Not all of us as men are called to be a senior pastor. If God has called you to be a “second man,” then in reality, that’s first place for you. You may wonder if this is what God has for you for the rest of your life, but when you come to the conclusion that you are exactly where God wants you, you won’t even entertain other opportunities. When you find that sense of contentment in your heart, knowing that you are in God’s will, then you are free to love and embrace your position as the assistant.
Being the “second man” is not an easy position to fill. We all have an ego; we must die daily. We must remember that life is not about us. Strive to put aside your own agenda. When your pastor gives you some extra work, and you want to say, “My day is full,” remember that it’s not your day.
As a servant leader, you must strive to avoid a position-oriented approach to life. Leaders have influence by encouraging. You do not have to have a special title in order to have influence. Additionally, when we are not out to gain a specific position, our motives become pure. Our decisions will become based upon God’s will, not our own. When we are in the right place and right position, God will bless, and we will be fruitful.
If you are in a second position, you must understand and embrace your role. In God’s eyes, this position is not any less important than the position of a senior pastor. If the second position is God’s calling upon your life, you must receive it wholeheartedly. Assisting the senior pastor to fulfill the vision that God has given to him does not in any way diminish your value for the cause of Christ.
Below are some ideas to help fulfill the role of an assistant pastor:
1. Recognize the Pastor’s Vision
You must be able to trust your pastor’s vision and acknowledge that it has come from the Lord. Know the pastor’s vision by listening to the pastor in meetings and in his preaching, by spending time with him, by asking appropriate questions, and by praying for him.
Understand the pastor’s vision—understand its importance, its ramifications, and your role in fulfilling the vision. Your goal is seeing the vision become a reality.
Ask God for wisdom in how to answer questions about the pastor’s vision. People will ask staff members questions that they would not ask the pastor. Remember that what you say will be repeated. Be extremely supportive of the direction that the pastor is going because the church will be watching your response.
2. Receive the Pastor’s Vision
Each staff member must fully embrace the vision of the pastor. Remember that God has given this vision to the pastor, God has led you to be part of the staff to accomplish God’s will through the pastor, and God has gifted you to be an active player on the team.
Additionally, embracing this vision will include not only your actions, but also your attitude. Choose to be excited about your pastor’s vision.
3. Reciprocate the Pastor’s Vision
The pastor should not be the only one voicing the vision. Each staff member plays an important role in communicating the pastor’s vision to those in their realm of influence.
In the venues you might be speaking (an adult Bible class, choir practice, to school parents, etc.), you should be voicing what he’s voicing, and be as excited or more excited than he is.
4. Reflect the Pastor’s Vision
Reflect the vision through excitement, through participation, and through your spirit. Your spirit is contagious. Be excited about what God is doing!
5. Reevaluate the Pastor’s Vision
The pastor lives with the vision and the burden 24/7. I try to walk in his shoes, but I really can’t fathom it all. I only know what he shares with me. I only know a small portion of the entire picture.
Evaluate your heart for the vision, embrace the vision continually, and share your excitement for the vision.
6. Resolve to Help with the Pastor’s Vision
Stay personally committed to the vision. Make sacrifices each year to give more and do more. When you’re committed, you’ll find ways to get things done. Stay personally connected in fulfilling the vision.
7. Reassure the Pastor of His Vision
The pastor will need your love, your loyalty, your longevity, and your labor. It’s your choice to give your pastor your heart.
Ask God to help you be the man of God that your pastor can count on, and seek to serve God by serving as your pastor’s right hand man, the “second man.”