Chances are if you’re reading this I don’t know you personally. I haven’t been to your church and you’ve probably never been to mine. But one of the things I do know about you, if you work at a church, is your senior pastor. I know something about them you don’t. I know something about them THEY might not even know about themselves. It is without question the BIGGEST, most important thing they need you to know about them. And here it is:
Do for me what you’d like the people you lead to do for you.
If you can master this one principle your senior pastor will love you forever. If you can take this one concept and use it as a filter for everything you do at your church you will be more successful than you have ever been in your ministry setting. This one small, but hugely crucial habit, will ensure you and your senior pastor have a healthy and mutually beneficially relationship.
So how can you put this principle into practice at your church? Here are 7 ways:
1. Do your job exceptionally well
Your senior pastor wants you to do your job well. Make it your mission to work harder (and smarter) than anyone else in your department. Figure out where you add the most value. The best way to help your senior pastor do their job is by doing yours well.
2. Bring problems privately
Whether it’s a disagreement about the direction of your church, a tension about how your ministry is supported by their leadership, or a conflict between the two of you always, always, always do it in private. Never call your boss out in public. I’ve seen people make this mistake. It never, EVER ends well. Use Matthew 18:15-17 as a guide.
3. Support then publicly
When your senior pastor knows you have his back, he will have yours. A great way to show you’re on his team is to support him and his leadership in front of others. This doesn’t mean being fake or lying about something you don’t like. It means submitting to the leadership God has placed you under and helping them be successful. This will mean the world to them.
4. Come prepared when taking their time
I never want to be that guy who is always asking others to fix things for him and your pastor doesn’t want you to be that guy either. Only bring the most crucial, the most heavy, and the most difficult problems you can’t solve to them. And when you do bring a couple of possible solutions and ask for their wisdom.
5. Offer to take something off their plate
As your schedule permits offer to help your senior pastor with something. It may be with research for an upcoming message, providing childcare for an event, or running a meeting they secretly want to get out of. Whatever it is make sure it won’t hinder the quality of your work, is something your good at, and is something they’d really like some help on.
6. Thank them
Gratitude is the best attitude. When your senior pastor does something you like, whether it’s a message, stopping by your ministry, or running a program, meeting or event, that went especially well let them know they did a good job. I’ve never heard anyone complain about getting appreciated too much. Your senior pastor is no exception.
7. Pray for them and their family
Spend a few minutes in your quiet time praying over your leader’s family, leadership, and health. God’s anointing on their life is the best thing for both of you. This isn’t something you need to advertise each time you do it. But it wouldn’t be a bad idea to occasionally post on their Facebook or text them to say you were praying for them. It’ll make their day.
Having a senior pastor isn’t always easy. Neither is being one. Both of you got into this crazy thing called ministry for the same reason: to love God and to love others. When you work at doing for them what you’d like the people you lead to do for you it will make working together fun and enjoyable.