If you are a creative person or one of those leaders who dream a lot; then this post is for you. In most cases you might have a pastor whose door is always open and therefore always willing to dream with you. But in other cases you might be working in a church where one must schedule a meeting with their pastor. Whether you schedule a discussion or have an informal chat, sharing new ideas and getting approval can be a challenge. Here are three steps to ensure your idea gets a “thumbs up” from the pastor:
Make sure you connect the idea with the vision. The lead pastor is usually a big picture person. For that reason, your idea must connect with the overall vision of the church. How does this idea move the church forward? How will this idea keep the church on vision? Does this idea strengthen the church’s vision? Explain how your idea points to the vision of the church. Ideas that point away or distract a church from the vision will end up unraveling the DNA of the church and deteriorate its effectiveness.
Work with your pastor. If you’ve been in leadership long enough you will know that your ideas will be revised and altered. In many cases this is great, and you must remain flexible and open to receive input from your pastor. Listen to your pastor; he sits in that chair for a reason. Just because the pastor asks questions, pokes and prods your idea doesn’t mean it will not fly. Don’t be defensive…listen.
Build a team. After receiving primary approval, your pastor might ask you to begin working out the details and establish a game plan for implementing a new idea. This is where you bring in a team of the right people. Lead pastors want to see that your idea has been reviewed and discussed with a team…especially a team that will be implementing the idea. The type of team you build will make a difference on whether you will see a thumbs up or a thumbs down.
Until your idea is executed, there is always a potential for it to be shut down by the lead pastor. It’s a process to move from an idea to a result. It’s important to continually massage and develop the idea to a proficient outcome. Do you have any tips for gaining approval of new ideas from your lead pastor?
Side Note: Some pastors wield authority inappropriately – to the point that they reject or dismiss any ideas they didn’t come up with themselves. These types of leaders ask for complete compliance and develop an environment built on micromanagement. If you are in this situation be in prayer, continue to do what is asked of you until you desire to seek out another opportunity that can utilize your gifts, talents and passions.