“Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 1 Peter 5:2-4
Let me start by saying, you have one of the most difficult jobs in the world. Between sermon prep, deacons’ meetings, committee meetings, Bible studies, and hospital visits you stay busy. Not to mention you are juggling the responsibility of leading and guiding people. You have so many different people gathered under one roof and they each have an opinion. The senior adults complain about this. The youth complain about that. The choir is annoyed that you didn’t compliment their special music, and the deacons don’t think you are earning your keep. But don’t worry I see how hard you work. I see you come to work early and stay late. I see you labor in the ministry. I have seen you neglect your wife and kids to be at the bedside of a dying church member. I have seen you weep and pray over the lostness in our community. I have seen you preach with fervor on Sunday even after a long week. I have seen you care for your family in the best way possible, and in the midst of it all I have seen you carry the weight of knowing that you will have to answer to Jesus one day for all that you are doing. But I have one reminder for you as a staff member—I need you.
- I need you to give me advice and wisdom when I don’t know what to do.
- I need you to go out of your way to let me know when I’m doing things right because the last thing I want to do is let you down.
- I need you to value my opinion.
- I need you to let me do my job and not lead as a dictator.
- I need you to know that I will never publically belittle you. Please show me the same respect.
- I need you to know that I pray for you.
- I need you to know that I want to be your friend.
- I need you to know that I have your back, please have mine.
- I need you to know that I don’t want your job.
- I need you to let me know when I do something wrong because I long to be the best minister that God has called me to be.
- I need you to be my pastor and not just my boss.
- I need you to know that I trust you; please trust me.
- I need you to have an open-door policy with me.
- I need you to know that this list could keep going, but at the end of the day I just wanted to be treated like an equal. I want my opinion to be valued, and I want you to know that I would never do anything to undermine your leadership.
So with Christ as our Chief Shepherd let us go lead His people well!
Your Partner In Ministry,
A Church Staff Member