How to Manage Projects When You Aren't the Administrative Type

How to Manage Projects When You Aren’t the Administrative Type

Many preachers aren’t administratively minded.

I know that is a total over simplification of people and pastors, but generally speaking, my experience finds that to be a true statement. It seems as though, when your brain is wired to be a story teller and inspire people, it’s not wired to manage tasks or projects. On top of that, the preacher is often the Lead Pastor of a church and just simply can’t manage all of the projects that need to get done.

In order to move forward with the vision of the church and see lost people saved and saved people discipled, we have to make progress on projects and ideas. The ideas we come up with on a white board are nothing better than good doodles if they never get put into action. In order to act on them, we need a process to get them done. We need to know who’s responsible for what and how it all fits together for one common goal.

So, the questions become,

“How do you get anything done when you don’t have a brain wired for it?”


“How do you put a process in place to manage the details?”

While this is certainly not an exhaustive list or an exact order, here are some ideas…

Find a system.

One of the problems many of us “none type A” people face is that we think we have to find the perfect system for everything we do. The truth is, there is no perfect system to manage all of the tasks and responsibilities we hold. We have to find a system that helps us flesh them out and then adapt it to us. In other words, find a task manager, a calendar, or a paper journal and begin writing down what you need to get done. When we write (or type) it down in a safe place, we don’t have to keep thinking about it and we’re free from the mental space of managing the tasks. We don’t have to think about it again until we’re ready to complete it.

Start a system and then adapt.

Assign and delegate liberally.

Hire your weaknesses. We’ve all heard that statement. You can delegate them too. In fact, you should. Don’t feel bad for delegating tasks or duties. Don’t feel bad for delegating even what you feel like it should be a “pastor/preacher” thing. One of the best pastors I’ve ever been around stunk at pastoral care. He delegated it. By delegating what he didn’t enjoy and what wasn’t a strength, it freed him up to love people in other ways.

Be generous in delegation and stingy on your time.

Be you.

Here’s the thing about managing stuff…. there is no wrong way. Be you. Some people prefer a paper system, some people prefer a calendar, some people prefer a certain method; it doesn’t matter as long as it works with you. So what you aren’t going to enter everything into a shared project manager and tag and sort, just dump it in there and organize how you feel it should be.

Don’t let what should be helping you become a hindrance to you.

Connect the process to the people.

Ultimately, as preachers and pastors, we are about the people. Sometimes, it doesn’t seem that way, does it? It feels like the paperwork or the complaints or the tasks rob us of our time to love on people. Know that the process you have for managing projects and moving the ball forward ultimately points to the people you lead and love. The new ministries you begin and the initiatives you complete are designed to reach people. You can make it through the administration stuff because you know that it’s kingdom building stuff.

The tasks are stepping stones to the mission.

It can be done. Even if you aren’t wired to manage tasks or processes, you can utilize them to your advantage. It doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. Start planning. Start processing. Start reaching further.


Jonathan Pearson is the Connections Pastor at SpringWell Church in Taylors, S.C. Jonathan is the co-host of the Next Up Podcast and author of Next Up: 8 Shifts Great Young Leaders Make (June 2014) and the upcoming book Be the Switch. He is married to Melissa and has a son named Riley. They live in Greenville, S.C. Find Jonathan online at

Bring Christmas to Life Again

Fresh Ideas to Connect Christmas with Life

101 Christmas Sermon Series Ideas

Want to be the leader your people need but feeling overwhelmed and on edge?

Get a copy of our FREE guide to avoiding burnout and discover what causes pastoral burnout, and how to heal so you can lead well into the future!

Where can we send this ebook?

Bring Christmas to Life Again

Powerful and Relevant Illustrations Connect Christmas with Life

Christmas Illustration Ideas Mockup iPad

22 Fresh Advent Sermon Series Ideas for Christmas 2021

Inspiration to Breathe New Life to the Traditions of Christmas