I left the leaders meeting feeling angry. Not healthy righteous anger, it was more like head-butt a closed door kind of anger. I just couldn’t understand why the pastors on my team didn’t help carry weight and why the leaders under them just couldn’t lead. Two years of leadership coaching, lots of prayer, encouragement, and more relational cups of coffee than could possibly be healthy just wasn’t working. I was frustrated and the truth is, I was the problem.
A lack of definition
My ill-defined roles for members, leaders, and pastors and my foggy expectations were biting me in the rear. As I reached out for coaching, read, and listened it started to come into focus. We had members who were really just attenders. Many of our ministry leaders were really just good members, and most of the guys I called pastors were just good men who loved Jesus and me but didn’t have a clue what pastoring really was about. It was time for the first of many ‘define the relationship’ talks with the team. Lots of guys stepped down, some left, and the first of several replantings of the church began.
Getting things in order
We had to start at the beginning by defining what Biblical expectations for church members looked like. The door from attender to member narrowed. Next we defined what was expected from ministry leaders. The door from member to leader narrowed even more. Finally, we defined expectations and requirements for pastors. The door between ministry leaders and pastors narrowed to the width of a credit card. We want to have a church culture where everyone is a minister and where all Christians get to suit up and get off the bench. It’s the pastor’s job to equip the saints for mission. That just can’t happen if no one knows the rules of the game.