Working under the leadership of your pastor can be hard work, but with God's grace and a little wisdom, it can also be one of the most rewarding ministry relationships you'll ever have.

At one of my first churches, our staff meetings were brutal. Every week, we’d all file into a giant conference room for two hours of the most awkward, unproductive afternoons imaginable.

Because it was silent.

Our pastor was struggling. The large staff was filed with strong personalities and our new pastor just wasn’t equipped to lead such a diverse crowd. It seems as if we tried every management approach possible. I imagined stacks of business books somewhere in the pastor’s office, all read in the hope that we’d land on some formula to make meetings better.

Nobody talked, and when that happened the pastor would get stressed. And when the pastor got stressed, the agenda items became grew more accusatory and defensive. By the end of the afternoon, the meeting had turned into a list of all the ways we were letting the church down. 

There’s something worse than complaints...SILENCE. Nobody likes criticism, but for those who preach, sometimes hearing nothing can be the worst part of the job.

Most pastors are “fixers.” They want to know what’s working and what isn’t and they want to make it work. But they can't do that if they don't know what's going on. Many leaders can leverage their skills to make the church more healthy, but it can't happen in a vacuum.

That's why assessment is such a great gift to your pastor. You don't have to schedule a big meeting - just find times to talk through church life and help your leader think on how the church is doing. Don't be afraid to be honest about problem areas, but make an effort to be an encourager as well! Find places that are healthy and celebrate that! Grab lunch or send an email - find some way to be a vocal presence in your pastor's life. I promise that both of your ministries will be better for it!

Click here for part 5.