10 Ways to get on the Same Page as Your Senior Pastor

by Gary Fenton

10. Initiate conversations with your pastor and begin the conversation from his perspective. Use language and concerns of his world. Usually the pastor is a generalist. He likely considers the children’s pastor or student pastor as a specialist. So, begin your discussion with how your ideas fit into the big picture.

9. Tell the pastor of at least one ministry win each month. He is already hearing problems. So, he needs to hear of your accomplishments. And most importantly, knowing your ministry wins helps him tell the church’s story. To go a step further, make a point to share ministry victories of other staff members (especially those who may be younger, newer, or intimidated by the senior pastor.)

8. Ask the pastor if there are any unintended consequences in your ministry. For example, are other ministries impacted by what’s going on in your ministry, for better or for worse? Remember your successes may complicate another staff member’s ministry.

7. Ask the pastor to walk with you through your ministry space and ask him to assess what he sees. Don’t let this be stressful, welcome his thoughts.

6. Keep the pastor informed of any changes in your ministry. Pastors do not like surprises. Even small changes not impacting the whole church are important.

5. Share trends and societal changes impacting family life. As a next generation leader (and specialist), you may be attending conferences or reading books and blogs that address culture shifts. These trends and ideas could shape the way the church does ministry in order to remain relevant. Via email, provide the pastor a brief summary of what you are learning or talk about the new ideas at a staff meeting.

4. Tell your pastor about your three favorite ministry-related websites, blogs or recently read books. Ask him to share his favorites with you. This is a great way for both of you to understand the ideas and leaders shaping your perspective. This can be done through a simple email exchange.

3. Share prayer requests for your ministry with your pastor. For example, ask the pastor to pray for you on your most difficult day of the week and explain why it is the most challenging time in your ministry or personal life.

2. Invite the pastor to visit you in your office or for a coffee break. Meeting outside his office may remove some intimidation and allow you to engage in more authentic conversation. Take advantage of opportunities to talk about ideas and issues that do not necessarily relate to your own ministry.

1. Ask the pastor at least twice a year how he feels your ministry is going. Ask if there is anything you can do to help with the big picture vision or mission for the church.

Gary Fenton is the Senior Pastor of Dawson Memorial Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Gary blogs at www.CharacterPath.com and can be found at Twitter @CharacterPath.