I talk to way too many youth pastors who have a strained relationship with their Pastor for way too many reasons. All of them always care to know and be known by their Pastor but most are convinced it will never happen.
I know a good thing when I see it or experience it, just like you. I can say with confidence that I don’t have a good Pastor…I have a GREAT Pastor that I love with all my heart. He has my loyalty and there’s not a single person in the world that I would rather serve.
Sometimes I learn best by defining ugly realities in my own leadership and then observing the opposite in the life of another leader. I’m a leader watcher, and if you are too, I think it can help you sharpen your skills. If you’re a leader of a team and your relationships are strained, glean some insight by hearing what makes my Pastor great to me.
Here’s the ingredients that make my Pastor great in my eyes…
1. He expects me to dream – Some guys may not want such a demand…and this is not a demand in any negative sort of way. He expects me to dream about an explosion in my area of expertise. I like that constant drive to dream. GLEAN – dream big.
2. He always has a challenging, fresh thought – Pastor speaks to our staff and especially our directors on a regular basis. Many of our staff have been around for quite a while, which means he can’t just rehash an old thought. He’s always current from his devotions, his leadership experiences, and his relationships. GLEAN – stay sharp and present.
3. He cheers me on publicly – He says it publicly. Very often guys will call the office and say, “I heard Johnny at a conference and he said you were the best.” GLEAN – be generous to give praise, even when it may not be earned.
4. He’s authentic – Pastor is real. I’ve watched him preach about caring for hurting people and then get on a plane for a conference to sit down with other Pastors who are hurting. GLEAN – be you and not someone you’re not, especially someone else.
5. He’s a man’s man – The dude is confident, not cocky. He’s decisive and loyal. GLEAN – don’t be a passive leader that people may love but can’t respect.
6. He makes time – I watch him stand around after services and talk to whoever is there and wants help. GLEAN – we’re in the people business so make others a priority.
7. He answers my calls – I can’t recall but just a couple of times that I’ve ever had to leave my Pastor a message. He’s got to be the busiest Pastor in America yet he always answers my calls unless he is just not able at the moment. GLEAN – stay accessible.
8. He knows my family – He calls my kids by name. By the way, I’m just 1 of 160 staff members. I’ve been with him before and heard him tell a staff members dad who lives in another state “happy birthday two weeks ago!” I walked away thinking, “how in the world did he know that it was his birthday.” I couldn’t tell you my interns birthday without thinking about it. GLEAN – details reveal depth of relationship
9. His first answer is NEVER no – I have 1000% confidence that my Pastor’s first response is always “yes” to my questions. GLEAN – lead an environment that’s free to dream.
10. “Oh, you’re here!” vs “I’m here.” – Pastor doesn’t arrive and expect others to look at him. He looks at others and makes them feel like they are the VIP in the room. If you see him out in a restaurant, watch him interact with a waitress. It’s magic! GLEAN – I’m not the center of attention.
11. He’s generous – The week before I got married, he slipped $100 bill into my hands for my honeymoon. I’ve heard from a student that he gave their family several thousand dollars once for Christmas. He does these kinds of things ALL the time. GLEAN – be generous.
12. He celebrates my wins – It’s highly likely that you’ve seen my Pastor tweet something about our ministry. Once he mentioned our growth in a letter to the entire church about budget. GLEAN – take notice of God’s activity that doesn’t directly involve you and celebrate it.
13. He’s encouraging – I have a message saved on my phone from nearly a year ago from Pastor. Here’s all it said, “I’m glad you didn’t answer. I just wanted to leave you a message to let you know that your Pastor loves you very much and is grateful to God for you.” GLEAN – people under your leadership need to hear that you care about them.
14. He doesn’t care about his territory only – My Pastor is my greatest cheerleader. I have never known my Pastor to get ticked and territorial when a department does exceedingly well. He has no pride to protect and there’s no jealousy over one of his staff getting praise. GLEAN – your not the only one God called to ministry…cheer someone on.
By the way…this is the short list. I’ve got quite a few more but space and the chance of you continuing to read beyond this point force me to stop.
Why do you admire your Pastor or what do you wish he would do differently (you might want to post that one anonymously)?
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