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LEAD 24/7 Develops Needed Leadership Skills for Pastors

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Rodger PriceRodger Price: “So many pastors become spiritually dry because they were too busy doing God’s work but didn’t have time to hang out with God.”Rodger Price believes being a pastor is the toughest leadership position around. Not just one of the toughest, but at the top of the list.

Compounding the problem is pastors and other ministry leaders are often not taught in seminary what it takes to be a successful, organizational leader.

That's where LEAD 24/7 comes in.

Growing leadership skills

Founded in 2014 by Price, the nonprofit, nondenominational initiative is a 12-month leadership opportunity that's comprised of a monthly class and one-on-one coaching sessions both primarily held in Zeeland for ministers that desire to grow in their leadership skillsets and abilities.

LEAD 24/7 - so named because leaders are often on-call at all hours of the day – is taught by Greg Vandermeer, lead pastor of Fairhaven Church in Hudsonville and Gerald Alvaro, leadership coach for Leading by DESIGN, another initiative Price is founder and managing partner of. Price also was coordinator for revitalization from 2006-2013 for the Reformed Church in America.

Cost to enroll in LEAD 24/7 is $2,500 although Price is quick to add its actual cost runs $10,000 but the tuition is reduced because of donations and the teachers electing to either taking less pay or contribute their time gratis.

First launched in September of this year, LEAD 24/7 has three divisions: nonprofit leaders, K-12 school administrators and then pastors.

'Amazing CEOs'

According to Price, pastors face taunting challenges the average person sitting in a pew has no idea of. Many find it difficult to say "no" to requests and need to present themselves as "authentic" on Sunday mornings when that can be a bit of a challenge at times.

"Imagine being the CEO of an organization and every week, you get up in front of the members of your organization and tell them how they can be amazing," says Price. "And you've got to be amazing but these pastors had a nasty fight with their spouse and their kids and then you've got to go in front of everybody to be cool, calm and spiritual. What does that do with your life?

"And the only time they say no is when they are completely at wit's end and have no time and just can't do it. Well that's too late. So many pastors become spiritually dry because they were too busy doing God's work but didn't have time to hang out with God."

LEAD 24/7 develops leadership skills to help pastors effectively interact with people of various maturity levels; successfully navigate through the odd interplay of leading a congregation that could potentially fire them from their jobs; and not ignoring their own spiritual life and families.

Strategy: pastors supporting one another

"A lot of pastors late in their career say they have scarified their families and to some degree themselves on the altar of ministry, not on God's altar," says Price. "They felt they didn't have time to be with God because they were so busy doing what they believed God lead them to do. No one taught them how to care for themselves.

"My strategy is pastors should be supporting each other. Just like they want congregants to be in small groups, you need that for pastors. In the body of God, if you can love on each other, you can have a long-term sustainable ministry."

Purpose, vision, values

LEAD 24/7 hones three goals: purpose, vision and values.

"Ephesians talks about different shepherding styles, teaching, shepherding, and we're trying to help them figure out who they are in Christ? There are things about them in the body of Christ that are very different," says Price. "Quit trying to be someone you're not and quit expecting others to be like you."

Then, pastors need to know how to build "an amazing team," says Price. That includes becoming a leader worth following.

"They have not been taught not only how to hire well but how do you fire well?" says Price. "Some don't want to deal with the fact this person is hurting their ministry. How much of their mission are they willing to sacrifice so they don't have to face this issue? It could lead to firing them or maybe not. They need to have the courage to do what they need to do. One of the greatest acts of love I believe is whether a pastor will move them off of their team for their own good and for the good of the organization."

With vision and values, Price believes pastors have an advantage on this because the Bible explains why churches exist.

Unspoken belief

"We have this unspoken belief that churches should be good for everybody," says Price. "I don't believe that. I think great churches say where we're going and focus on it and we would love you to be passionate about that but if for whatever reason, the Holy Spirit doesn't speak to you, we would encourage you to find one that does.

"We want to be relevant to our community not relevant to our heritage."


Author Information
Paul R. Kopenkoskey
Author: Paul R. KopenkoskeyWebsite:
Paul R. Kopenkoskey is a full-time freelance writer and editor for an assortment of publications including Grand Rapids Magazine, Grand Rapids Business Journal, and Faith Grand Rapids magazine. He has completed his first novel with the working title, Karl Beguiled. He and his wife, Barb, live in Wyoming, Michigan. They have three children and five grandchildren.

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