by Dietrich “Deech” Kirk
When I was younger, I sometimes got confused about who was in charge of the church. I seemed to be the only one who knew the church had problems, and if a few others knew, well, knew how to solve the problem. It was a lot like going through adolescence with my parents.
One of our jobs as youth ministers is to support our pastor. He or she may not be Rob Bell or Adam Hamilton (and if we worked for them, they would have issues, too), but it does not matter. God and the Body of Christ have placed him or her at the head of your church, not you. Here are some simple ways to support your pastor:
If you don’t pray for your pastor daily, I have to ask “why not?” She is in a position of great influence and responsibility. Pray for her to have a discerning heart, a vision for the future, and strength to lead. Pray for her family, for her spouse, and children. Pray for her the way you hope she prays for you!
Lift Up
As a staff member, you will be asked what you think about the pastor regularly. Will you lift him up or tear him down? Save your criticism for the safety of your covenant group or spouse. When you are with the congregation, your job is to lift up the pastor, to help him see strengths he may not see, and to support his vision for the church. If you do not, then you need to consider whether you can work for that person.
Get to know your pastor. Ask questions about her life, family, etc. Don’t only talk to her about work. Very few people treat pastors like they are people with lives outside of the church. You know how that feels, so take the time to care.
There are countless reasons for you to communicate what is going on in the youth ministry to your pastor. The most important is that, ultimately, he or she is responsible for the youth ministry. (Really?) Yes, really. Where does the congregation go if they have issues with you? You got it.
So, part of supporting your pastor is keeping him or her in the loop with what is happening in the youth ministry. I recommend that at least once a month you go to lunch one-on-one with your pastor to get to know each other better and to keep him or her informed.
If you support them, then, they should support you, too. Thanks to Mark Matheny, Jim Glass, David Comperry, James King, Howard Olds, Cliff Wright, Martin Theilen, and, now, Davis Chappell, for supporting me.
How do you view your role as it relates to your pastor? Share your ideas on other ways we can support our pastors!