My former boss constantly reminded his team, “It’s all about relationships. Who you work with is more important than where you work or what you do.”
Poor working conditions or office space can be tolerated as long as there is good team spirit. Even unpopular assignments can become rewarding when shared by people who enjoy spending time together. But let team relationships fall apart and every aspect of the job falls apart as well.
When it comes to relationships, serving on a church staff is no different than any other job. People are people. Some are lovable while others are intolerable.
God created each of us with unique personalities, temperaments, likes and dislikes, and ways of receiving and communicating information. While all this uniqueness creates wonderful variety, it also creates the potential for strained relationships – especially when members of the team do not try to get to know and understand each other’s differences.
As a kids minister, the first person you want to invest time getting to know is the pastor. After all, he is the boss, and if you do not have a good relationship with him you are most likely not going to have a good relationship or experience with the church as a whole.
The first step towards having a good relationship with your pastor is acknowledging and honoring him as the pastor. He is responsible – both to God and the congregation – for the ministry as a whole. He is the spiritual leader of the church, the kids and workers in your ministry, including you and your family.
Maintaining a good relationship with your pastor includes:
- Becoming his champion and protector.
- Making him and his leadership look good.
- Earning and keeping his trust.
- Keeping him informed about your ministry.
- Never allowing him to get blind-sided or caught off guard.
- Taking issues and concerns directly to him.
- Putting an end to congregational gospel by refusing to participate.
- Loving on his wife and kids. Since they are always present, the pastor’s family is often overlooked, under appreciated, and unfairly held to a higher standard than others in the congregation.
- Praying for him throughout the day every day.
My favorite book on the subject is Leading from the Second Chair: Serving Your Church, Fulfilling Your Role, and Realizing Your Dreams by Mike Bonem and Roger Patterson, and published by Jossey-Bass.