It’s summer, and once again I have completely failed to live up to my New Year’s resolution. I had good intentions, but we all know where that paved road leads. Since my three-blogs-a-week resolution didn’t really work out, I’m downgrading it to three blogs per quarter.

Here’s the blog for this quarter.

A couple of months ago I posted a blog titled “3 Essential Skills for Leaders.” While flipping through an old Moleskine this morning I found some of my scribbled notes that described not three, but four skills all pastors must discover and constantly develop for the rest of their lives. Here’s a remix of the original three, plus a fourth.

1. All pastors must develop THEOLOGICAL SKILLS. The bare-bone foundational theological skills include the big three: systematic theology, New and Old Testament survey, and hermeneutics. I picked up some of these skills in seminary, some by reading books, and some by listening to podcasts. Recommended books include “Christian Theology” by Erickson, “Systematic Theology” by Grudem, and “How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth” by Fee.

2. All pastors must develop RELATIONAL SKILLS. Starting point relational skills are forgiving people, asking for forgiveness, and encouraging the discouraged. Whoever develops these skills will be an amazing pastor, leader, husband, wife, parent, and friend. Recommended book: “The Bible” by God.

3. All pastors must develop LEADERSHIP SKILLS. Three foundational leadership skills include strategic planning, communication, and branding or marketing. This short list might not sound super spiritual, but good church leadership is more methodical than mystical. Here are some great leadership books that all pastors and ministry leaders should read “The Advantage” by Patrick Lencioni, “How the Mighty Fall” by Jim Collins, “Heroic Leadership” by Lowney, and “Focus” by Al Reis.

4. All pastors must develop MINISTRY SKILLS. Three ministry skills serve as the foundation for all other¬† skills a pastor must develop: preaching the Gospel (one to one and from the pulpit), ministering the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, and making disciples in small groups. If a pastor can do these three, it does not matter if there is no budget or building, the church will be strong and healthy. Recommended books: “Making Disciples” by Ralph Moore and “Simple Church” by Rainer and Geiger.

Looks like this blog accidentally turned into a reading list.