Learning Through Experience
My most satisfying, uplifting, and joyful moments in ministry have happened while working with church staff. And such occasions have also wrought the most challenging, discouraging, and painful moments as well.
During my sophomore and junior years in college, I worked with a team of fellow students on the “Upper Room Staff” at University UMC in Gainesville, Florida. That was an eye-opening experience! Creative energies synthesized. Innovative programs emerged. Personalities clashed along the way as well. During my first appointment after seminary, I served as an Associate Pastor on a large church staff. I continued learning the dynamics of a church staff, including my multiple roles on behalf of Christ’s church. Those lessons served me well in future appointments where I was serving with part-time staff members. Now I am leading a church staff with seven full-time employees and several part-time employees.
As one retired pastor told me, “Now you have two congregations: the one you think you’re supposed to serve, and your staff.”
When Moses Meets Aaron: Staffing and Supervision in Large Congregations, by Susan Beaumont and Gil Rendle, has been a terrific resource for me. I highly commend this book. Beaumont and Rendle bring an expansive array of wisdom to the subject. The authors not only articulate my questions and then provide helpful answers, but they also name the questions I couldn’t yet envision. For example, “What do the church staff members need from me as their Senior Pastor?” That’s a good question! I need to think about such things, because supervising and managing the church staff, including fellow clergy and other highly competent full-time lay employees, is requiring me to continue learning. When Moses Meets Aaron will stay close by as a trusty guide.
You can purchase yours on Amazon.com HERE.