A Dare for Pastors


I am daring you and your staff to take this challenge. I promise you it isn’t as dangerous as it sounds. In fact, I think it may just fundamentally change the way you interact with the people in your ministry.

Here’s the dare.

Lock every staff person out of your church building for a work week. From the senior pastor to the part time guy to the janitor. Instead of going to the office and doing your normal thing for 7 work days I am daring you to put all that “work” aside for a work week and a couple of days to spend that time getting to know 10 people who go to your church in their native environment.

Here’s how it works.

1. Instead of getting up and going to the office, split your day in half. In the morning you’ll spend a half-day with a first shift office worker and in either the afternoon or evening you’ll pull a half shift with a blue collar worker. Trust me, you’ll find a bunch of volunteers. It’ll be fun for everyone. Repeat this for 5 days so each staff member gets to see 10 of your church attendees in their work environment for half a day.

2. Run your ministries that week in the most stripped down way possible. Just wing it for a week… you’re professionals, you know you can wing a week. Tell the pastor to talk about his week or something. The preacher absolutely doesn’t get special treatment in this. Heck, download a free sermon from open.lifechurch.tv and tell the band to play last weeks songs on Sunday. This dare will make your ministry better, I promise.

3. When that week is over schedule an off-site meeting with your entire church staff for Monday and Tuesday. It’ll take 2 days to debrief this.

3a. Spend the entire first day (with a lunch paid for by the boss) sharing your experiences. What did you do? What was unexpected? What went crazy? Who works their butt off? Who has the easy job? Why do people do what they do? Who is the most servant hearted? You get the idea.

3b. Spend the entire second day (bring a bag lunch) determining how getting to know people in their native environments changes how you minister to people, families, children, and students.

4. Send thank you notes to every single person you visited. Let them know how much you appreciated the time with them, how much you learned, etc.

Money back guarantee! Since this project isn’t costing you anything I promise to refund you fully if you take this dare and learn absolutely nothing.

Go ahead, spend time with your people at work. I double dog dare you!

For those taking the dare. Let me know if your staff is doing it. I’d love to pray for you all. Also, let me know how it went. Leave a comment here or drop me an email, mclanea@gmail.com.

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.


  1. Hey Adam, HOLY COW! What a wild, and great, idea! It could only do people in ministry a lot of good to see what the people in the pews are dealing with each week. Man, this is amazing! Someone big needs to grab hold of this and get it out to Pastors (wish I knew Bill Hybels). Anyway, very cool stuff!

  2. Can I just tell you how obsessed I am with your idea!!!! That is the greatest thing I’ve EVER heard. Can you give me the ‘ok’ to spread your idea to every church I speak to (and yes, I’ll totally give you credit!!).

    Powerful stuff Adam.

  3. Andy, feel free to use this dare for pastors. Let me know when you get takers because I’m happy to celebrate their success and pray for them as they go through it.

    I got some interesting comments over on Todd Rhoades blog about this. Let’s just say it didn’t go over so well with Sr. Leaders. http://mondaymorninginsight.com/index.php/site/comments/a_dare_for_pastors/

    I know of a couple of churches who are talking about it and that rocks! Tony Myles said he is game, so that’s one church.

    I think this will make churches, preachers, and pastors better at what they do. But as you can see from the comments on Todd’s blog… it’s rubbing some of them the wrong way.

  4. While I agree that it is great to get to know your members and perhaps do so in their work environment. I wonder just how much you will be able to experience. Some of the jobs may not let an individual visit the assembly line for a half day let alone an hour or two. I think that most of the jobs that a person would visit would be more on the line of an office or some environment like that. While I have visited members at their work, it tends to be as a potential distraction from their boss or supervisor. When you are there they are not really on their “game plan” because you are there sitting looking at them and asking questions. I would say stop in for a visit and a brief tour of the work place but to spend an half day would be a bit too much. I have visited members in their work place and it have paid off in relationships being strengthened.

  5. Adam,

    Do you have any reports on how this went for churches that tried it? I’m finding this one late (from the link in Wednesday’s post), and I’m interested in sending it along to a ministerial association. I think it might gain more traction with this group if I could give some information on how it has gone for others (not a lot of early adapters in this group).


    1. I heard of a couple churches who tried it in one way or another… but they never reported back to me anything. So I don’t have any case studies for it… call it an experiment.

  6. Hey Adam, just stumbled across your blog, and really like your Dare for Pastors! It’s funny that given the life of Jesus, we should be so taken aback by a simple call to spend time with everyday people… Keep up the good work!

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