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Should Lead Pastors Love Their Staff?

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:12

And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. 2 John 1:5

I haven’t yet found a clause in Scripture giving church leaders a bye on loving another believer, even if that believer is a co-worker or is regarded as an employee.

Senior Pastor…We have no choice but to love the staff we lead. They are our brothers and sisters in Christ. I do realize that there will be times when down deep you don’t like someone you work with. You’ll be disappointed in them or angry with them. This is a natural reaction, an intuitive internal response to an external situation.

While pastoring, on two occasions, I was forced to let a staff member go. I still love them both. I was a reference for one of those staff members a few years ago. The other might not even call me friend. But…I loved them then, treated them with love and respect then, and love them still today. Their performance, even their attitude, didn’t determine my love for them.

Let’s face it…Loving those we are at odds with is an internal accomplishment through the power of the Holy Spirit who is at work in us. Love is not dependent on our ability to love; it is accomplished through the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. I pray that, if you have a staff member that you don’t love at present, you will allow the Holy Spirit to bring love alive in you.  

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Rick has one passion… To see “a biblical small group within walking distance of every person on the planet making disciples that make disciples.” He is presently pursuing this passion as the Small Group and Discipleship Specialist at LifeWay Church Resources. Rick has authored or co-authored multiple books, studies, and leader training resources including A Different Kind of Tribe: Embracing the New Small Group Dynamic, Destination Community: Small Group Ministry Manual, The Gospel and the Truth: Living the Message of Jesus, Small Group Life Ministry Manual: A New Approach to Small Groups, Redeeming the Tears: a Journey Through Grief and Loss, Small Group Life: Kingdom, Small Group Kickoff Retreat: Experiential Training for Small Group Leaders, and Great Beginnings: Your First Small Group Study, Disciples Path: A Practical Guide to Disciple Making. Rick’s varied ministry experiences as an collegiate minister, small group pastor, teaching pastor, elder, full-time trainer and church consultant, as well as having been a successful church planter gives him a perspective of church life that is all-encompassing and multi-dimensional. Rick is a highly sought after communicator and trainer.