I am grateful for the tremendous team the Lord has assembled here at Lancaster Baptist Church and West Coast Baptist College, and it is my joy to co-labor with them in the work of the Lord. I pray for our staff and their families daily and thank the Lord for how they help me serve our church family and college students.
The work of the ministry can be a challenge in that it cannot be measured by to-do lists alone. Some of the fruit takes time, and it always requires faithfulness to the Lord.
So how is effectiveness on a local church staff measured? I don’t have a scale to easily answer that question. But I do know the qualities that I count on in our staff leadership. If you serve on a church staff, I can guarantee that these are important to your pastor as well.
There is no substitute for spiritual health in a leader’s life. Ultimately, this is dependent on your personal walk with God. But it definitely shows up in your day-to-day integrity.
Character is so important that both New Testament passages which list the scriptural qualifications for pastors and deacons (1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1) major on the character aspects of leadership.
You cannot ignore your spiritual health or compromise your integrity and expect to have spiritual effectiveness as a leader.
For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.—Titus 1:7–9
No one wins in an ego-driven team, least of all the people who we are called to serve. Spiritual fruit in ministry requires the humility and care to invest in others and work together as a team.
Pray for, encourage, thank, and help those around you. If you have been on staff a while, be patient with younger staff. Be approachable and kind. In short, be someone who contributes to an environment where others want to be.
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;—Romans 12:10
Nothing worthwhile is accomplished without an investment of time. This is true both on a weekly basis and in the sense of longevity.
Two of the greatest ways you can encourage your pastor are to 1) see your staff position, not just as a job but as something you want to invest yourself in, and 2) stay as long as God allows. We have been blessed with a committed core of leaders who have served in our ministry for decades. Sometimes God moves people, but I am thankful for people who have been committed to stay as long as He would allow.
But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.—Philippians 2:22
As our culture shifts—and is it ever changing!—the need for biblical discernment grows. We need discernment in how we represent the Lord and His work to the lost, how we conduct ourselves, how we communicate with others, and in every other facet of life and ministry.
A staff member who works to exercise discernment and is teachable to grow in discernment is a tremendous blessing to a pastor. Paul wrote to the Philippian church that he prayed their ability to exercise both love and discernment would grow more and more.
And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;—Philippians 1:9
The baseline of ministry is leading people to Christ and discipling them in spiritual maturity. A staff member who is awesome at scheduling activities but never engages people with the gospel is not really doing the work of the ministry.
Ultimately, it is the Holy Spirit who is the real soulwinner, but He uses active human mouthpieces. How often are you sharing the gospel in personal settings? Who are you actively following up on to reach for the Lord?
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.—Luke 19:10
When you open your home to people, they often open their heart to your investments in their lives. Servant leaders don’t just perform job duties; they develop relationships to nurture people in spiritual growth.
Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.—Romans 12:13
Be a leader who continually seeks to grow—personally, spiritually, and in every way you can. Build the area of ministry that has been given to you. Seek to grow as a leader. Develop your administrative skills. Work to become a better communicator. Don’t let the gifts and opportunities God has given you get neglected in the daily grind.
Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.—1 Timothy 4:14
None of these seven words are ones anyone on a ministry staff would disagree with. All of us know that character, teamwork, time, discernment, soulwinning, hospitality, and competency are important.
But could you say that you have a commitment to all seven of these? That is where the work of the ministry comes in. And that is also where you can be a tremendous blessing to your pastor and, by extension, the people you serve as a team.