Growing As A Leader: Thinking (and Writing)

photo by @boetter

The personal growth series continues (for a few more weeks on Tuesdays). We’ve talked about why personal growth is important, reading, and filing. Now it’s time to move to thinking.

Thinking. There’s a tough one. Don’t I think everyday? Biologically, yes. The question really is, am I thinking on the right things?

Our economy has moved from a world of skill knowledge to a world of intellectual knowledge. What I mean is that our economy used to be driven by what you know how to do. It was all about manufacturing. Can you build a car? Can you fix a computer? More and more, that’s not the case anymore. Business, industry, and, yes, ministry, is paying a premium on intellectual knowledge. This is about the ideas that one can create.

That’s where thinking and writing come into play.

Church is ever changing. To reach out to those that we serve, and to be effective at it, we need to be innovative in our thinking and ideas. The same old model of ministry and church does not always work. Yet, too many of us, me included, stick with the model we know, sometimes to the detriment of our ministry.

Spending intentional time thinking out ideas is really important to yours and my success in ministry. How do I do this?

All of us are struck with a good idea for our ministry. It happens quite often. That initial idea, though, needs some tweaking and massaging to make it a better idea. It is not a perfect thought when it comes out of your brain. It needs help.

When I have a good idea, here are some things I try to do with it:

  • Write if down: If I don’t write it down, I lose the thought. I think I’ve lost a ton of ideas that were really good because I never wrote it down. Write it down!
  • Spend 15-30 minutes with the thought: It’s amazing how some concentrated time on a single thought allows me to make a good idea even better. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time. Oh, and keep writing down what you are thinking.
  • Talk to others about the idea and get feedback: This is my favorite. My thoughts and ideas always get better when I talk them through with others. This does two things for me. One, it helps me articulate my thought better as I try to explain it. Two, feedback from other people helps me refine and rework the idea to make it even better! Oh, and keep writing down the ideas and feedback people offer you.

It’s amazing how doing these three things can allow me to expand my mind and ideas. The problem is that we are in a culture that is all about do, do, do! We have tasks galore! If we are to truly be effective leaders in ministry, then taking some time out to think these thoughts is essential.

What’s one good idea you’ve come up with in the past month? Have you spent any time thinking on it?

John Rinaldo

As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.


John Rinaldo


As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.



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