I love the local church. In the church I have found a family that loves me, prays for me, challenges me, and stands beside me. My experience is that most churches want to love and follow their undershepherds as they walk together.
At the same time, though, I fear that the disconnect from pastor to pew is often too wide to build a good team. In that light, I believe many pastors need to be more open to sharing life with their congregation. Thus, today I list twelve things a church should know about its pastor.
Some of these items may surprise you, but that’s the point: we pastors don’t often share enough.
- Your conversion experience. Pastors often share their story in the hiring process, but seldom after getting hired. Consequently, many newer church members don’t know these stories.
- Your baptism story. Folks who hear pastors proclaim the Word ought to know about this spiritual marker in their leaders’ lives. After all, baptism is to be a witness.
- Your spiritual disciplines strategy. Believers need role models to help them read the Word and pray. Telling them your strategy will give them ideas for their own life and increase their confidence their spiritual leader is following God.
- The latest truth you’ve learned from God’s Word. Share with them the result of your studies; show them your joy in hearing from God. Let them know that all believers should continue growing.
- Your sermon preparation strategy. When they know the work you do, they’ll pray more for you – and they may be more protective of your study time.
- Your latest efforts in evangelism. A congregation needs to know their pastor is trying to reach the lost. Tell the stories, but do so without drawing attention to yourself.
- Your latest efforts in discipleship. Pastors should be pouring themselves into the next generation of leaders. When the church knows you’re raising up leaders, they’ll think more about the future.
- Your prayer needs. We assume church members pray for us, but they must do so generically if they don’t know our needs. Be willing to share your heart a bit.
- Your day off. You deserve a day off. Your family deserves time with you alone. Tell your church about your day off, and protect that day as much as possible.
- Your birthday and anniversary. Give your congregation an opportunity to celebrate with you on these important days. In fact, let your church know the birthdays of your entire family.
- Your reading list. Some church members will want to read with you. Others will simply be glad to know you’re reading. Still others will begin reading something because you recommend it.
- Your vision for the church. Your members want to know your goals, your direction, your plans for the congregation. Work with the appropriate staff and teams to lead the church to buy into that vision.
Tomorrow, I will give the final 12 items on my list.