Summer’s almost over. It’s two-and-a-half weeks until Labor Day (sorry to say). And unless you’re taking a late-summer vacation, you’re probably getting ready for fall. And fall rolls into the holidays, and before you know it, it’s 2017.
Here’s something to consider in these next weeks: make intentional time to connect with people – before the busyness starts up again. Strong relationships are central to ministry success, and I have three ways for you to set a solid foundation for relationships in these last few weeks of summer.
- Connect with key leaders. Before the usual round of meetings begin, spend some time with one or two leaders. Try something new: go to a ball game with your congregation president, or meet your treasurer for lunch, and don’t talk about money. Do something that is fun for both of you. Simply say, “We always talk about church, and I’d like to simply get together for fun.” Whatever you do together, it will help support your work this next year.
- Schedule the visits you’ve been putting off. Most pastors have a backlog of pastoral visits. Even if you don’t do a lot of visitation, I’ll bet you have a list of people that nags at you. Before your schedule heats up for fall, make a couple of those visits, or at least make some phone calls. Good pastoral care, while worthy in itself, also is like money in the bank for leadership. It builds credibility. Catch up a bit; it will energize you (and your people).
- Connect with a friend outside the church. Who is someone you’ve been meaning to get together with all summer? Do it now. It won’t get any easier in September, or December. To keep yourself going through the year you need friends outside your congregation. Get together for coffee, go for a walk, treat them to lunch, or even schedule a Skype talk or phone call with your closest friend, wherever they are.
Remember: Don’t feel like you “ought” to do all of these before fall. Pick one that energizes you or attracts you, and knock it out. It will be worth it!
Here’s a question to ask yourself:
Who can I connect with in the next two weeks who gives me energy for the upcoming months?
And here’s a question to answer RIGHT NOW in the comment section:
What are the best ways you find to stay in touch with your key leaders?