"The Sunday Team" is a series of posts written to help worship leaders and pastors do a better job of knowing, encouraging and serving one another. Powerful things can happen when these two leaders work together!
Work in a church for even a little while, and you’ll start to realize that being a pastor involves a whole lot of drama. Complaints, insecurities, overwork,and family stress all combine to create a pretty tense work environment.
Pastors internalize a lot of stuff. They hear secrets and confessions and they often get to see the worst parts of their congregation on a daily basis. It’s no wonder that God speaks so seriously about those called to teach His Word and to pastor His people! You can’t know everything your pastor has to deal with, but if you’re aware of some of the big challenges, you can be a great friend and encourager.
A friend of mine was looking for a church. He and his wife had moved to a new town to start a business and knew they needed to find some place to worship. Eventually, they met a pastor who came to their restaurant on a regular basis. Every week, the pastor would come in, order lunch and make small talk with my friend. Eventually, the pastor asked my friend about church. My friend told the pastor he had been raised in church, but didn’t really hear the Gospel until he was nearly an adult. Because of that, he told the pastor he was very determined to find a place that prioritized the teaching of God’s Word. The pastor assured my friend that his church was exactly that kind of place.
The following Sunday, my friend and his wife showed up at the church. He caught the pastor’s eye across the sanctuary. After the singing was done, the pastor launched into a sermon - a Gospel drenched, zealous sermon.
The problem was that the pastor used all of my friends quotes from the week before. My friend and his wife later said it seemed like the pastor wasn’t very practiced with the Gospel and only was repeating what he’d heard in the restaurant. In the end, my friend left the church believing the pastor had cared more about gaining members than actually sharing the message of the cross.
Some pastors want the numbers - having a full sanctuary or lots of people on the membership list is their pinnacle of ministry success. Other pastors want the weekly sermons to be the linchpin of the church’s identity. Others want community groups to be the legacy of their ministry. Whether you agree with your pastor or not, rest assured that there’s a highly valued pastoral goal in mind when it comes to your church.
Knowing your pastor’s goal will do one of two things - first, it will create a strong bond between you both. Secondly, it will help you be a support to the leadership. It’s entirely possible that your pastor may have a few skewed priorities (like the guy in the story.) Knowing those goals - good or bad - will give you the ability to serve at your best.
Knowing what your leader is working toward will allow you both to find common ground when assessing corporate worship services. Knowing the goals makes it way easier for you to work with your pastor.