I’m starting a new 6 week series on the blog today titled “Things I wish I knew when I started…” If you’ve been an education minister for a few years (like me), feel free to join in the comments with some things that you wish you know now that you wish you had known in your first few years. If you’re a new ME (minister of education), maybe we can help you along.
Today’s topic of what I wish I had known:
Support your local pastor
A foundational part of our calling as ministers is that we truly want to help people. Most ministers do not want conflict. Let’s face it, many of us are people pleasers. We want our church members happy, and for those who are staff members, we really want our pastor to be happy with us. As a result, many staff members rarely tell their pastor “no”.
On the other hand, no pastor wants someone who is against every suggestion or action plan that he has either. There are plenty of staff members who have the spiritual gift of negativity!
Your pastor needs a couple of things from you: your prayers, your support, and your insight.
Do you know what I have heard at almost every staff meeting I’ve attended for the past 30 years? Problems! Staff meetings are almost always meetings about problems. Do you know what the staff typically does to address these problems? Not much. They usually put the issues off to next week!
Here’s a big idea. When you share a problem at staff meeting or with your pastor, offer a couple of solutions too. Be part of the solution, not the problem.
Make a decision to disagree with your leader privately. Yes, you may offer other opinions in staff meetings where dialogue and other opinions are encouraged. But if you have a serious disagreement with your pastor, take it up with him privately. And once a course of action has been reached, even if it is not your preferred decision; support your pastor openly.
- Have a core set of values that you operate from
- Share and support your opinion
- Anyone can point out problems, offer solutions instead of criticisms
- Disagree in private
- Support in public
- Don’t carry a chip on your shoulder if you don’t get your way
- Pray with and for your pastor
Always remember that the pastor is the biblical undershepherd of the local church. A major part of your ministry is to support him as the leader. Being a wimpy “yes” man is not the best way to support your local pastor; nor is being a constant critic of his leadership much help either. You can best support your pastor by praying for him and his family, and by being the person he can count on to have solutions instead of complaints.