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5 Ways To Care For Your Staff

From Mark Dever:
Caring for the pastoral staff also means pastoring them. Remember that the people on your staff are more fundamentally Christians than they are members of your church, and that they are more fundamentally members of your church than they are members of your staff. Love them. While you will have to evaluate them in their work, care even more about them as fellow disciples of Christ. You want them to spiritually prosper during their years under your immediate care and leadership.
1. Pray for Them

First, pray for them. In a well-staffed church, praying for those who serve the church in this special way is time well spent. Pray for their personal walk with the Lord, their friends and family, and their own ministry, as well as their job. Never allow “professionalism” to obscure your responsibility in this area.

2. Model, Instruct, and Teach

Second, model, instruct, and teach. Show them what it means to be a pastor. Let them see things you are struggling with, and that you are uncertain about. Also let them see and ask questions about decisions you make. Don’t be slow to explain. Repeat yourself. Remember Paul’s words in Philippians 3:1: “It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.” Realize that one of your roles is teaching them.

3. Trust and Delegate

Third, trust and delegate. You get more things done by getting more people to do things. Staff cuts up ministry in bite-size bits for others to be able to handle. And that means that one of the chief ways you can build up a local congregation is by handing off more and more duties to others. Some things are at the core of your role as senior pastor. But many things can be handed to others.

We should lead the staff to be enablers and facilitators of the ministry of others, rather than doing it all ourselves. To the degree you are able to be a leader of ministers, you will be able to draw around you quality leaders in their own right. Don’t wait for these folks to earn your trust, but extend them trust and set up contexts in which they can spend it, confirm it (in your eyes and the congregation’s) and spend more. Help to make them a success by giving them opportunities to teach and lead the congregation well.

4. Forgive Quickly

Fourth, forgive quickly. Other people make mistakes as much as I do. Therefore, I must exemplify the same kindness and mercy to others as I myself have known from God, my family, and my congregation. Any “scores kept” must only be for the good of the staff member or the congregation. Personally, you should have pure and unhindered affections for those who work with you.

5. Encourage Them

Fifth, encourage them. When Paul began his letters, he often commended God’s work in the Christians he was writing to. In doing this, he both acknowledged thanks to them, and at the same time exemplified being a student of God’s kindnesses in life. So in terms of your staff, pastor, never flatter them, but regularly cherish God’s work in and through them. Be openly grateful. Make generously acknowledging and thanking others normal among your church staff. God has been at work in them, and you should be one of God’s chief students in their lives, noting his work and drawing others’ attention to it.

(ht: Mark Dever)


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