“You’ll do it because I’m your boss.” For some reason, this statement motivated a previous generation.
However, in this post modern world, this kind of statement is a sure-fire way to get a team member to quit. Note, I said “team member“.
The above statement should be issued ten-fold for anyone in charge of directing a youth pastor, children’s pastor, worship pastor and any other ministry worker. Heed my warning, DO NOT use the word boss in reference to yourself within a ministry context! If you desire to motivate your team, you need to be a coach, not a boss.
Let’s break that down for a moment. A coach has to motivate a team of people, who are working super hard for free! Yes, professional athletes receive payment for their work; but in my opinion, that’s why most of them lose their heart for the sport.
An athlete earning a pittance of a salary with the hopes of greater things to come, seems to work harder than anyone who has already arrived. Ex. The Calgary Hitmen vs.The Calgary Flames…Hitmen Hockey is just better entertainment.
For you, the senior ministry leader, your team also generally works on a pittance of a salary. (Yes, you do too; but your leading this team so suck it up buttercup.) You’re in this now. Raise the standard and motivate us; or resign. We’re here to follow you!
Here’s three reasons why coaches make the best pastors:
1. Coaches acknowledge extra effort. Even when the slightest display of hard work or extra effort is given, coaches are excellent at recognizing it and in turn, acknowledging it. Granted hearing “at a boy” from a senior pastor, followed by a slap on the rear might feel a little awkward, but you get the idea.
2. Coaches celebrate wins with pride. When a milestone has been hit, the pride of a coach doesn’t sit with self-gratification. Jubilant celebration is given over to the team. It’s not about what a great coach he or she is; it’s about how hard the team worked to achieve that win.
3. Coaches rise out of defeat. This is when a coach really shines. When moral is low and everything seems against the team, a coach does not cocoon himself in his office. He gathers the team, looks them straight in the eye, takes ownership of the defeat, then rallies them back to greatness. A coach is able to take all the value and self-worth that has been lost through defeat, and bring it back to the fore-front of his team with a vengeance. The team is empowered and ready to fight another day!
Now I realize that I picked on senior ministry leaders today; but this really goes for all of us as leaders. Look over these three reasons and ask yourself whether or not you have been effectively coaching your team. If not, it’s time for everyone to take a knee, it’s time for you to accept responsibility and lay out a new game plan. “At a boy!“
Why do you think coaches make great pastors?