The One Question Pastors Need To Be Asking
I want to tell you about someone who has become a good friend of mine.Â Matt SteenÂ is a church consultant and runs an organization called Church Simple.Â After years of serving on church staff, he have learned one thing: ministry is hard work! Pastors are required to oversee not only the ministry aspects of congregational life, but the business aspects as well.Â
Matt exists toÂ help in that area.Â His years of experience within churches and church plants has givenÂ him the knowledge and relationships needed to help church leaders simplify their lives and focus on what God has called them to do.
I am privileged to have him as a guest blogger this week.Â I hope you enjoy his thoughts and insights.Â Also, if you need help refining yourÂ ministry plan, pleaseÂ connect with him here.Â
“A few weeks ago I was sitting in a gathering of local church leaders who were learning from one another. As one pastor shared about what his church was doing, and how they were pursuing the vision that God had given them, another pastor raised their hand and began asking a bunch of questions that started with the word how. As I listened to the dialog my mind started screaming “you’re asking the wrong question!”
Now that we are waist-deep into September, we are also coming into high season for church leadership conferences. Over the next few months conferences like Movement Day and Catalyst will be taking place, and church leaders from all over the country will be coming together in an attempt to strengthen their churches and lead in a way that works to expand God’s Kingdom. Whether we are headed to a national conference, or grabbing coffee with a colleague to talk church, it serves us well to stop and ask “am I asking the right questions?”
So often church leaders will head to a conference, and come back with a ton of notes, a great deal of excitement, and all sorts of energy… until two weeks later when we have a binder full of notes sitting on the edge of our desk what we try to avoid looking at (can I get an Amen?). I am convinced that the reason for this is that we are asking the wrong questions as we sit in these conferences… instead of asking, and taking notes on, the how’s of ministry, what if we instead began to incessantly ask why?
How gives you methodologies and programs.
Why gives you philosophy.
Not knowing why you are doing something makes your how irrelevant.
Regularly asking how is a great way to start a bunch of programs in your church. Asking why allows you to refine the list of programs offered by your church, focusing on those that are specifically designed to bear fruit in your unique context. Asking how gives you instructions on how a mega-church located in the suburbs 1000 miles away does ministry. Asking why helps you decide whether a ministry that is appropriate for the suburbs 1000 miles away is appropriate for a church for your church (which might be suburban, urban, or rural).
One of the core values of Church Simple is helping church leaders ask why before how. Whether it is in our coaching cohorts, or in a one on one setting, we work to help church leaders better understand how their unique context and calling work together to help each local church develop their own answer to the question why do we exist, and then develop the how require to fulfill their vision.
Why does YOUR church exist?
I’d love to help you wrestle through your why and how questions. Shoot me a message and let’s talk a little bit about your story, and where you think God is calling you!”
Subscribe here so future posts can be sent directly to your Inbox. Also, as a gift for doing so, I will also send you a FREE copy of my latest eBook 151 Leadership Quotes: Timeless Truths That Will Make You A Better Leader.