10 Habits of Highly Intentional Pastors

leadership preaching Aug 12, 2022

Highly intentional pastors are purposeful people. They understand the weight of what the Lord has called them to do and they take that work seriously.

Most of us want to be intentional pastors.

But what makes the difference between drifting pastors and intentional pastors are the habits they adopt.

So what kind of habits do highly intentional pastors adopt?

10 Habits of Highly Intentional Pastors

  1. Invest in their own walk with GodWe, of course, must begin here. Intentional pastors are hungry to learn and grow. They are in tune with the leading of the Spirit and yearn to follow God's leading. There are dry seasons, to be sure. But those are, in fact, merely seasons. They work hard to not forget their first love.

  2. Prioritize making disciples. They take seriously the last words of Jesus before His ascension. They see that making disciples is the calling of every disciple, not just pastors. And they don't stop with their sermons. They are a part of a small group and they may even be pouring into a smaller group of people with intentionality. Disciple making isn't theory only for them. It's a practice.

  3. Invest in their leadership team. They know that they are only as strong as their team. Together, far more can be done. So they make sure to cultivate these relationships and prioritize direction, communication, and openness within the team. They provide opportunities for growth, pray for their team, and ask for help when it is needed.

  4. Coach their staff team. Intentional pastors don't allow their staff to operate within silos. Instead, they make it a point to meet with them one-on-one, and as a group, to create alignment and invest in them. And instead of doing this on rare occasions, they do so with consistency.

  5. Optimize their work schedule around energy management. It's one thing to manage time–which can be done best through time blocking, day themes, and a big three task list for the week as well as for the day. But the more important thing, when it comes to productivity and working at your best, is energy management. In other words, intentional pastors make sure they are doing their most important work at their most energized times so as to do their best work.

  6. Keep your team aligned around the church’s vision. In order to create alignment around the church's vision, intentional pastors know that they must talk about it often and from multiple angles. They know they must do so in sermons, in meetings, in conversations, and in initiatives. They understand that in order for their team to be aligned around the church's vision, that vision has to be their own filter first and then they can pass it along to their team.

  7. Protect the church from busyness. There are many good things a church can do. But there are only certain things that a specific local church should do. Intentional pastors know that the typical drift churches have is toward busyness for the sake of busyness. Activities make heavily involved members feel better about all the things that are going on. Add to that, it makes for a more exciting annual report. But intentional pastors know that they must protect the church from busyness if they are going to lead a church that is on mission around the most important things.

  8. Make time for deep sermon work. Intentional pastors live with a deep awareness of all the things that need to be done. They see the church from 30,000 feet up and they can also zoom in to see how each thing affects the whole. But they also know that they must devote time for deep sermon work. They know that when it comes to the sermon, it's one of the most important things they do. So instead of letting their week drift away, they make time for deep sermon work.

  9. Read widely. They understand the necessity and the benefit of being deeply thoughtful and they understand the necessity of reading a variety of authors and subjects in order to develop their abilities intellectually. We live in a time of perpetual crisis and what is needed are pastors who are deeply thoughtful, nuanced, and Christ-centered in their approach to teaching, preaching, and leading through this moment in history.

  10. Talk to a counselor (at least periodically). Intentional pastors are self-aware. But they also need the wisdom of someone who can help them take a step back and deal with what they're not seeing fully. They might take a lot of hits and they need new tools to cope with those wounds. Whatever their story, they see the importance of getting, at the very least, a periodic mental check-up. Leadership isn't easy. It can take a toll. So they stay diligent in caring for their own heart, mind, and soul. And a counselor helps them do just that.

[Free Download] The Intentional Pastor's Roadmap

There's a reason 80-85% of churches are either plateaued or declining. One word: leadership. Or to be even more specific: a lack of leadership.

Too many pastors in too many churches are living Sunday to Sunday. They go an entire year without any distinct focus beyond making sure Sundays happen. 

And their leadership team? They provide minimal leadership help.

But that doesn't have to be your church's story.

In this Roadmap, I'm going to show you the path to lead with clarity and direction.

Click here to get your copy of The Intentional Pastor's Roadmap.

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