Presentation on theme: "How to Support Your Pastor Center for Congregational Health."— Presentation transcript:
How to Support Your Pastor 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
Consultation 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 ministry
Leadership Development Pastor as Spiritual Guide Nine month process of retreats, readings and reflections Opportunities for personal spiritual growth Resources for guiding a congregation in spiritual formation
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 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?
Observations 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 call Younger ministers work in cross cultural situations Congregations that call young pastors often have very few resources. Younger pastors have a difficult time with the congregations attention to the pastors personal life.
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 ministry.
Other Research Clergy experience considerable work-related stress 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 space 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 hours per week. 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 deficits. 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 pastures. 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 1:26 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 34:13 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.