Are We Training Pastors For Jobs That No Longer Exist?

I spent much of this summer interviewing thought leaders about what is next for church and community, getting ready for The Next Sunday Summit. Throughout the Summit, I connected with participants, listened to their reactions, and we brainstormed about the future of church.


One thing I heard, loud and clear, is that we need better tools, training, and metrics to create and sustain community. Many leaders have gone the route of seminary and yet feel they need something more, something different to meet the needs of their community, their tribe, and their people to be relevant today and into the future.


We also agreed that while the new tools will not likely be another $50,000+ degree… they will cost something. As leaders, we will need to think about the value of innovative tools. What will be the return on our investment for the commitment of our time, our energy, our funds… and the commitment of our communities? Or perhaps a more important question is, “What is the cost of NOT investing in ourselves and our communities?”


I challenge you to consider what you need to support you on your journey as a church leader. Set aside some funds and carve out some time. Get a commitment from your community to experiment – to learn, try, fail forward, and experiment again. And if you are looking for support from a training provider, look for these things:

  • They have a track record in innovation
  • They have a proven set of tools for learning, experimentation, and measurement
  • They embrace experimentation in a way that minimizes the risks to you and your church or community
  • And your “training” shouldn’t absorb a huge amount of your time. Yes, you will need to carve out time for training, but it should be on the order of 20% of your time, not 80%.

So where are you at on your journey? Like many of The Next Sunday Summit participants, are you hungry for new ways to lead and engage your church community? Take a minute to think about where you want to be a year from now. What return do you want on your investment of time, money, and energy? And, what is the cost of inaction? If you don’t retool, can you and your church survive another year of the same old thing?

I would love to hear what you are experiencing and experimenting with.



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