3 Things All Campus Pastors Should Do
The roles of a campus pastor are as different as the churches in which you find them. Some campus pastors teach every Sunday, some don’t teach at all. Some office out of the main campus, while others lead a campus in a completely different state from the others. As such, it can be difficult to make hard set rules that encompass every different type and role of campus pastor.
However, we’ve had the chance to work with many thriving multisite churches, giving us insight on how churches run at their best. To that end, we’ve found the following 3 things that all campus pastors should do to further their ministries.
1. Remind people of the bigger picture.
No matter how far it is from the main campus, one of the things that every church campus will struggle with is being reminded of its place in a bigger movement. As such, it often falls to the campus pastor to constantly remind members and visitors of the bigger picture of what God is doing throughout the church. This means celebrating the victories of all other campuses, reminding people about their extended church family beyond the walls, and regularly articulating the mission, vision, and values of the church.
On each of our teams here at Vanderbloemen, we have individual “culture ambassadors”, who are each tasked with preserving and celebrating our culture. They are not responsible for making sure everyone is doing a good job, but for reminding people of why we do what we do and leading the way in our company values.
2. Teach in some capacity.
As mentioned previously, churches fall all over the spectrum when it comes to how much or little campus pastors teach and preach in the Sunday gatherings. Regardless of where their particular church falls on that spectrum, successful campus pastors will find a way to teach in some capacity. This may not be preaching from the stage specifically, but it is important for the leader of the campus to be regularly pouring into people. This could be leading staff devotionals, leadership training for key volunteers, discipleship or biblical study groups, newcomer gatherings, or all of them.
A great deal of the church’s DNA will be determined by the Sunday teaching, but it is all the various ministries, trainings, and other gatherings that reinforce and spread that culture. As such, campus pastors can make a huge difference speaking through these spaces.
3. Make yourself available.
The campus pastor is in many ways the extension of the senior leadership on that specific campus. Many campus pastors will even lead some aspect of the gathering like a welcome, announcements, or prayer. This is a great way to help congregants identify the campus pastor as their personal pastoral leader. However, we have found that successful campus pastors often go even beyond this and make themselves available whenever they can to the people of that campus. This helps the congregation feel known and cared for by the whole of the church.
This may mean being available in a common area after the gathering, leading the newcomers class, or setting specific times when people can meet the staff and pastors. These relationships are invaluable in making satellite campus ministry sustainable and successful.
What are some lessons you’ve learned as a campus pastor?