If you are a children’s pastor, youth director, or next-gen leader, chances are you have asked yourself some version of the following questions.
How do I help my senior leader understand my vision?
Is there a way to get my senior leader to agree with me on this decision?
How do I get my senior leader to see things my way?
Part of leading a next-gen ministry is leading up to your senior leadership, so how do you have better conversations with your senior leader?
1) Think about the bigger picture.
Just like there are elements or dynamics of your job that your senior leadership may not fully understand, there are also elements of your pastor’s job that you may not be aware of or fully understand. It’s easy to look at your pastor and wonder why they made a particular decision. But other dynamics may be playing into that decision. Your senior pastor may be managing board dynamics, staffing issues, or budget restrictions. By understanding that they have to see the whole picture while you carry your ministry’s vision, you’ll be able to build a bridge and have better conversations.
Before presenting a new idea, try asking yourself these questions.
If I were in their shoes and position, what dynamics would play into this decision?
What information will they need to know?
How does this decision affect the church as a whole?
You will earn points with your leader when you show that you have thought beyond just your ministry.
2) Ask, don’t demand.
When you present new ideas, try posing them as questions. Use phrases like, “Would it be possible to” or “Would you be open to.” By asking questions instead of making demands, you start the conversation with less tension and leave more room to discuss the idea.
3) Try it as an experiment.
If you are making a significant change, ask for a trial period. Offer to try it for a few months and then re-evaluate if it doesn’t work. Not only does this demonstrate flexibility, but it also makes the decision less overwhelming.
4) Give your leader time.
Remember, there may be other dynamics that affect this decision. Your pastor may even have to run the decision by a board, elders, or other staff. By giving them time to think about it, they can make better decisions and will most likely feel more positive about the conversation in general.
All of these tips can help you have better conversations with your senior leadership. But one of the best things you can do is attend Orange Conference and invite them to Rethink Leadership Conference.
Why the Rethink Leadership Conference for my senior leader?
Rethink Leadership Conference is an event for senior leaders designed by senior leaders. There, they can connect with other pastors, focus on critical issues senior leaders face, and learn from leading researchers, pastors, and thought leaders. The goal is for everyone to leave Rethink Leadership Conference with an answer to one of the questions they are asking in their leadership and ministry. (Plus, Rethink Leadership Conference prioritizes casting vision for the importance of next-gen ministry, so this conference will be a win for you too.) You can grab a seat to this conference here!
(And why is Orange Conference great for ministry leaders? We have four solid reasons in the blog, Four Reasons Leaders Choose OC! Check it out!).
Not only will Orange Conference and Rethink Leadership Conference provide valuable insight to both of you (and your team), but they will also provide you with proximity. You will go to dinner, discuss sessions and have conversations during all the times in between. Chances are, they will begin to see your team in a whole new light. You can build a sense of team through this shared experience that you may not be able to create at home because you work in different spaces doing different things. I think you may be surprised by how big a difference two or three days can make.