Being in a staff position for nearly nine years, alongside an amazing team of pastors and leaders, has been both a demanding and rewarding experience that has kept me challenged and growing. Over the course of that time, I have come to learn what to expect and what to value from my lead pastor, Jim.
1. Leadership – As a member of staff, I look to my lead pastor to set the spiritual climate of the church, establish direction and objectives, help clarify the mission, and to ensure that I am traveling in the right direction with the rest of the team. This includes timely evaluation, correction, envisioning and re-envisioning that is collaborative and inspiring. From time to time, this also requires the lead pastor to shuffle staff position focuses to meet the changing demands and passions of the church. A healthy team will likely have its job descriptions continually in flux. This benefits the church and mission as well as benefiting the team so as to have the right people in the right places doing the right things.
2. Teaching – Besides the ongoing mentoring, sermons, and lunches at the pizza-by-the-slice place, my favourite part of each work week is our Monday morning staff meeting. Here, our team engages in a learning environment led by Jim that often comes through the outflow of what he has recently been learning, wrestling with, or interacting with. It has been of tremendous worth to have the influence of a lead pastor who is well read and who loves to teach us young guys!
3. Care & Protection – Over the course of time, it is not unlikely for a few of us staff to catch a few cheap shots from well-meaning church folks. Any time the Gospel is proclaimed there will, undoubtedly, come opposition and bullets aimed at one or all of us. I have had my share of hate mail, blog campaigns, and even a court case to know the immense value of a lead pastor who has my back. Not only does he protect me when I need protection, but he continually comes alongside of our team in thick and in thin to care for and love us. During family crises or celebration, through ministry success or failure, and in our extra-curricular activities, it has been empowering to know the care and protection of my lead pastor.
Staff people, be it youth, worship, children’s, outreach, family, etc., must learn how to openly and honestly work towards sustainable and engaging relationships with their lead pastor. As we allow ourselves to be led, we will be led well. When we submit ourselves to our leaderships’ teaching, we will learn to learn well. And finally, the care and protection we receive must be reciprocated towards our lead pastors who often find themselves in lonely, vulnerable, and vital positions of influence. Thank-you to all our hard working lead pastors for the good work you do.