by Cameron Giovanelli
As second men and assistants to our pastors, it is imperative that we help to bridge the gap between the church people and their pastor.
Never be a second man who increases that gap!
As a church grows it is inevitable that the pastor’s phone will ring more, his email inbox will grow, and his time available will become more hectic than ever before. This is great, but only if we, the second men of the church, will help! “How can I help?” one might ask. This can be done through being an ACTIVE and APPROPRIATE extension of the pastor. We must never get jealous of the pastor and we must never speak for the pastor; but, we must always assist the pastor.
How does an assistant pastor become effective in this area of responsibility?
- Speak with people.
2. Greet people.
3. Show up early to church and fellowship with the people.
4. Stay after services to mingle and fellowship with the people.
5. If a member has questions, answer them. If you do not know the answer, go and seek out the answer. Then, get back to that member personally.
6. Answer their phone calls, texts, and emails. It is sad when a member readily answers our calls, but their calls always roll into voicemail.
7. Do not communicate with the membership only when you need something from them.
8. Speak of the pastor’s love for them often.
9. Remember that members will speak differently about issues to the assistant pastor than they will to the pastor, so be cautious!
10. If a member wants to criticize the pastor, make certain that they know that you will mention their concern to the pastor personally. This ensures that the member knows that you are on the pastor’s side.
11. KNOW THIS: if member after member comes to you with a critical spirit or comment, YOU ARE THE PROBLEM! If that happens, it means that you are known as one who readily listens to criticism. FIX IT!
12. Inform the pastor when you find out that a member is in the hospital, going through a trial, rejoicing in victory, possibly moving, just bought a car, boat, or house, or ANYTHING else that involves his people. He wants to know, but sometimes the members do not tell him because they have convinced themselves that the pastor is too busy.
13. If a member asks a difficult question regarding a policy or procedure of the ministry, and if you know that the only one who can answer it is the pastor, NEVER say, “Let me ask Pastor.” If the member’s spirit might by negatively affected by a difficult answer to their question, they should never be made to think that the pastor gave that answer because of who was asking. You should simply say, “Let me check on that, and I will get back to you.” Then, if the answer is going to affect their spirit negatively, “take the bullet” and do not name who you had to ask when responding to the member. If it will make the member HAPPY, then make sure to let them know that Pastor was involved. Spiritual discernment must be utilized in a situation such as this.
14. Take a member out soulwinning or take him on visitation with you. Do not always go with other staff men.
15. Say “amen”, “praise God,” “that’s right,” and other appropriate expressions of agreement during the announcement time and definitely during the preaching time. Let everyone know that you agree with the man of God and that you have his back!
16. Be friendly.
17. If you are having a bad day, GET OVER IT!
18. Never talk about your needs with the congregation.
19. Mention to a member that you are contacting them on behalf of the pastor.
20. If someone is always monopolizing the pastor’s time after a service or before, make sure that you walk up close enough that the pastor would be able to pass off this conversation to you if needed. Let the members monopolize your time so that the pastor can minister to more people.
We have the God-given role of building a bridge between the man of God and his people.
Our job is to always be looking for ways to help in this area. A church and a ministry is free to grow and to flourish when the pastor and his people have a good relationship. As second men, we can help to make this possible!