Executive Pastors: 4 Ways Jesus Did More with Less

As executive pastor of your church, you’re a person who knows how to get things done. You’re detail-oriented and task-driven, but you also know how to motivate people and measure results.

Because of your diverse strengths, you wear a lot of hats. Your roles may range from managing staff and overseeing building operations to ministering to pastors and handling requests from needy neighbors to executing longterm strategies.

You may not feel up to the superhuman task before you. At times, you may feel alone in facing all that’s needed against the backdrop of resources that – you know all too well – are limited.

But in truth, you’re in good company. Jesus once lamented, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” Modern translation: Too much to do, not enough time/resources/help. He went on to say, “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”[1]

In other words, pray. That’s exactly what Jesus did when he went looking for workers, according to Luke 6. He spent the night praying on a mountainside before selecting a handful of fishermen, a tax collector, a political fanatic, a skeptic, and a few other unlikely candidates to be his closest friends and helpers.

What are some other ways Jesus responded to limited time and resources? Perhaps some familiar reminders will encourage you:

1. Give thanks.

We all know the story of Jesus being stuck in the middle of nowhere with more than 5,000 hungry people. But he thanked God for the boy-sized lunch he had to work with and trusted the outcome to his heavenly father. Results: more than enough to feed the multitude was supplied.[2]

Need your time to stretch? Dealing with staff conflict? Struggling with fatigue or discouragement? Start by focusing on and expressing gratitude for the resources you DO have.

 2. Accept help from unlikely places.

One can only wonder what it was like for Jesus, a skilled carpenter, to be supported financially by an entourage of women. In a time and culture where women were clearly inferior, Luke credits them as a primary source of livelihood for Jesus and his disciples. Among this motley crew of donors were Mary Magdalene, who’d been delivered by Jesus from seven demons; and Joanna, the wife of a high official under Herod.[3]

The balance of church demographics is tipped toward more women than men, many of whom are looking for places to serve. Perhaps you could recruit a small team of volunteers specifically for serving in the areas you most need assistance.

3. Empower those around you.

By the time Jesus sent out the Twelve to announce his kingdom and heal the sick, they’d listened to his teaching, watched him raise the dead, and witnessed a stormy sea calm down at his command. During his time on earth, Jesus equipped and entrusted his disciples with opportunities to practice his ways, spread his message, and even suffer some of his rejection.[4]

It can be tempting to fall into the mindset that “if it is to be, it is up to me.” Resist! Bringing others into the process (the good, the bad and the ugly) not only helps share the load, but also is a form of discipleship.

4. Make use of the best tools for the job.

Jesus was a story-teller and the best tools for his trade were fish, fig trees, well-known traditions, or the people around him. Connecting with his listeners was easy when he communicated using things they knew and understood.

For you, that will include technology, connecting with people in the ways they communicate nowadays. [Shameless plug:] It also means making use of church management software that:

  • Maximizes your resources
  • Helps you be organized and efficient in your operations and services
  • Allows you to discern the effectiveness of programs through reporting functions
  • Saves you time and money with automated features
  • Lets you oversee the spiritual and numeric growth of your congregation

[1] Matthew 9:37-38

[2] John 6:1-14

[3] Luke 8:2-3

[4] From Luke , chapters 7-10

[5] From Luke 4