Mistakes I Made and Lessons I Learned in 2011

Learning from your own mistakes is smart, but learning from other’s mistakes is wise. Learn from my pain!

This year has been all about transition for every area of my life. After some end of year reflection here are several mistakes I made and lessons God taught me in the process.

1. When stepping in to a new leadership role give a potential timeline for when vision will be shared. Stepping in to this new pastorate I should have given people a potential timeline of when they would hear my vision for the future. Even if you don’t have a vision yet, let your team know when they will hear from you. I did this with some of my team, but not all of my core leadership. Fill in the blanks for your team. Don’t assume everyone knows time is needed to grow into a role.

2. Schedule time away for prayer, strategic thinking and vacation ahead of time. I allowed the momentum of my new position to draw me into the trap of thinking the church needed my attention 100% of the time. Schedule your time or it will schedule you. You’re no good to your family or the team that you lead if you’re burned out.

3. Don’t expend excessive time and emotional energy on people who don’t want to move forward. There were a few instances this year when I gave one too many pastoral counseling sessions and meetings with those who just wanted attention rather than wanting  to move forward.  Although it can be painful to draw this boundary, you do your organization, your team and yourself a favor when you have a “necessary ending” where it’s needed.

4. Schedule Date nights with your spouse: Although Erin and I had some really great dates this year, they were fewer than I would have liked. My wife is my best friend and we need to be spending best friend kind of time together. Again, if we don’t create margin in our lives, we’ll  have none.

5. Plan Intentional Discipleship with your kids: Last year was a great year for discipleship with my boys. This year with the pace I was running I shot from the hip in my investment with them. I want to put together a plan for 2012 that makes the best use of our time together. Before I am the pastor of our church, I am the pastor of my home.

Take Away

True wisdom is gained by reflection on what we’ve experienced. Without taking the time to reflect on our experiences and making adjustments, we are destined to repeat the same mistakes again and again.

I choose to grow. You?

I’d love to hear from you. If given next year, what do you want to do differently in 2012? Share below in the comments section.