In his address last week to North Georgia’s Wesleyan Covenant Renewal Movement, Dr. John Ed Mathison focused not only on seven concerns about the United Methodist Church, but on six specific ways pastors can become more intentional about make a lasting difference in the lives of others.
First, Dr. Mathison called on pastors to be intentional about “duplicating” themselves by mentoring young people.
“I wish I had done that more [earlier in my ministry],” he said. “Spend some time finding young people in your local church that you can help encourage and give direction to.”
A second way pastors can make lasting difference is by providing a training ground for staff people who can ultimately go on and lead ministry in other churches. “Every one of us ought to be doing something that can be duplicated somewhere else,” he said. “The largest attended worship in [the] North Alabama [Conference] — the worship leaders came out of Frazer and were trained there.”
Third, Dr. Mathison urged experienced pastors to mentor younger pastors, helping them understand matters such as how to build a leadership team. “In my opinion, friends, [the Committee on Nominations and Leadership Development is] the most important committee in the church that the pastor works with — because if you don’t nominate the right folks to be leaders…you’re not going to go very far as a church,” he noted. “A young pastor needs to know that.”
Fourth, John Ed Mathison said pastors can make a difference by being be risk takers. “Leaders are folks who’ve got to be out front,” he said. “[You’ve] got to take some risks.”
A fifth area where pastors can demonstrate intentional leadership is by not succumbing to the “you-can’t-do-that” mindset that is characteristic of modern United Methodist culture. “I’d like to see a culture of: ‘If God’s leading you to do it, try it!'” he said.
Lastly, Dr. Mathison urged United Methodist pastors to get to know pastors and leaders in other churches. “We don’t have a corner on the gospel,” he noted. “Good leaders know how to network with other folks…. If we can work with other people, unbelievable things can happen.”
Use the audio player below to listen to the portion of Dr. John Ed Mathison’s address described above (9 min.). Or download an mp3 of his entire address (6.5MB | 28 min.).
John Ed Mathison spoke to the Wesleyan Covenant Renewal Movement at Norcross (Ga.) First United Methodist Church.
The Wesleyan Covenant Renewal Movement, a group of theologically conservative pastors and leaders in the North Georgia Conference, was founded in 2004 to “promote the presence of leadership within the Conference…committed to the renewal of historic Wesleyan standards and Biblical authority.”
An October 2008 statement describing the WCRM is here (PDF).
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