Pastors as Entrepreneurs and Leaders

This month I’m reflecting on Bill Wilson’s “14 Pieces of Advice for New Ministers.” I found it in the Fall edition of inMinistry from the Palmer Theological Seminary, though it originally appeared online at

In point #8, Wilson asks:

“Can you spell entrepreneur? Can you be an entrepreneur? I hope so. The life of a minister in the future will require it.”

I’ve been working with this idea for several years (in fact, it’s the topic of my next book), drawing from my own experience as an entrepreneur and business owner and the entrepreneurial approaches of other esteemed colleagues in ministry and coaching.

Consider what’s happening at churches around the world in this Christmas season. Years ago, people would flock to churches at Christmas time. These days, we need to be entrepreneurial and creative in offering different ways to celebrate, in order to meet people where they are and satisfy their needs. And that applies year-round to all of our offerings, and just how we do ministry today.

In point #12, Wilson advises pastors to:

“Take an interest in anything that teaches you how to be a more effective leader. This is the skill congregations and organizations are looking for…Study Jesus the leader. He’s the finest model available.”

Jesus provides examples of many of the lessons we’ve been discussing this month. I wrote in an earlier post about how Jesus took time off to escape from the day-to-day routine in order to regroup and find time with God.

As a coach training provider, we at Coaching4Clergy are passionate about the effectiveness of coaching as a leadership skill in today’s ministry landscape. I’ve written about both how coaching skills can bridge the gap for overwhelmed pastors and how church leaders can use coaching to empower their clergy.

I really appreciated this collection of important advice for “new” ministers – these are things that definitely need to be revisited by all of us.

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J. Val Hastings

J. Val Hastings, MCC, is the Founder and President of Coaching4Clergy, which provides specialized training for pastors, church leaders and coaches. Val is the author of the book The Next Great Awakening: How to Empower God’s People with a Coach Approach to Ministry and the e-book The E3-Church: Empowered, Effective and Entrepreneurial Leadership That Will Keep Your Church Alive. Val currently holds the designation of Master Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation, the highest coaching designation.

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