10 Things Your Pastor Needs You To Be
I have the privilege to talk to scores of young leaders. Many of them are just starting out in ministry and jumping onto the staff of a church. They come in with tons of energy and ambition and a desire to serve. I’ve been asked, “What does it take to be a great staff member?”
If you are on staff or a core volunteer at a church, your pastor needs you to be…
1. A Momentum-Increaser
This is about attitude and energy. Don’t make your leader be the only one pulling up the energy and attitude level for the rest of the team. Bring energy everywhere you go. Communicate with your attitude and your actions that you are “in” and that you stand “with” your leadership.
2. A Values-Champion
If your church has core values or staff values, then make sure you have them memorized. No one should live out the values more than you do. Champion these values at every opportunity. Find ways to work the values into conversation as you talk to church members or new staff.
If your church doesn't have staff values, click here to download our ebook that's a free guide to establishing your church staff values.
3. A Silo-Destroyer
A “silo” is when a department of the church exists on its own. This can tear a church down more quickly than just about anything else. Silos have their own mission and vision, instead of working in concert with the overall church mission. Leaders of silos tend to hoard rather than share; they have a scarcity mindset instead of one of generosity.
Be the staff member who sniffs out silos and works against them. You can constantly pull people around you toward the overall church mission and vision.
4. A Straight-Talker
Don’t be the person who talks about others, refuses to tackle conflict, or puts down your team. This can destroy a team and make it miserable to come to work. It takes people who are intentional about staying positive and being honest with each other.
Make a commitment to avoid triangle conversations. When you are talking to one person about another person on the team, this undercuts your influence and the effectiveness of your team. Instead, tackle conflict quickly and directly—even if it is uncomfortable.
5. A Generous Giver
Your church likely doesn’t need your money. Ten percent of one person's salary probably won’t make a big difference. But I believe those who are most bought in, most invested with their hearts—are those who are financially committed. Matthew said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” I believe that principle holds true.It’s hard to ask the congregation to be invested if the staff and core volunteers aren’t.
Your pastor needs your support, your heart, your full investment.
6. An Innovative Thinker
There will be times when ministry is hard! Be the person who walks into the pastor’s office not just with problems—but also solutions.
There will be times when finances are tight and budgets need to be cut. You can be the one who communicates with your word and attitude, “Less money? Less staff? No problem—we will get more creative.”
7. A Loyal Friend
Your pastor needs to know you are for him or her. When the arrows and accusations are flying, you will be the first person to step up and defend them. This doesn’t mean you have to hang out together after hours or chest bump when watching a football game. But your pastor needs to believe in his soul that you are there for him, and you’d sign up again for him.
My pastor said many times when introducing me to others, “I trust Tim 100%. I have no doubt he would take a bullet for me or my family.” He was right. I would have.
8. An Integrity-Keeper
It is a great disservice to your church and your pastor if they get derailed because of a lapse in integrity on your part. Live a life of integrity because it’s the right thing to do. And because it will honor your family. But also because it honors your church and leadership.
And if you falter, ask for help before you go too far down a road of regrets.
9. An Unbelievable Spouse and Effective Parent
If you have a spouse, then your first ministry is being an amazing wife or husband. If you have kids, then a close second is your ministry as a dad or mom. The strength of your ministry and leadership comes from your strength at home.
Your church may need a great deal of time and energy from you to get stuff done. But more than all of that, they need you to be a great parent or spouse.
10. A Lifelong Learner
One of the greatest gifts you can give to your pastor is to be a learner. Don’t ride the coattails of your pastor and expect to catch the scraps from his or her learnings. Bring great ideas to the table because of the time you spend learning. Find out best practices. Be a constant source of solutions based on your learnings. Go to conferences when you can. Come back and summarize (even if not asked) what you learned and how your leadership will change as a result.
I’m sure this list could be much longer. Those who have the responsibility of being a senior or lead pastor carry a tremendous load. Do these ten things, and more, to lighten their load and make the church a transformational impact in the community!
How have you been able to better serve your pastor in the past?