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Well known for his bestseller, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey recently focused specifically on why many pastors are so in-effective:

1. They are reactive instead of proactive. They need to be encouraged to look ahead and take responsibility for their ministry instead of waiting for something to happen and then reacting, taking a defensive posture relative to any opportunity or idea that comes along.

2. They focus on short-term results instead of long-term goals. They need to be encouraged to take a mission-driven view.

3. They spend time on things that are not very important. They need to be encouraged to spend a little time each morning prioritizing a "to do" list based on their long-term goals instead of being chased by details.

4. They think in terms of win/lose when any disagreement or conflict comes up. They need to be encouraged to think of win/win solutions that will benefit everyone involved.

5. They work hard to make sure other people hear them instead of first listening to others. They need to be encouraged to learn to listen, to instinctively work to understand what others are thinking and feeling before they try to communicate.

6. They work harder when their "saw gets dull." They need to be encouraged to take time out regularly to "sharpen the saw" before it gets to dull it can't cut butter.

7. They do not see the importance of change and tend to resist it, especially in their own lives. They need to be encouraged to seek growth and change in their personal and professional lives.

Trend Analysis Report (2003) - Source: "The Ineffective Pastor," Vital Ministry, November-December 1999, page 18.