7 Tips to Make Ministers More Professional

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Recently, I had a conversation with a friend about our observation that pastoral ministry has swung in a direction further and further from professionalism. P     art of this has to do with John Piper’s book, Brothers, We Are Not Professionals. This is the most poorly titled book in pastoral ministry. BROTHERS, WE SHOULD BE PROFESSIONALS.


I’m not writing this coming from the angle of promoting CEO pastoral ministry. I’m writing from the perspective of having excellence in how we lead churches. We’re involved in serious stuff. Heaven and hell are on the line.


Let’s have more urgency. Let’s be buttoned up. Flippantly entering a day filled with spiritual warfare and eternity-shifting activity should involve professionalism from the key leaders of churches.


  1. Dress with excellence.


It is hard for people to take you seriously if your clothes are wrinkled, unkempt, not matching, and sloppy. Shine your shoes. Make sure your clothes fit properly. Make sure your clothing does nothing but help your ability to lead the church forward.


  1. Quit being so sarcastic.


The growth of social media has led to the growth of the acceptance of sarcasm. A little dab is about all I can take of this. More than that, it comes across as unprofessional and rude.


The Bible even tells us to be really careful with sarcasm. Proverbs 26:18–19 says, 18 Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death 19 is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I am only joking!”


  1. Use proper grammar.


Common phrases of improper grammar such as, “I’m doing good,” or “Where are you at?” just make people think you don’t know about what you are speaking. Therefore, how could they take you seriously when talking about Jesus?


  1. Be prepared.


When you enter a meeting, come with printed materials covering all of the bases of your area of leadership for all parties in the gathering. When you look at your calendar or task list for what is on the agenda for the week, cover every detail you can so that you know and show that you’re ready to reach more people and move the church forward.


  1. Follow-up with people promptly.


If someone emails you, then reply within 24 hours. If you need some help with developing a system for emails, I encourage you to look at mine.


If someone texts or calls you, return their correspondence before you go to bed. If you don’t have time for a full text or phone conversation, at least let them know you will call them back the following day so they know you acknowledge them and they’re important to you.


I’ve found that Sunday mornings are a time when a lot of people will tell me little prayer requests, ideas, or desires. I write all of these things down in my phone, then seek to follow-up with them that afternoon or the following day.


  1. Keep your office and car tidy and clean.


If you walk into someone’s office or get into their car, and it is a mess, it causes people to be distracted. Remove the distraction. Get rid of anything that deters people from focusing on where you’re trying to lead them.


  1. Be early.


Tardiness is the epitome of expressing to people, through your actions, that you believe your time is more valuable than their time. We all know there are occasional extenuating circumstances, but if you have a habit of being late, it causes people to not want to follow your leadership. It undermines your authority.


I have not fully grasped or perfected these seven tips. I’m a work in progress (just like you). However, these are areas where we could all seek to improve in order to move to another level of excellence to reach our respective communities, America, and the world for Jesus Christ.

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