Top 4 skill sets every pastor needs to develop

September 23, 2022

Growth never comes without challenges. As a pastor, you’re faced with an ever-changing landscape that may have caused you to rethink your calling as it becomes more difficult to meet the needs of your congregation. You’ve done your best to survive these challenges by learning new tactics and strategies to adapt to the complex and changing world around you.

Skills are learned through study, refined by experience, and perfected through dedication. Whether you’ve pastored for ages or are just getting started, you should always be investing in new ways to make your work more relevant, impactful, and fruitful.

But what are the most needed skillsets for pastors today?

4 skills pastors need to invest in to be more effective

Pastors demonstrate how much they value their leadership roles by how much they invest in developing their skills. A recent survey of 1,000 pastors revealed four skills pastors say are needed to overcome today’s challenges and lead a healthy church. Let's take a look at each of these, why they’re important, and the resources that are available for improving those skills.

1. Disciple-making

Discipleship is the lifelong process of becoming more like Jesus. For over 2,000 years, it’s been at the core of the Church’s mission to fulfill the Great Commission—so why is it such a challenge today?

First of all, discipleship takes time. Jesus dedicated nearly all of his earthly ministry building up his disciples by teaching, traveling, and doing life with them. Today’s pastors often struggle with time management. Between writing sermons, counseling, and other (often unplanned) ministry duties, pastors often have limited time left over for one-on-one discipleship.

Secondly, discipleship requires engagement. Discipleship won’t happen all by itself. Effective discipleship requires providing your congregation with engaging discipleship resources to increase understanding and retention. 63% of church members want their churches to provide more digital discipleship resources (such as podcasts, videos, or blogs) that help them mature spiritually.

Lastly, discipleship requires relationship. Jesus provided the ultimate example of how to build disciples, and it was centered around relationships. Spending one-on-one time with a person at a coffee shop, on a walk, or just hanging out will provide many more insights about that person, identify potential areas of growth, and also build trust in the relationship between disciple and leader.



2. Technology

One year before the pandemic, pastors reported that their lowest priority was "keeping up with the latest digital and technological trends.” However, the pandemic shutdowns reversed that as it forced churches to quickly adopt digital tools such as websites, live streaming. and online giving.

Technology, however, is often complicated, and complexity is an enemy that quickly steals away our time, energy, and joy. Learning how to use and manage several platforms for social media, giving, streaming, websites, and church management software (ChMS) can be overwhelming. Having a unified platform such as Subsplash One brings together all of these digital tools on one single platform, simplifying and streamlining technology for you and your teams.




3. Leadership

Every pastor is called to leadership, but not every pastor is properly equipped to lead. It’s a skill that requires humility, dedication, and a lifetime of learning to master. As an aspiring high-capacity leader, you should focus on these six foundational practices:

  1. Vision casting: Create a vision that inspires and challenges your staff and volunteers to reach new levels of excellence
  2. Strategizing: Establish a clear strategy based on your vision with S.M.A.R.T. goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound)
  3. Team building: Recruit and build up a team of amazing people that align with your vision and are dedicated to implementing your strategies
  4. Critical thinking: Objectively analyze and evaluate your team’s performance and discover where improvements can be made
  5. Innovating: Work with your team to come up with creative solutions that improve your processes and bring more results
  6. Self improving: Part of being a good leader is taking time to study about leadership, developing your sense of self-awareness, and seeking honest feedback from people around you


4. Communication

Have you ever said something that was misunderstood? Or sent a text that someone misinterpreted? It’s one thing to say something; it’s another thing to say something in a way that clearly communicates your message.

As a pastor, communication is an essential skill that can either enhance or diminish your effectiveness in preaching sermons, counseling people, and leading your teams. Poor pastoral communication can lead to missed deadlines, hurt feelings, lower morale, higher turnover, and less productivity. On the other hand, good communication inspires people, simplifies operations, brings hope, and helps people embrace the vision of your church.

Everyone has their own communication styles and preferred methods. To successfully communicate in the modern world requires you to learn how to use technology such as texting (SMS), instant messaging, push notifications, podcasts, and live streaming.


Give yourself more time to develop pastoral skills

Complexity is the enemy of effectiveness. For example, using several complex ministry tools for managing your discipleship, technology, leadership, and communication processes can steal away your time while adding to your frustration.

For example, perhaps you’re using a church management system (ChMS) for membership information, two or three services to send messages (like text messages, Facebook Messaging, and Mailchimp), and several calendars to coordinate events (like Google calendars, Facebook events, etc.) Trying to manage all of these separate tools is difficult with a large number of full time staff, yet alone if your staff consists of yourself, your spouse, and maybe one or two volunteers.

Subsplash One is the unified platform that engages your congregation, lets you know who your people are, communicate effectively, and encourage generosity with a suite of powerful digital tools such as:

Fill out the form below for your free demo to discover how unifying your digital tools on the same platform makes it simple to know, grow, and engage your community. Do more with less and give yourself more time to invest in what matters most!


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