Lead Pastor Michael J. Paris

 

A child of God, Husband of Sue, Father, Grandfather, Pastor and friend.  Pastor Mike longs to lead men and women to live like they are God’s most treasured possession and grow in their faith all for the Glory of Him who is the Author and Finisher of our Faith.

 

Hey Church –

Ministry, I have found, is exhausting in almost every way – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The minister  must plan, engage and finish on a schedule with a deadline. This is not only true of pastors, but also includes Sunday School 2.0 teachers, secretaries, cleaning crews, VBS directors, Bible study group leaders, snackpackers, and a whole host of other  ministers within the local church. At the end of each ministry event, the ministers are tempted to fall into bed, dog-tired and  unable to think about anything for at least a few hours. This break is well-earned and deserved. We absolutely need  sabbaths. 

But then “the day after” rolls around and you are tasked with evaluating the efforts of the past day or week. We call this  introspective process, Monday Morning Quarterbacking (MMQ). Ministers, like quarterbacks, spend a good deal of time on  Monday (or the day after) replaying every down and scoring opportunity in a big game. His teammates are counting on him  to rally, make corrections, and bring another “W” to the locker room. There is indeed no rest for the weary! There is no off season in ministry. 

If you are the tired leader, you may feel that an evaluation process is a waste of time. I assure you that it is not. Evaluation is  the best way to make the corrections necessary to improve your service. Receiving and processing your own observations,  your teammates’ feedback, and your audience’s response are all critical to making this the best ministry ever. How can you  do that in a helpful way? Here are a few questions to ask: 

  1. Did we have adequate preparation? (BEFORE)
a. Did we advertise the event to the audience well?
b. Did we give them enough time to plan this event into their schedules?
c. Did we recruit and train enough volunteers to fill the team positions?
d. Were all of the expectations communicated well to the team members ahead of the event?
e. Did everyone  know the what, when, where, and how the event should happen?
f. Was the why clear in everyone’s mind before they started?
 
2. Did we have quality execution and performance? (DURING)
a. Did everyone give their best energy, passion, and strength to the effort?
b. Were the right people assigned to  the right places?
c. What were the highlights of the event? What parts did we do exceptionally well?
d. Were there any opportunities that were missed during the event?
e. Did we have any holes in resources, personnel or training to accomplish the task?
f. Were there any unused, wasted parts left-over?
g. Were there any unexpected situations within the event that  were frustrating?
3. Did we have expected results? (AFTER)
a. Did all the audience get served? Were they satisfied?
b. Did any of them respond positively or negatively to the service?
c. Were they given the opportunity to  respond, either verbally or in writing?
d. Were the participants eager for the next event as they finished this one?
e. Which of our goals were revealed to be unrealistic?
f. Where are the wins, forward progress, improvements, or successes?

When I am acting in spiritual health, I can use this MMQ drill to make advances and enjoy ministry even more. But often the  exhaustion of ministry causes my spirit to crumble. When I am in spiritual unhealth, I must remind myself that I am not  responsible for results, for only the Holy Spirit is able to convict and change a person’s heart. I must remind myself that my  identity is not wrapped up in my performance. I must remind myself that I am not omniscient, omnipresent or omnipotent. I  must remind myself that I am not the target audience’s Savior or King. I am a humble servant. 

Therefore, a servant of Christ might think about adding some pieces to the before, during and after. 

  1. (BEFORE) Have I prayed enough for the event, the team, and the preparation of the audience? Have I asked for  God’s blessing on it all? 
  2. (DURING) Do all the methods, plans and goals align with God’s stated mission? Am I serving Christ by serving  others? Can they see the gospel and hear it through this ministry? 
  3. (AFTER) Am I stealing for myself any accolades or praise that belongs exclusively to God? Am I maintaining a proper  pace of ministry and including genuine rest afterwards? 

Questions are the currency of great leadership. We need to see the value in gathering information and listening carefully. I  pray that you will not only become a member at FBC@A, but that you will also find a place of ministry and service.  Evaluation will help you grow spiritually. MMQ can improve your service to others. I look forward to sharing with you the  things that I am going to learn at the Serve Boldly Training Conference next weekend!

Pastor Mike pastormike33@yahoo.com, 607.220.9911, 99 East Ave, Attica NY 14011