When it comes to running a ministry, I’m new. I have been a part of teams, I have helped pull off services, events, trainings, but the last year and a half I have had to learn some new habits in order for me as a leader to be most effective for my church, my team and my students. Take it for what it is worth but here are 4 things I have figured out are must have habits to lead effectively.

Pray – You would think this would be a “duh” one. But, I think it is the easiest to fall out of. We all have a pretty good understanding how to run services and plan events and I think the trap is that we plan and do this out of habit not because we want to be where God wants us to be. Jesus withdrew to pray alone with the Father. I love what Mark Batterson says, “We need to work like it depends on us and pray like it depends on God.” When I got into a lead role, I got busy. Demands are higher. Whether you just became the leader or you have been leading something for a while, business sneaks in and we need to remember that a habit we can’t afford to get out of is pray about everything. Soak it prayer. Drench in prayer like youth pastors drench ranch on a salad or pizza.

Time management – It’s unreal how quickly a day can get away from me when I don’t manage my time well. With so many adorable cat videos on the Internet and online debates, it can be really easy to get distracted. I found out one of the most important things I can do is manage my time well. It will only benefit…. Well…. Everyone. I blocked out my calendar, printed it out, gave it to my team and now, I only take meetings at certain times, have “closed door do not disturb” study times, and have times in the day where I check and respond to emails and my productivity has gone way up!

The ability to say “no” – When you lead, people will want things from you. I found out really early that I am somewhat of a people pleaser and I said, “yes” to a ton of things. Big mistake. I had to learn to say “no” and I have to say it’s been the best thing. Once you can get a hold of this, yes you might disappoint certain people, but for you as the leader, your ministry will be better off.

Communicate clearly – I also found out quickly that if you cast a muddy vision, your team is going to get muddy. A lot times I have found that when I think I was crystal clear, I was not. I end up thinking, “You should know what is in my head cause it makes sense.” I have had to learn how to communicate in a way that everyone will be able to see where we are going and how we plan to get there. One thing that has helped me is I write it down, print it out, give it to my supervisor or someone I trust, ask them to read it and poke holes in it, then I got back and refine it. After this, I can then communicate it better and clearer. People can get behind a clear vision and help move forward.


 Justin Knowles