership teams.

8. Remember, before we are leaders, we are Called Men and Women of God-   It is easy to get sucked into being a CEO administrator with budgets, building decisions, church policies and processes.  Don’t forget you are first and foremost the spiritual leader!  Called by the Almighty to speak and lead as He would.  We are to know the Bible, study it, meditate on it. We are to be people of passion for prayer, enjoying the presence of Jesus. We are to be the voice of the Holy Spirit when there needs to be encouragement, correction, and the declaration of truth.  Don’t forget that we are to be in love with lost people, more than our newsletter and websites!  Many times I need recalibration in my heart concerning this.

9. Don’t become a people pleaser, learn to hold your ground - So who wants to tick off people when we love people?  Sometimes though, people want us to “fiddle” with the vision for an agenda they feel strong about that is not the purpose of the church or the vision.  I had to learn to communicate nicely to people that, “I am not letting you preach.”   “We are not having a rummage sale.”  “We are not going to start _____________ ministry.”  I cannot facilitate your life.”   “You cannot be codependent on me.”   “I will not be  a party to your drama.”  “You are not allowed to correct my staff.”  “I am not doing your fundraiser.”   “I am not meeting with you alone.”  “I will not communicate this over email or FB you have to talk to me.”  “I am not planning a trip for the church to the casino.”  “You can’t keep yelling out in tongues in every service. ”  Etc.

Can you add any others? Please comment.

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7 thoughts on “Nine Mistakes I have made as a spiritual leader

  1. Good stuff Nate! Laughed when I read #1. I’ve been guilty of under and over communicating!

    In my attempt to cast vision for a sabbatical back in ’08, I just about drove everyone nuts. I never thought you could ever over communicate something until there was a $5 fine (given to missions) implemented for anyone who used the sabbatical word for the 5 months preceding my sabbatical!

  2. Wow, fines at the church. That is funny. I never thought that overcommunicating would bug people, but I guess it can happen! Thanks Scott, blessing to your ministry and to Pathway!

  3. Even as a 17 year old, that encourages me! I want to be a youth pastor one day and you definitely inspire me. Thanks Pastor Nate!

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