How To Shift Priorities by Jeff Henderson

At the Orange Conference in Atlanta, Charles Dishinger, the Executive Pastor of Gateway Church in Austin and I went to several of the breakouts for senior pastors.

Jeff Henderson from Gwinnett Church which is part of North Point Ministries shared about “Shifting Priorities.” Here are some of his thoughts:

“The main thing is keeping the main thing the main thing.” – Dan Cathy of Chick-Fil-A

The senior pastor has the role of keeping the church focused on her mission.

We never drift toward focus.

We drift away from purpose.

Too many people have used their spirituality as an excuse for their laziness.

Our mission needs to be constant re-alignment.

Often our churches struggle because of a heart issue but a systems issue. It’s not about motivation. It’s about memory.

We have to ask this consistently and systematically: Why am I doing this?

If our volunteers burning out, it could be that we have stopped talking about why we do what we do and instead talked too much about what to do and how to do it.

Learn to have an intentional time of growth with quarterly half-days:

  • Working on it, not in it.
  • Iron sharpens iron.
  • Be around people who challenge, inspire, and make me feel uncomfortable.

Give yourself permission to reflect on what happened and prepare for what is coming next.

Learn to have an intentional time of growth with a weekly focus:

  • Strategic relationships (entrust those who are not strategic to your mission to others on your team)
  • Weekly Milestones
  • Review and grade the previous week.
  • What are the top 3 things I want to accomplish?

Priorities will slip and shift. My responsibility is to shift them back.

To lead people who are not systems thinkers, don’t try to get them to become systems thinkers but to talk them through priorities and creating a space for preparation. (See Onward by Howard Schultz and Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky).

To keep priorities shift, tell stories. Find stories that illustrate your purpose and share them!

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