No . . . it really did happen!
Once I did hear about a pastor who was loved by his staff. (O.K. . . . It might have happened twice.) <— (HYPERBOLE)
Unfortunately, it hasn’t happened much more often than once or twice, but not much more. Sad to think that it doesn’t happen often enough.
Why doesn’t it? Why can’t it be the standard instead of the exception in churches.
You know . . . where Christian leaders actually are loving & loved. Isn’t that what is supposed to happen!?
Some Changes May Be Both Difficult And Best For Everyone
When God’s desire transitioned me from a full-time church staff position to being, primarily, a marriage & family/mental health therapist 17+ yeas ago, I had an amazing serendipitous experience. I began working with a group of Christian counselors of various denominational backgrounds, and it was fun!
Instead of tippy-toeing around in fear that I might not get enough people to participate in a ministry program I was responsible for, I was working with a group of 10+ people who were anxious to encourage and help me succeed!
This had never happened to me on a church staff!
And I’d only heard a very few other staff members at other churches describe an environment that allowed them to actually celebrate what they were called to do.
I know this sounds pessimistic, and it wasn’t (isn’t) a matter of churches being “sweatshop environments” where anyone — personnel committee, senior pastor, powerful church member(s) — is being possessed by demons.
It’s just not always the kind of environment that promotes excitement of service in Jesus’ name.
Overcoming Disappointment In Ministry
So what can ministering staff do to survive the disappointment of learning that their pastor/co-minister(s)/committee/influential member is human and may not know how to enable staff . . . you . . . to enjoy your service as a minister?
(In this case, being “enabled” is a good word, not a way to keep you dependent and weak.)
Develop Simple Habits That Have Positive Results
Develop these habits and see if your pastor doesn’t become more lovable, and your workplace more positive:
- Plan to say, “Good morning,” to your senior pastor every day.
- Ask every staff member — ministerial and support staff — how they’re doing . . . because you want to know and you want to minister to them.
- View this as an opportunity to minister to co-ministers and support staff — the ministry you were called to. Your perspective on your ministry will make a huge difference on how you enjoy your work.
- Ask your senior pastor what he needs you to pray for so he can be more effective in ministering to him.
- Smile Pay everyone on the church staff a compliment every day.
- Tell a joke.
- If it’s not already happening, start a daily or weekly devotional/prayer time with the entire staff.
- Smile some more.
- Humbly tell about a good event in your area of ministry.
- Share a personal victory.
- Keep on smiling.
- Depend on God, not others, to keep you going day-to-day.
Be Aware of Your Lead Pastor’s Situation and Lighten His Load!
Because the senior pastor is the guy where the buck stops, he’s under a lot of pressure to produce.
At least in the minds of most of the membership, good things better happen or they begin to question if he’s the right man for the job. (And you, too!)
Don’t add to his burden by not being supportive and encouraging. In other words, minister to your minister!
If the church staff isn’t working in harmony, the church will be fractured.
Lead pastor or ministering staff, get yourself on board for Church Harmony.
If you’re struggling to get on board, or you feel that you’re being thrown overboard, give me a call and let’s work together to help you find how you can minister at maximum effectiveness.