Student pastor is a broad term. Ask any church across America what they expect in a student pastor and I'm sure you will receive a lot of different responses. Over the past 9 years I have learned a lot about trying to do everything. I learned a lot the hard way. The expectation level that can sneak into a leader's heart can be dangerous and sometimes fatal to their longevity in ministry. If you are a leader, I hope this blog post encourages you to manage the expectations of yourself and others.
The epitome of a student pastor is to be good at everything:
- Travel agent - Counselor - Pastor - Training Development - Design guru - Marketing - Video editor - Photographer - Event planner - Catering specialist - School Booster club helper - The "always-on" extrovert who never meets a stranger - Complaint department - Curriculum writer - Culture expert - Blogger - Tech expert - Crazy game person - Upfront personality - Good listener - Patient with young students - Top notch communicator
And I'm sure there are more we could add to the list.
A few reasons we try to do everything:
- Control: We can't stand someone else doing what we do because we like the feeling of taking all the praise. - Insecurity: We feel our performance is our identity so the tendency is to equate doing everything with success. - Fear: We can easily fear the unknown. We fear failure so much that we hold onto everything with tight fists. - Perfectionism: We think that we do things perfectly so we do it ourselves. P.S. No leader is perfect.
Stop doing everything. Leadership is seeing the God-given potential in others and encouraging it to come out. The more a leader grows, the less they believe it is all about them doing everything. We are not superstars with a fan base. We are coaches who are leading the team to become the best in their roles to serve Jesus.
Start building your strengths and empower people to fill in your weaknesses. Spend more time growing in the areas you are strong and delegate your weaknesses. No matter the size of your church, this principle remains the same. There is always someone who can help serve. It is our job to find them and encourage them to succeed.
A lot is at stake, especially longevity. It takes a team and not a "one-person" show.
What would you add to this list of "stop doing" so you can develop others? Share in the comments below.