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"What Church Staff Wish Lay Leaders Knew"
by Tom Goodman
March 16, 2006

Thanks for your prayers while I was away.  Diane, the boys, and I got a chance to spend a week back at our former church, the First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman.  I brought the message on Sunday, and then we acted like tourists: scuba diving, snorkeling, wakeboarding, and eating way too much at meals with good friends.  We got back to Austin about 1:15 a.m. Thursday morning, refreshed and ready to enter into our Worship Campaign next week!

I ran across an interesting article that you should read: “What Pastors Wish Deacons Knew.”  The article should be titled, “What Church Staff Wish Lay Leaders Knew,” since several of the points apply to all Ministry Staff (not just pastors) and should be known by all lay leaders (not just deacons).  So, as you read it, consider how it applies to your own obligations to all your Ministry Staff.

Thankfully, some of the “pastoral stresses” the author describes don’t apply here at Hillcrest.  The decision-making process is biblical here, and the members of our Personnel Committee and deacon body care deeply for the staff.  Still, it’s worth your time to review the article.  As you share leadership with your Ministry Staff, it’s important to know some of the stresses that are unique to full-time ministry.

In the article, Derek Gentle outlines several points:

Pastors wish their deacons understood the level of stress they live with.
Pastors don’t have all of the spiritual gifts.
Pastors have multiple constituencies with whom they must deal.
Pastors don’t have the power many think they have.
There are often unrealistic expectations placed on the family of the pastor.
Getting time away is difficult for pastors.
Respect his training.
The meeting ain’t deac-ing.
In most churches, there's no one with the job of looking out for the pastor.
The dog isn't sleeping just because it's not biting you.
The church is not General Motors.
Pastors would rather hear bad news from their friends than from their enemies.
Thought-provoking stuff.  Let me repeat: not all of this applies to the relationship of lay leaders and church staff at Hillcrest.  Still, if you’re a leadership-partner at Hillcrest, it’s good to stay sensitive to the unique stresses upon the full-time members of the leadership team.  Keep us in your prayers as we all work together!


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