I am blessed. I know. I serve under an amazing pastor. He is a strong, Godly shepherd, who cares deeply about his congregation, his staff, those in leadership, and his family. He has been a wonderful example of what a humble leader looks like.
I wanted to share a few things I am learning.
1. Don’t Publish Your Office Hours. Some churches require an office where staff log their hours worked. Some insist you keep regular office hours, 9 to 5 so the church can see you “working.” But the first lesson I learned was not to keep regular office hours. Now that doesn’t mean I’m never in the office. Actually, I am in the office just about every day. What it does mean, is that I am not tied to my office. I have the freedom to come and go as my schedule sees fit. Not feeling very created in the writing department? How about a change of scenery? Starbucks? Sure! We have one pastor on staff that spends time in the woods and his van before coming into the office.
But what if someone needs to speak with you? Simple. they call ahead and schedule an appointment.
The flexibility to work with what works best with your personality and work habits is a wonderful gift. If you don’t have to be in the office, take advantage of the community around you and discover God in place you’ve never thought. Yeah, believe it or not, God does visit the McDonald’s across from my office window! (I think He likes the free wifi and large sweet tea!)
2. Respond to Requests Quickly. One thing I’ve notice from working in the office is how quickly our lead pastor responds to the simple requests that come into the office throughout the week. He never hesitates to halt what he’s doing to answer a question, make a phone call, look something up, or address the need of someone who stops by the church.
It occurred to me that this quick response has a number of benefits. 1. His attention demonstrates his concern and love for the congregation. 2. It lets the person in need know that they are valued. 3. And it prevents a back up of “little things” that become To Do’s later in your week. If you can and when you can, take care of the little requests right away and see how people respond. You might be surprised.
3. Allow Time for Those SURPRISE Visits. For most of my time here at my current church, my office has been in another building in town. So I’ve missed out on the amount of visitors the church office received in a weeks time. Now that we are in our new facility and I am back with the staff in my own office, I am amazed by how many people drop by the church office to visit. Our pastor almost always makes time for whoever stops by. Whether or not they can to speak with him, he will take a few minutes to come out of his office and at least say hi.
What an impact that has on our congregation! So taking the cue from him, I am learning to welcome those surprise visits. I am trying to be more intentional about leaving my office door open. And I am attempting to actually greet our visitors when I can in the hallways or in our welcome lobby. I especially get excited when the toddlers come by as their moms are running errands. I have a collection of Star Wars items in my office which lends to some fun conversations with those little guys.
If you serve under a pastor who knows how to love and care for his congregation in a godly and biblical way, you are truly blessed. Grab your note pad and watch what he does. Take notes on how he deals with people, conflict, needs, and relationships. Be a learner. Do the good things he does. And realize you’re not just ministering to the youth of your church, but you are ministering the people of God’s church.