by Jeremy Rands
A pastor of a growing church must heavily depend on his staff. They will either help him sleep or can cause him sleepless nights. For some pastors, their greatest ministry setbacks have been caused by a staff member that, whether intentionally or not, caused much pain.
I have been on both sides of a church staff. I had the privilege to serve on staff alongside some great team members for a pastor, and I have been a pastor with a staff working for me. I have realized that there are characteristics that every staff member ought to have in order for him to be a help to the pastor. A staff member must understand that he is there to be an extension of the pastor, and he works for them not the church. Some staff have been a detriment to a church because they forget their position and responsibility and seek the loyalty of the church family instead of seeking to build a trust and relationship with its pastor.
Allow me to give you a list of characteristics that you will need to possess if you seek to be a blessing to your pastor as a staff member.
1. Faithfulness – Be where you are supposed to be, when you are supposed to be there. Don’t make the pastor have to be your babysitter. You are there so that your pastor can accomplish more and see the ministry grow. He should never have to wonder if you are doing what you are supposed to be doing.
2. Loyalty – Build trust with your pastor. Never talk or discuss your dislikes to other people. If you have concerns, address them with him privately and seek to resolve them. Seek to understand him and his vision. Remember though that your loyalty to the Lord is greater than loyalty to man. Never hide sin or seek to cover up wrong behavior even if it is done by the pastor. You can only truly be loyal to him if you and he both are loyal to the Lord.
3. Selflessness – It will be easy to get into a “woe is me” attitude. Pastor gets all the attention from the people and you do all the work. As a staff member, I sought to meet the pastor’s needs. I would always check with him at the end of the day to see if I could help meet a need before I went home. I would wait till he left after services before I would leave so that he was never caught to handle a situation that I could handle for him. I made sure doors were locked and lights were turned off so that he never had to deal with small things after he preached. I sought to selflessly give of myself so that he could have rest and joy to shepherd the flock.
4. Teamwork – Seek to get along with others on your team. Don’t cause internal strife and make the pastor choose sides. Part of helping your pastor is getting along with the staff he assembles.
5. Understand your position – You are there to complete your pastor’s calling from God, not compete with him. You should constantly be improving and growing so that you can meet the needs you were hired to do. The longer you are on staff, the closer to your pastor you should become. You cannot help him if you do not spend time with him and seek to build a relationship with him. Once you stop growing and developing, you will cease to be effective, and when that happens you will no longer be an asset to him on staff.
A healthy church has a healthy staff. They understand their position and seek to bring God glory by serving the pastor God has called to that local body of believers. Grow spiritually, develop your talents and skills, read, learn, expand your vocabulary, mature in your leadership and look for ways to support the pastor you are hired to help.
Remember your pastor is human. Love him anyways, but never hide sinful behavior. At the end of the day if your actions brought glory to the Lord, then you are on the right path to being a productive staff member.
by Jeremy Rands