Most church staff members crave healthy communication with and leadership investment from their pastor. But they don’t often have the freedom or job security to initiate a relationship that intimate. Consequently, determining vision and direction is often a trial and error process that discourages the staff members and frustrates the pastor.
The willingness to implement a culture of healthy communication requires a level of sacrifice and trust that cannot be guarded, territorial, defensive or competitive. It publicly and privately acknowledges the calling and competence of others and is not afraid of transparent dialogue. And it embraces and shares unified goals.
But healthy communication will never occur until the pastor is willing to initiate it.
So Pastor, what your staff needs from you is…
- A collaborative spirit that sees their ministry as complementary, not competitive.
- An open line of communication giving them permission to disagree in private without fear of retaliation.
- For you to acknowledge and value their calling and gifts even when radically different from your own.
- Mutual approachability, availability and accountability.
- For you to affirm them in public; correct, instruct, coach and mentor them in private; and pastor them at all times.
- The willingness to work toward a common philosophy of ministry.
- Affirmation that shared ministry will not threaten but instead strengthen your leadership.
- Loyalty, trust, respect and friendship.
- For you to initiate significant conversations that include hopes, dreams, goals, expectations, plans, concerns and evaluations.
- Authentic transparency.
- For you to acknowledge that the sermon may not always be the most important event of the week.
- A sincere desire to regularly pray together, process goals together and learn together.
- For you to invest in their personal and spiritual lives with no ulterior motive.