Today in our weekly pastoral staff meeting I discussed with the staff characteristics of a healthy church staff (all while praying we were healthy enough to discuss it, lol). Just a quick note – what a great staff I have! Each of our staff meetings are, in my opinion, full of interaction, brainstorming, praying, relationship building, and fun! Our staff meetings usually last about three hours. Could they be shorter? Sure, if I handled it from just a business perspective. But we take time to ask how each other are doing, hear testimonies of what God is doing in our ministries, and usually talk about random stuff that has nothing to do with pastoring or church. What?!?! Pastors talk about non-pastoral church stuff? Now you are wondering what we talk about – what’s said in staff meeting stays in staff meeting.
Seriously, I gave the staff four points I think each church staff member (especially pastoral staff) should emphasize. I gave them (in my nerdy style) four H’s:
- Humility – 1 Peter 5:6 says humble yourself under God’s mighty hand that He may lift you up in due time. Humility takes on the form of serving, compassion, listening, being personal, etc. Notice the scripture says “humble yourself”. Good pastors must find ways to stay humble. Another example is shifting praise back to those who deserve it. Someone said to me this weekend, “great video pastor”. I told them I had nothing to do with it, thank our video team, thank the person in the video, etc.
- Hardworking – Colossians 3:23 says we should work heartily at whatever we do as for the Lord, not man. I was taught to have a good work ethic growing up. Going the extra mile, taking pride in your work, and giving it 110% are crucial in any job. At the end of the day I want to know my work day counted. All of us have bosses but I want to please the Lord more than an earthly boss or customer (or in my case church member). I had a few meetings today, ate lunch with my staff, studied for a leadership meeting, worked on my sermon notes and felt like I accomplished my job without letting it consume me or neglecting my duties (there is a healthy balance somewhere in the middle).
- Healthy – Luke 2:52 says Jesus grew in wisdom, stature, in favor with God and in favor with man. In other words, He was well-rounded – intellectually, physically, spiritually, and relationally. He understood the need to study the Word, be physically healthy, grow in a relationship with God and with people. If you lack one of these you are off balanced. Today I spent time listening to a couple of podcasts by other pastors growing in my leadership. I tried to eat healthier than I have been (salad for lunch, lots of water, etc.) and I also did a 40 minute walk/run. Another healthy thing I attempted to do was stay off my phone in “dead time” or in between meetings – especially when with people. I checked Facebook less often, only checked email a couple strategic times, and enjoyed the beautiful day instead of staring at a blue screen. Another big one was taking time off. I’m driven like the rest of our staff and usually someone else has to remind us to stop working, go home, take time off, etc. A healthy staff member takes their day off. A pastor works odd hours. It’s not a certain shift and frequently can go from early morning to late at night. I’ve really worked hard to do this the last couple of weeks. Unless it’s been an emergency (death, crisis, etc.) I’ve not answered the phone, returned messages (texts, calls, etc.) until the next day. I tried to do something other than pastoral duties (that was tough). Home improvement things usually take my mind off ministry but everyone has to find their own hobby or point of relaxation. Taking a sabbath to refresh, relax, and regroup is very important to overall health.
- Hungry – Proverbs 4 says get wisdom at any cost. A healthy staff member is always growing their craft but desires to grow more in their relationship with the Lord as well. Pastors must read and study the Word for more than the next time they teach or preach. We must spend time growing in our calling but more important than that we must spend time just growing in the Lord.
What other words begin with “H” are important for pastors?
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.
Leave a Reply