Tips For Non-Lead Pastors 2.0

Not everyone that fits the biblical qualifications of eldership is called to be a lead/senior pastor, and that is great! We don’t need a church full of “one guys.”

Furthermore, if you’re a seminary intern, associate minister, ministry director, staff pastor, or even if you’re moving towards a leadership position within Christ’s church, you’re in a prime position to develop a comprehensive vision of ministry.

If you have found yourself in a Non-Lead Pastor (NLP) position there are 5 areas in the church that you should seek to learn- Communication, Convocation, Children, Community Life, Connections, and Currency Management. We could argue that there are more, but many of those other areas find their roots in these 5.

So, over the course of the next few weeks, I want us to examine each of these expressions individually. Hopefully, it will provide you the practical tools that you need to serve in Christ’s church.

1.  Communication

I personally believe that the most important of expression in the church is communication. One thing that I have learned about lead/senior pastors is that they have to do A LOT of talking! During my time serving in leadership at my church, I’ve realized that it is not limited to a 45-minute sermon on Sunday mornings.

It also includes board/elder meetings, leadership development training, vision casting, and the conveying of a Christ-centered philosophy of ministry in a compelling manner. Many, lead pastors are gifted communicators, and the beauty of being an NLP is that by being patient and honing your craft, it will provide a great context to assess and develop your gifting.

Preaching is the proclamation of Christ in a manner that communicates his redeeming and unrelenting love, and although a non-lead pastor doesn’t preach to the congregation very often, he should be able to preach the gospel with clarity, conviction, and contextualization.

This is not to say that we need to preach as well as Spurgeon, but rather that we need to do so in a manner that is faithful to the Gospel.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I will cover some preaching basics as well as give some pointers on facilitating meetings with church leaders, casting vision in a compelling manner to the congregation, and conveying a Christ-honoring philosophy of ministry to potential leaders.

2.  Convocation

In the Old Testament, this typically referred to an assembly on a Holy Day,  and these set of posts will cover the philosophical and theological understanding of worship as well as it’s practical application as it pertains to our ministry contexts.

Although it isn’t incumbent upon the non-lead pastor to compose music and write arrangements, he should be aware of the importance of Christ-centered lyrics, liturgy, and leadership.

These posts will provide the NLPs with practical guides on the selection of worship songs, corralling the hearts of the singers and musicians with the Gospel, and leading the congregation in worship to the only God whom it is due.

3.  Community Life

Interconnectedness within the church is vital to community life because it helps to maintain the peace and purity that the Lord intended in the body of Christ. Although NLPs don’t have to be koinania gurus, we ought to have a working knowledge of conflict mitigation and resolution, foundational biblical counseling, discipleship and life coaching.

We’ll also explore how to develop and maintain unity within community groups, teaching small group curriculum, and help NLPs understand how the intricacies of the unifying love of Jesus is applied within the context of our communities.

4.  Connections

Connections, or assimilation as it’s known in other churches, is the process by which the church receives new members and recent converts into the body of Christ as well and connects those within the community to the mission of the church. Connections is vital because it focuses the church on proclaiming the gospel and encourages believers to live as sent missionaries in their homes, workplaces, neighborhood, and cities.

Although it’s a multi-faceted area, Connections deals with the coordination of outreach events, evangelism, connecting with leaders already in the community, providing training and coach in evangelism, following up with visitors, leading new members classes, and working closely with other church leaders to be to the outreach arm of their ministries. During these set of post, I’ll provide you with practical systems to help develop this ministry within the local church.

5.  Currency

Although seminary has prepared potential pastors in systematic theology, preaching, biblical theology, and biblical language, sometimes students are inadequate in the area of church administration and financial management.

The purpose of these blogs will be to help NLP’s understand stewardship principles and thoroughly cover the financial management aspect of the church- including the use of QuickBooks, donor relations, partnership connections, receiving offerings, and system management.

This doesn’t require us to be accountants but we must seek to empower NLP’s to take notice of the financial resource that need to be accounted for within our churches.

Concluding Thoughts

I’m looking forward to diving into these areas over the next few weeks. My hope is that you would develop a comprehensive vision of ministry in God’s church and that we’re able to develop competencies that will play a pivotal role in seeing people coming to Christ.

That’s all I’ve got for now.

Grace and peace.

Ernest Cleo Grant, II

Ernest Cleo Grant, II (@ernestcleogrant) is the Lead Pastor of Epiphany Fellowship Church of Camden, a graduate of Reformed Seminary (D.C.), and is currently completing his Doctorate of Education from Stockton University. He and his wife Sarah have been married for almost a decade and have two children( Amaela and Chancellor). He's an avid reader, a community advocate, and has bylines in The Witness, Christianity Today, The Star-Ledger, Desiring God, and other publications

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