It’s easy to think you don’t need it. Whether it’s a strengths assessment, personality test, or leadership seminar, it’s easy to either feel like it isn’t worth the investment or that things are just fine the way they are. But things aren’t that easy. The reality is (if 2020 taught us anything) that things change. They always do, and hopefully, as a pastor, you’ll be prepared. So, here are 7 reasons why pastors like you should invest in personal development resources.
When it comes to personal growth, you either progress or regress. There is no standing still. Hebrews 12:1-2 calls us to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith…” So run! Don’t let yourself stagnate. In order to do that, the author of Hebrews calls us to lay aside sin, but also every weight. By investing in a seminar, reading material, or mentorship program, your load will be drastically lightened so that you can run with endurance.
The world is changing fast, and whether or not you grow and adapt is up to you. Too many churches and their leaders have refused to acknowledge the rate of change in our society and our world. As a result, their ability to reach their communities is greatly diminished, and many of those churches even die as a result. This phenomenon can often be directly attributed to a lack of leadership. Avoid this fate and be someone who can develop and learn to lead in a rapidly changing landscape.
People come to church looking to build relationships. They’re looking for community, and that starts with one-on-one interactions that ultimately lead to discipleship. As a pastor, you have a responsibility to be an adept relationship builder. Unfortunately, many people are not born with this gift. In such cases, it must be developed through careful evaluation and training. So, invest in those things to become more relational!
An anonymous woodsman was once asked, “What would you do if you had just five minutes to chop down a tree?” He answered, saying, “I would spend the first two-and-a-half minutes sharpening my ax.” The point is that, given any task, execution is equally as important and also dependent on preparation. If your task is being an effective leader, you can’t just launch into action and expect everything to pan out. You have to prepare, and you have to take the time to develop those skills. Why wouldn’t you invest in resources that could help you do just that?
It’s common sense: if you suffocate to death then you won’t be able to help the person next to you. As a pastor, you have to develop yourself so that you can help other people develop. It’s more difficult to disciple others when you’re not the best version of yourself. And you can’t be the best version of yourself without some help.
A church can’t be healthier than its pastor. It’s just not possible. By virtue of your role as a teacher and leader, your congregation will likely inherit many of your blind spots. Becoming more aware of those and other tendencies will benefit you and them. To do that, try investing in a personality assessment or related reading material.
You are the shepherd of your congregation. If you don’t know where you’re going, then your sheep won’t get anywhere either. Get a vision and a plan for your life that will translate directly into the ministry that you do every day. In order to do this, invest in a training/mentorship program or seminar that can walk you through the process of creating a life plan.
In conclusion, an investment in personal development is worth it, especially for a pastor. Seek help to develop your vision, road map, or life plan. Gain valuable insights into your own personal strengths and weaknesses. Consume reading and listening material that makes you a better leader. Maybe attend a seminar. Whatever the form, personal development is essential for individual growth and for cultivating better leaders, and who doesn’t want that?