Thursday, 2 September 2010

Sustaining fruitful ministry (part 2)

I will now post the Pastors Summit third to fifth keys for sustaining and thriving in ministry.

3.  Emotional and Cultural Intelligence
They describe emotional intelligence as 'the ability to manage one's own emotions proactively and respond to the emotions of others appropriately.'  One Summit participant commented, 'For me, prayer plays a huge role in healthy emotional management.  Things get less muddy as I engage with God about things.  Things seem to fall into place.  I can't explain how it happens, I just know it does.'  Again the report's author highlights the importance of having someone with whom we can talk things through.
Cultural intelligence is defined as 'the ability to understand, acknowledge, and appreciate current contextual forces as well as the cultural background of oneself and others.'  We live in times of cultural shifts.  As well as having people from different countries come to live amongst us there are cultural differences among the differing age-groups and social classes.

4.  Marriage and family
The Summit points out that many pastors 'become so intent on the spiritual condition of others in the congregation that they are unaware of how their own families are doing.' 

5.  Leadership and management
'Pastors Summit research reveals that for pastors to thrive in ministry they will need to attend to at least three areas related to leadership and management.'  a) Accepting leadership and management, b) Trusting God with challenging expectations, and c) handling the political realities of ministry.
With regards to this last point the report talks of those with 'relational power and influence.'  I found this interesting.  I don't like the idea in some respects because it looks like favoritism.  But I also realise that some people have influence for godly reasons.  For example, years ago in our church there was a wonderful woman called Auntie Emma.  My guess is that you could convince Auntie Emma that a plan had merit she could bring many people with her.  I also think that some people achieve influence in churches through 'pester power', people let such people get their way because they will only complain and moan if things aren't as they like.  The challenge is to love those who pester but not to let their pestering dictate what happens.

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