Sharpen Your Axe

We’ve all heard it said, “Work smarter, not harder!” Too often we are so busy getting things done we fail to take the time to learn and grow.  The Bible says that it is wise to stop and and take time increase our skills. “If the axe is dull and the blade unsharpened, more strength must be exerted, but skill produces success”  (Ecclesiastes 10:10). Someone asked a woodman, “What would you do if you had just five minutes to chop down a tree?” He answered, “I would spend the first two and a half minutes sharpening my axe.” Sharpening your axe is never wasted time!


What are some practical ways we can sharpen our axe? 

  1. Attend a seminar. Learning doesn’t stop at schooling. Be a life learner. Assume God has some areas you need to grow and change (and there are). There are so many opportunities online and, now, in person. Find a conference to attend that will stretch you and give you a fresh perspective on ministry. In fact, we are offering one this summer called “The Global Leadership Summit.” The details are at the end of this blog.
  1. Get coached. Coaching is not someone telling you what to do. It is someone who helps you discover what is important and encourages you to action. In the Pacific Conference we offer a year-long coaching process as well as short-term coaching on specific areas where you need help. If you want to be coached, please contact Tom Hurt, our Coaching Director, at
  1. Read a book or listen to a podcast. Do you have a summer reading or listening list? I do. We all need the set aside time to take in. Our axes can become very dull unless we replenish ourselves. We can sharpen our axe by reading about or listening to what others have learned and put into practice.
  1. Hang out with other pastors and leaders.  Pastors need other pastors as friends. Too often we see them as competitors. How sad! Some of my richest memories in the pastorate are praying with other pastors and simply grabbing coffee together! You can learn two ways – making mistakes yourself or learning from the mistakes of others. Pastors who are willing to share their hurts and failures, along with the blessings, are invaluable.
  1. Shadow another ministry.  We all need to break out of routine and expose ourselves to other ministries. I am a great believer in going to another church that is doing some things better than you are doing them. Learn from them. Ask to go behind the scenes and spend time with them.


It doesn’t take long to lose our cutting edge. What other ways do you suggest to sharpen our axe?

At our last annual conference, our pastors committed to Continuing Education. Each pastor will complete five CEU’s over a twenty-four month period. (One CEU is equivalent to ten hours of interactive education.) The Conference has set aside funds to assist with the costs of this continued education for our pastors. You can download the application here:

We are excited to announce that the Pacific Conference will once again host a simulcast of the Global Leadership Summit here at Valley View. Registration is $79 (until July 13) and includes 16 hours of content, two meals, and 1.5 CEUs for Conference Pastors. As a private view, it is open only to pastors and leaders in the Pacific Conference. You won’t find actionable content delivered by world-class thinkers and doers, and contextualized with your fellow pastors anywhere else and certainly not for this price. Current Covid protocols will be observed.

Register today! Visit:  and use Priority Code 21SVTEAM for your discount.

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