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Ron Edmondson
CEO, Pastor, Church Consultant, Husband, Father, Friend
CEO, Pastor, Church Consultant, Husband, Father, Friend


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No leader sets out to frustrate their team. Yet, chances are we do it everyday. Or, at least we do it often. We are human. Every leader makes mistakes like everyone else does.

One of my favorite verses is in the book of James. “Elijah was a man just like us.” (James 5:17) The great prophet of God was human. Normal. Not perfect.

Thank you, God for the reminder I’m not supposed to be perfect.

There are, however, some common things, which cause frustrations on the teams we lead. If we can learn them – and attempt to avoid though – we can do less frustrating.

7 ways leaders frustrate their teams:
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I deal with a lot of new leaders. I’ve been one myself numerous times. In fact, I’m there again now. I’m the “new guy”. I don’t know as much about the organization I am supposed to lead as many of the people I’m supposed to be leading.

Starting as a leader is difficult regardless of the experience one has as a leader. Each time a leader is new there will be new experiences that challenge everything the leader knows or has experienced previously. It’s like you’re a rookie leader all over again.

But, just because a leader is new, doesn’t mean they have to make rookie mistakes.

I’ve watched new leaders who start strong, find success, and build a long-term healthy relationship. And, I’ve watched some new leaders shoot their proverbial foot and take years to recover — if they ever can.

What makes a new leaders beginning years successful? What are some hard lessons learned?

I seem to learn best from my mistakes and observing the mistakes of others.
Let me share a few I’ve made or seen.

7 rookie mistakes new leaders often make:

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Do you want to improve the relationships of your life?

Tremendously improve them. Every. Single. One.

Whether in business, ministry, marriage or friendships – whether you are a leader or serve on a team – if you improve in one area, every relationship of your life will improve. Guaranteed.

How, you ask?

I’ll tell you how.
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A leader’s most effective tool may be prayer.

For the Christian leader, especially, prayer should be critical to how we lead. I’m 54 and I’ve not mastered this yet – even though I know how powerful prayer is for the believer. Our leader, Jesus was always walking in prayer with the Father.

Jesus said I do nothing except what the Father tells me to do. So, when Jesus needed to feed the multitudes, he lifted up the bread and fish and prayed. Just before Jesus was about to be crucified – At the weakest point in His life we find Him praying.

Why? Because prayer taps into that relationship with God.

The power in prayer is not in the process of prayer, but the Person of prayer. Prayer takes us into the very Throne Room of God. Talk about power!

So, as Christian leaders, we need to pray. I thought with this post I might spur that in each of us by offering some good prayers for leaders to pray.

Here are 10 good prayers of an effective leader:
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In 16 years as a pastor, I learned two things well.

First, Sunday mornings are a stressful time for pastors.

Second, most people who attend church love their church – and love their pastor.

Combining those two, I want to help any way I can to make the Sunday morning experience the best it can be for my pastor friends and the church. I used to get asked frequently, “Pastor, is there anything you need me to do for you?” “Or how can I best support you?” I love those questions. I knew they always came from a sincere heart.

That’s the purpose of this post. Here are some easy ways you can help your pastor this Sunday morning.

I should note. I have been in churches which, for the most part, did each of these well.

Here are 7 ways you can help your pastor this Sunday:
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In my talks with pastors and ministry leaders, I have heard some repeated themes. One common theme is they have a story of a failed leadership experience. It may have happened in their first church. There was one church experience, perhaps with a program or a person,which turned from bad to worst. Or, many times it is in their current ministry and the reason for our conversation, which kept them from leading well.

When they have recovered from the experience, looking back, they wish they had known then what they know now. You’ve probably got some of those learning experiences too. It may have been an incident or the entire time in a particular ministry, but there were critical errors, which kept you and the church from accomplishing all God had for you. There were errors in leadership.
Obviously, the main, and most damaging, reasons a pastor doesn’t lead well are always spiritual more than practical. Jesus is the leader of His church and if we follow His instructions the church will ultimately be led well. We are to listen and obey the voice of God – first and foremost. But, God gave us minds and experiences, and we must not ignore the practical aspects of good leadership.

Here’s my question. Why don’t we do a better job as pastors and leaders at learning from each other?

I’ve reflected back on some of those conversations and there are literal words I have heard consistently over time. I want to share them in hopes we can learn from others.

Here are 7 things I’ve repeatedly heard, which kept a pastor from leading well:
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In my new role with Leadership Network, encouraging pastors is one of the best parts of my job. In 16 years of pastoring I learned the job can be an emotional roller coaster at times.

You have a great Sunday and then the critics seem to come out on Monday morning. Or Sunday walking out of church. Or, and you have to be a pastor to understand this one, but it could happen just before you walk behind the podium to preach.

You have your week planned and numerous crises happen in the same week – and your “day off” is now going to be spent preparing for Sunday. (And, don’t Sundays seem to come around often.)

It seems you can never get ahead and you’re always playing catch-up with your “to do” list.
It’s life. It’s ministry. It’s normal. And, I understand it’s not just for pastors, but I’ve been in business, government and now non-profit and pastoring is unique in it’s demands.

Some days are always better than others, but learning how to deal with the highs and lows is a major key in sustaining yourself for ministry long-term.

How do you do that, pastor?

Here are four suggestions, which helped me:
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I’ve spent more than 15 years studying church growth – and church decline. I am frequently asked, especially by pastors in declining churches, what keeps a church from growing – what causes a church to decline.

In my observation, talking to dozens of pastors who struggle to get their church growing again, there are some common issues among them, of which I think we can all learn. I’m a simple person, so this post will answer simply.

Here are 5 words which can keep a church from growing:
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Team idleness

Team idleness is a term I use to describe when a team is failing to move forward towards its desired goals and objectives. Team idleness does not always mean the wrong people are on the team, although it certainly could. It doesn’t always mean the team has the wrong goals and objectives or the goals and objectives are unrealistic, but of course it could.

But, the term simply means things have stalled. Team idleness means for a span of time there is no — or very little – forward progress for the team. It could be a month or several months. Things aren’t desperate; at least not yet. They’ve simply slowed.

Every team, regardless of their health, can go through times of team idleness.

I have witnessed team idleness many times in organizations with which I have been associated – in business and in the church. I can assure you most teams will deal with team idleness at various times through the life of the team.

What causes team idleness? What causes a team to stagnate?

Here are a 7 thoughts – with a few tips along the way:
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Are the routines and details of your life getting you down?
Is the direction of your life not turning out as you planned?
Are you stressing so much about things that are happening — or not happening — that you can’t enjoy the good things already in your life?
Do you continually compare yourself to others?

Here’s one suggestion I have learned the hard way to better enjoy life (and leadership):
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