Ministry is About Relationships

John Maxwell popularized the leadership quip “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” True enough. Hang around in ministry for a hot minute and you recognize that even leadership depends upon relationships.

Oklahoma Baptists recently welcomed Ken Sande to our offices for a day of outstanding relationship training. Ken is the author of the best-selling book “The PeaceMaker.” This day of instruction and insight was incredibly impactful upon our team.

Your four Regional Ministry Partners – Brett Selby, Griff Henderson, Buddy Hunt, and myself – became convinced that this training, called “Relational Wisdom 360” (or RW360) is a critical tool for pastors. If it is true that “everything rises and falls on leadership,” then our leaders possess a great need and responsibility to continually hone and refine their own relationship skills. In church leadership, as the pastor goes so eventually goes the church. So, for the next 8 months the four of us will be writing short articles on these relational skills – what Ken Sande calls “Relational Wisdom.”

Relational Wisdom is living out the two great commandments. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39). Sande defines it like this: “In modern terms, relational wisdom is your ability to discern emotions, interests and abilities in yourself and others, to interpret this information in light of God’s Word, and to use these insights to manage your responses and relationships constructively.”

Relational wisdom is all about thinking of others before yourself. If we put this in terms of our resources in the church, our relationships with people must be the priority and therefore give every effort to manage relationships well. Continuously honing our relational skills is simply being wise in how we speak and respond to those we serve.

Developing relational wisdom has multiple benefits for your ministry.

First, you will enjoy stronger relationships. Every pastor would cherish more productive relationships and less conflict in the church!

Second, relational skills increases influence. Your leadership will be more credible and welcomed by those you serve. Your personal production and sense of teamwork in the church will be multiplied.

Third, relational skills present a compelling witness. How powerful for church members to witness the transforming power of God in your own life! When we have greater unity through enhanced relational skills, we demonstrate that we are truly following Jesus!

Every pastor must continuously examine his own life as he leads in ministry. Perhaps there is no greater opportunity for growth than in health, holy relationship skills. Can you improve in your “relational wisdom?” Absolutely! And we want to drop a little bit in your bucket periodically so we can all improve how we serve the Bride of Christ. Look for our series of articles on Relational Wisdom on social media twice a month (opposite weeks of the Feeding and Leading podcasts!)

For more information on Ken Sande’s “Relational Wisdom” curriculum you can explore

Similar Posts

Preaching the Gospel through all elements of the Worship Service

Seeking to ensure our worship services bring glory to the Lord and impact those gathered can feel daunting.  Though not exhaustive, here are six ways to transform our public worship experience by seizing every element for the glory of Christ: Revelation &...

Things a Pastor Should Think About When Making a Nursing Home Visit

Both of my grandmothers spent a few years in nursing homes during their final years on earth. During part of that time I served as the interim pastor in the town where they stayed. I visited them routinely, and came to realize how significant such visits were. One of...

Making the Transition to a New Pastorate

I was the pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church in Beggs, Oklahoma for four and a half years. The church loved us and we loved them. I genuinely expected to stay there for many years. There were no major issues, at least not that I knew of, and the church was growing...

Moving to a New Ministry: Leaving and Arriving Well

Moving from one ministry assignment to another is an extremely important time for you, your family and both churches involved in the transition.

How a Pastor CAN and CANNOT Lead the Church through the Pulpit

Through the pulpit, a pastor can lead the church by how he preaches. People will remember how we preach long after they forget what we preach.

How to successfully follow a long-term/beloved pastor

Oh, “you have big shoes to fill” has been uttered through the vocal chords of church members for decades without a scriptural filter to stop it. Both seasoned and unseasoned pastors have been on the receiving end of the “sharp” message meant to acknowledge what was and forewarn what is.

Reading Scripture Publicly

The Associate Pastor slowly meandered to the pulpit. The congregation could nearly hear the second hand on the clock ticking it took so long as the final words of the last verse were sung and Mr. Pokey finally reached the microphone. “This morning we are going to read...

Revision…Revitalize…Ministry to Aging Adults

Oklahoma Baptist churches have been aging in demographic for several years. Part of the answer has been to program to reach younger people. However, in the course of doing this we likely overlook a valuable group of God’s people who need to be evangelized, discipled, equipped, and deployed for Gospel ministry: Senior Adults.

First Steps to Developing a Safety Ministry for Your Church

Developing a safety ministry can be a daunting task. The tendency will be toward buying a prepackaged plan with ready-made policies and procedures. My advice is to do the long hard work and put together a plan that considers your specific context.

Engaging with Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children

By James Swain, President of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children When I started to write this article, I realized that I have been President of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children (OBHC) for 50 days.  In these first 50 days, I have been affirmed in the fact that God...