“The best thing about ministry is the people.  The worst thing about the ministry is the people.” – Unknown

Does your pastor truly love people?  If you are a pastor reading this you are probably thinking, “Of course I do.”  But I talk to dozens of people who would say otherwise.  They would say that while their pastor is an incredibly gifted communicator or administrator, he simply does not love his people.

Last week, I had the privilege of joining two of America’s greatest pastors, Dr. Johnny Hunt of First Baptist Church Woodstock (Ga) and Mike Linch of NorthStar Church in Kennesaw, GA, to serve pastors and church leaders in a two-day event called Capital Campaign University.  Mike delivered the opening devotion while Pastor Johnny was the first evening’s dinner speaker.  Notes from their sessions can be found HERE and HERE.

What I took way from my time with both pastors was how much they genuinely love people.  Loving people literally oozes from each man.  Their genuine care and concern for others is absolutely contagious.

The following are 12 Practices Of Highly Successful Pastors Who Love People I gleaned from my time with these two amazing leaders:

  1. Highly Successful Pastors Who Love People Can’t Fake It – You cannot fake loving people.  You either do or you don’t.  And the reality is, your congregation knows if you love them or not.
  2. Highly Successful Pastors Who Love People Pray For People Early And Often – I arrived at the venue while it was still dark and there was Mike praying in his office.  When you know your pastor is praying for you, a unique confidence and sense of security sets in.
  3. Highly Successful Pastors Who Love People Look For Opportunities To Serve People – NorthStar Church generously provided their facilities to serve these pastors and church leaders.
  4. Highly Successful Pastors Who Love People Teach God’s Word – Experienced leaders have heard countless inspirational messages.  There is a time and place for these but the only thing which has lasting value is The Word of God. Mike gave an incredible message on overcoming the giants in your life.
  5. Highly Successful Pastors Who Love People Are Accessible – As Mike was delivering his devotional, he came off the platform to walk amongst the people and conduct a Q&A with them.  This was not a theatrical moment for Mike.  This was his personality coming through.
  6. Highly Successful Pastors Who Love People Give Their People Hope – The people in our churches are dying for hope and inspiration.  I have never read an account of anyone in the Bible God called to an easy task.  Life can be very, very hard.  Mike was very intentional to provide hope for those facing a difficult assignments.
  7. Highly Successful Pastors Who Love People Can’t Wait To Talk To People – Day 1 concluded with a dinner featuring Pastor Johnny as the guest speaker.  He arrived early and immediately began going to various tables to speak with the pastors and church leaders.
  8. Highly Successful Pastors Who Love People Are Generous – In addition to being generous with his time, Pastor Johnny provided each attendee with four complimentary resources including his three most recent books.
  9. Highly Successful Pastors Who Love People Are Humble – Arrogance and love cannot occupy the same space.  Pastor Johnny is one of the most recognized and successful pastors in America.  However, he spent his time encouraging those in attendance with stories from his humble beginnings.
  10. Highly Successful Pastors Who Love People Want To Bring Out The Best In Their People – Pastor Johnny’s message on generosity was both convicting and challenging.  God used him to make us better leaders who could more effectively serve those in our churches.
  11. Highly Successful Pastors Who Love People Do So Naturally – It is hard to find pastors who love people in their office.  They want to be with the people.  They cannot help it.  During the Day 2 lunch, Mike returned and began speaking with those in attendance.  This was completely unexpected and unplanned but since Mike loves people, what else would he be doing?
  12. Highly Successful Pastors Who Love People Generously Share Their Knowledge – Mike’s conversations ranged from facility use, how to impact your community, and baseball recruiting.  He connected deeply on a relational level.  This was an added bonus and a special treat for these pastors and church leaders.

I am proud to call both Dr. Johnny Hunt and Mike Linch dear friends.  They are two of the finest pastors and men I have ever met.  They challenge me to be a better Christian and leader.

I gathered a lot of knowledge from them over two days as I always do.  But what I learned most was about how to treat people.  Pastor Johnny and Mike, it was truly a privilege to serve alongside you.  I can’t wait to do it again!!!

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