One of our featured articles on the childrensministry.com homepage this week is "Leading Up." In it, David Staal interviews his former pastor Bill Hybels about how children's ministers can best work with their senior pastors. Let's dig into it some more.
Hybels said: "I've never seen a day where it's harder to be a senior pastor than this day, and I've never seen senior pastors under higher levels of stress. And that's for good reason. The world is changing, ministry is harder, preaching is harder, team-building is harder, and fund raising is harder. Capturing the attention of lost people is more difficult, and people are more broken. So there's a lot going on in a senior pastor's mind."
What can we do to support our leaders? The first thing is to have a servant's heart. I can share with you a few ideas.
* Ask "How can I serve you?" Sure, our plates are full (whose isn't?). But when our leaders need something done, is our first response to tell them how busy we are and how long it'll be before we can get to that item? Or do we communicate to them that their agenda is our agenda--and we're here to serve? When a leader works with a staff person whose heart is to serve, it truly is like taking 20 pounds of stress off that leader's shoulders.
* Align with your leader. Is your children's ministry's mission statement in perfect sync with the church's mission statement? Or are you building your own kingdom? If you can't align, perhaps you need to find a new leader to follow. Your heart needs to be 100 percent sold out to contributing to your leader's success in achieving what God has called him or her to do.
* Stay in the game. Some people think alignment with leadership means we need to be "yes people," saying "Just tell me what to do and I'll do it." Not at all. When I was in college, our ministry was led by a director and an associate director. The associate director once told me that if she disagreed with the leader, she would passionately communicate her views behind closed doors. But if the leader didn't agree, once she walked out that door, no one would ever know she disagreed. Truthfully, you're no good to your leader if you stop thinking, dreaming, working as hard as you can. Stay in the game--fully engaged!
What have you done to support your leaders?