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How to Support Your Pastor


Center for Congregational Health Center for Congregational Health A Ministry of the School of Pastoral Care at The North Carolina Baptist Hospital Established in 1992 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: How to Support Your Pastor

How to Support Your Pastor
  • Center for Congregational Health

Center for Congregational Health
  • A Ministry of the School of Pastoral Care at The
    North Carolina Baptist Hospital
  • Established in 1992
  • Serving approximately 25 congregations a month
  • Last year we served over 600 participants in
    leadership development programs

Ministries of the Center
  • Visioning and Planning
  • Staff Development
  • Reconciliation
  • Church consultant training

Leadership Development
  • In-depth educational opportunities for recent
    seminary graduates
  • Assessing participants strengths and limitations
    as a leader
  • Establishing the support needed to sustain their

Leadership Development
  • Pastor as Spiritual Guide
  • Nine month process of retreats, readings and
  • Opportunities for personal spiritual growth
  • Resources for guiding a congregation in spiritual

Interim Ministry
  • Traditional interim ministry
  • Intentional Interim Ministry
  • Assisting congregations to decide the best way to
    use the interim time.
  • Training clergy as interim pastors and
    intentional interim ministry specialists.
  • Providing resources to interim ministries
    throughout the U.S. (14 states) and Australia.

Faith and Vocation
  • "Vocation is where the worlds greatest need and
    a persons greatest joy meet," says theologian
    Frederick Buechner.
  • In partnership with schools and denominational
    groups, the Center is developing resources to
    invite people to integrate their faith and work.

  • Coaching is an on-going professional
    relationship designed to help you produce the
    results that you want in your personal and
    professional life.

The Skills and Abilities of an Effective Pastor
  • The Top Ten Characteristics
  • What does this list tell us about the challenges
    of serving as a pastor?

  • Pastors need a wide range of skills
  • Most dont have great skills in all areas
  • Congregations have high expectations
  • Every church wants an ideal pastor
  • Pastors need significant support
  • Congregations play an important role

Report on Research
  • The Network for Ministerial Excellence
  • (Conducted in the Summer of 2004)

To whom did we talk?
  • 8 groups
  • 34 pastors and 18 lay leaders
  • 32 congregations

What did we learn?
Lessons from Younger Pastors
  • A substantial percentage of young clergy are
    entering high risk situations in their first
  • Younger ministers work in cross cultural
  • Congregations that call young pastors often have
    very few resources.
  • Younger pastors have a difficult time with the
    congregations attention to the pastors personal

Lessons from Experienced Pastors and Young
Associate Pastors
  • There is a shift between what is now considered
    more challenging in ministry
  • Concerns about the relationship between pastors
    in different generations.
  • The importance of good starting experiences in

Other Research
  • Clergy experience considerable work-related
  • Clergy families experience considerable
    work-related stress
  • Many clergy leave ministry each year due to
    stress and burnout
  • Most feel some sense of isolation and loneliness

How Your Church Can Support Its Pastor
Pray for the pastor and the pastor's family
  • You need to know their needs.
  • You need to pray for the whole family.
  • Prayer is an important link in the relationship
    between pastor and church.

Be a family to the pastor's family
  • Most clergy give up any proximity to their own
    families to come and serve yours.
  • Clergy are often very lonely and their families
    can be lonely too.

Give the pastor and their family some privacy and
  • Remember the golden rule.
  • Allow them a social life as normal as possible.

Encourage study, growth and learning
  • A pastor is called upon to provide growth,
    nurture and learning for others.
  • A pastor can only preach and teach from the well
    of their own soul--and the well needs a constant
    and fresh supply of water.
  • Provide time and money to allow this.

Adopt reasonable expectations
  • A pastor does not have unlimited time or energy
    to give to others.
  • A recent national survey of pastors found that
    50 of pastors worked between 42-63 hours per
  • An additional 25 of pastors work more than 60
    hours per week.

Compensate well
  • Most clergy could have made a lot more money in
    another vocation.
  • Many end up poor and destitute at retirement.

Capitalize on strengths, compensate for weaknesses
  • No pastor can do all things well.
  • Each pastor will have particular strengths.
  • Capitalize them
  • Each pastor will have particular weaknesses or
  • Compensate for them

Provide regular, honest, constructive feedback
  • Personnel committee's job description To help
    the pastor and staff have an effective ministry.
  • Develop a useful process aimed at Building up
    the Body of Christ.
  • 360 feedback
  • Qualitative measurement

Clarify expectations and articulate assumptions
  • What does the congregation expect of a pastor
    that is not in the job description?
  • Expectations of family members?
  • Membership or participation in organizations?
  • Leadership roles outside church?
  • It is important to identify as many of the
    congregation's unstated assumptions as possible.

The pastor is part of the congregation and the
"Body of Christ"
  • Pastor staff are not just "employees."
  • A pastoral relationship is important to develop.
  • The grass is usually not greener in the other
  • Congregations need to take responsibility instead
    of finding someone else to blame.

Squelch gossip and criticism
  • If you hear criticism or negative talk, Respond
    with a positive word or refuse to join in.
  • James 126 says, "If anyone considers himself
    religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on
    his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion
    is worthless."
  • Psalm 3413 says, "Keep your tongue from evil and
    your lips from speaking lies."

Maintain good communication
  • Pastors and staff are not mind readers.
  • Address issues as they arise, not after they have
    built up.
  • Try not to keep secrets.
  • Dont allow vigilantes to run the show.
  • Vigilantes take the law into their own hands
  • Vigilantes ignore policy, procedure and process

Supporting your pastor requires effort
  • Be intentional.
  • Be consistent.
  • Be quick to praise, slow to criticize.
  • Treat the pastoral relationship as one you care
    deeply about and are committed to developing.

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