We began October talking about Pastor Appreciation Month. As church leaders and pastors, if we desire to be appreciated by our congregation, our contention in this month of posts has been this: we must make progress toward becoming leaders worthy of such respect.
Last week we talked about the importance of soft skills – those personal habits and traits that shape how you work with others.
This week we’re talking about the impact of clarity. I often begin writing projects by looking up the definition of the topic I’m writing about because it really helps lay the groundwork.
Clarity is defined as “the quality of being coherent and intelligible,” or “the quality of transparency or purity.” I could just end today’s post right here with these definitions. The weight of their words hangs heavy.
As pastoral leaders, appropriate transparency and coherent communication are non-negotiable. The clearer we get with where our organization is going, and what we expect from those who serve alongside us, the more respect we earn.
I think we’ve all had at least one boss who was neither transparent or clear. I’m pretty sure I can guess what the experience was like for you . . . not much fun, pretty confusing, and maybe a bit jading due to the disingenuousness of our direct report.
There are several areas where the impact of clarity or a lack of clarity is felt the most:
Clarity of Communication
This is key in all aspects of team leading within an organization. It trickles down into all the other areas listed below. A common statement within churches and organizations is, “I didn’t know anything about that.” Clarity comes when we communicate clearly and often. We live in a world of constant messaging. We vie for the attention of our people and are in competition with a constant communication barrage from every direction. Just when you think everyone is sick of hearing it, that is about when it’s just starting to be clearly understood.
Clarity of Vision/Purpose
Everyone in your organization or church should know and understand the vision and/or purpose of said organization or church. This must be put before your people regularly so that they know the who, what, and why behind the reasons they serve. Without a vision, an organization can begin to drift, for example, attempting to become all things to all people. One of our most important roles as leaders is to keep the vision clear, concise, and in front of our teams on a regular basis.
Clarity of Expectations
When bringing someone on the team, it is necessary to clearly communicate the expectations of their role, including culture and core values, job descriptions, organization policies, ethical/theological standards, disciplinary/conduct measures, etc. If this is not done at the beginning, it is unfair to hold team members accountable when they are unaware of the expectations.
Clarity in Doctrine/Teaching
As a pastor this last example is crucial. The following cannot be overstated: Adhering to Scripture and Biblical teaching is of utmost importance and the top priority. Communicating your church doctrine through clear and concise teaching reaches the unbeliever and disciples the believer. Be sure you put this at the top of your list.
As we continue to develop into the kind of leader worthy of being appreciated, focusing on clarity in our leadership will move help to the needle.
We are rooting and praying for you!