Five Leadership Resolutions for Your Church in 2023

New Year’s resolutions are often self-focused. It’s understandable. Successful people often reflect on who they are. They try to be more self-aware, and they desire to develop themselves. So, good leaders often make resolutions involving individual goals, desires, and objectives.

But what about the people around you? Good pastors will consider those around them. This year, rather than making resolutions about you, make them about the people around you. Here are five areas to consider in making specific leadership resolutions that benefit your church members this year.

Serve first. Everyone in an organization, from top to bottom, serves the mission. As a leader, you cannot serve the mission without serving others. The best leaders are passionate about a mission, and they are willing to serve others who join them on that mission.

These leaders realize organizational and individual goals cannot be attained with an attitude of “me first.” Leaders who show the way by serving others (as opposed to being self-serving) help create a culture of sacrifice for a mission. Resolve this year to serve the mission by serving your church members and staff.

Simplify work. Many people look for ways to simplify their lives this time of year. But the mantra to simplify lasts about a month before the complexities of life sneak in by Groundhog Day. One of the best gifts a leader can give followers is simplicity. Complexity may dominate your followers’ lives in every way, but you can grant them simplicity in the one area in which you have control. Managers who simplify work for their subordinates often create more work for themselves. Resolve this year to simplify for your followers, even if it means more complexity for you.

Release problems. Some problems are unsolvable. This dilemma becomes a significant hurdle for leaders who have an innate desire to fix everything. Unfortunately, idealistic leaders will often present good solutions to the wrong problems.

Sometimes the “best” solution will not work. In some instances, followers may never grasp the best solution. Let it go. Leaders serve people, not ideals. Resolve this year to release your church members and staff from the burden of idealistic solutions to unsolvable problems.

Yield preferences. Most followers have a keen radar for the personal preferences of a leader, especially when these preferences are spun as vision. Leaders have positional authority over followers, and those in charge have more opportunities to voice opinions and vocalize what they like.

The best pastors find ways to create a collective vision with input from various church members. They do not champion their preferences as the vision for all. Resolve this year to yield your personal preferences and build a collective vision from a variety of followers.

Recognize pride. Humility is the most difficult leadership trait to see in ourselves. The opposite of humility, pride is the most destructive leadership predisposition. Great leaders never stop fighting the battle to recognize pride and remain humble. It’s the quintessential leadership struggle. We stand on a sliding scale somewhere between healthy humility and unhealthy pride.

Even at our best, determining where we are on this scale is tricky. We rarely recognize our pride until it’s too late. Followers often see it long before leaders become self-aware of arrogance.

Great pastors appoint accountability partners at all levels of the church to call attention to potential problems originating in pride. Resolve this year to put measures in place to recognize prideful tendencies and give key people around you permission to call out problems associated with your pride.

Leadership is a gift from followers. Graciously accept this gift by resolving to serve the people around you by putting them first. Make 2023 the year of serving others.

Posted on December 28, 2022

As President of Church Answers, Sam Rainer wears many hats. From podcast co-host to full-time Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Church, Sam’s heart for ministry and revitalization are evident in all he does.
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