It’s mid-July and I remember it well after decades of being a full-time staff pastor. Is your lead pastor away on sabbatical, study leave, or an extended vacation?
I can certainly write much about my summer ministry experiences, i.e.:
- Keeping volunteers motivated to serve
- Keeping myself motivated to serve
- Keeping my eye on the upcoming fall, while bouncing from one summer event to the next
So how do you best support the lead pastor in this season?
- Don’t compare your schedule.
It’s easy to understand the possible frustration you may have as a staff leader experiencing a chaotic summer when you’re envisioning your pastor on the beach.
Give your lead guy a break. If the summer provides a window for your leader to relax, support it and don’t gripe about it.
- Leverage the summer to heighten excitement for your ministry area.
I remember an event I was leading in the summer and I was pretty exhausted near its conclusion. A spouse of one of my key volunteers asked if I had a minute to chat. The man asked why I seem to care so much about volunteers. So, I let it fly for a 30 minute “chat.” A few weeks later this guy was in my office signing up to serve, which he did for 8 straight years.
Think of summer as an opportunity to share how your of ministry to kids, students, or guest services creates excitement in the church. Promote the church during a season when you will encounter guests. Your pastor will love the energy you provide. And you may pick up some needed and awesome volunteers along the way.
- Use the summer to reframe your ministry product toward excellence.
Your lead pastor will benefit from your willingness to improve your programming. The church is the beneficiary of staff guys who are motivated to evaluate and improve the way ministry is executed. Take the time to whiteboard your ministry, (use an outside objective opinion, a consultant or trusted friend), and examine:
- Communication with parents
- The weekend experience for guests/families
- Volunteer management
- How your ministry supports the whole church
Become the staff pastor that supports your lead pastor. Your relationship will grow and the church benefits from your exemplified commitment. (And be sure to maximize your own days off for fun and relaxation!)