Pastor Sam came to me because he was overloaded and was told that I do time management training. I told him, “Sorry, only God has the power to manage time. We only manage the roles we play in the time we are given.” So I asked, “What roles do you play in the church?” He replied, “I’m the pastor.” I interjected, “Pastor is your title, but what are the most important roles you play?” At that, he replied with a long list of what he does and what he is responsible for.
Like most of us, Pastor Sam is a victim of “title imposed roles.” Whether it is at home, work or ministry we are given titles. Within each title are many roles created by the needs, assumptions, and often unrealistic expectations of others. Some of these roles are a good fit for your God-given talents and strengths but many are misfits thus causing stress and overloaded lives.
How do you define your roles?
Title imposed roles are a reality that we must acknowledge. So make a list of all the roles that are likely to be in each title you are given. Highlight the three roles that you are most interested in playing or where you believe you can provide the best investment of your passions and talents.
Follow the attached diagram answering a few questions to define each role.
- Role name: What is the name that best describes this role? Give each role a name that reflects the highest value it brings.
- Strengths: What are the best strengths that you bring to this role? Strengths are the combination of talents, knowledge, skill, and
- Responsibility: What are the responsibilities of this role? Personal responsibilities are the space where the purpose and issues are listed, where needs and solutions are expressed, and where objectives and goals are stated. Be very careful of shared responsibilities. Responsibility assigned to many is seldom done by any.
- Empowerment: How are you empowered to fulfill this role? List tangible or intangible resources needed to fulfill this role. Here we may indicate how this role collaborates with other roles. It is important to be realistic about the most important resource, TIME required to fulfill this role.
- Authority: Who is giving you permission to assume this role? This can range from a Biblical mandate, constitutional requirement or even organizational structure such as a manager or a boss.
- Accountability: To whom are you accountable? Good people do not need to be managed or supervised. They need to be cared for, coached, and protected. The primary purpose of accountability and oversight is not getting the job done; rather it is for the protection of the person. The more senior or demanding the role the higher the need for accountability and oversight.
What can you do?
- In every meeting, situation or even every conversation, prayerfully ask, “Lord, what role do you expect me to play here?” In the answer, you will find your life callings.
- Click here to download a white paper with a template.