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More than Flunkies: 10 Keys for Associate Pastors

4. Be proactive about your growth.

Time doesn’t fix a flat tire. And it does not produce a skilled minister.

You must be intentional about your development. Don’t be pulpit furniture. Don’t be guilty of ministerial sloth. And don’t wait for others to invest in you. Read. Study. Go to school.

Attend of ongoing training events. Seek out your pastor’s counsel, guidance, and mentorship. Ask for assignments that will help you grow. Don’t be indifferent about your ministerial future.

Determine to be the best you can be for God.

5. Be loyal to your pastor.

The pastor was voted, called, or selected to lead the church. You were not. It is not your place to run ahead of the pastor or to work against him.

You are there to assist him. Respect him, even if you are older. Support him, even if you have been there longer. Honor him, even if you have more training or experience. Pray for him. Do whatever you can to help him. Be trustworthy. Keep private information confidential.

Do not speak against the pastor to members. Do not listen to members speak against the pastor. Remember the Golden Rule (Matt. 7:12).

6. Have a servant’s spirit.

The paradox of Christian discipleship is that the one who would lead must be a servant. This is the Christian way to leadership. We are servant-leaders.

Serving as an associate minister can help you develop a proper attitude toward Christian leadership. Be a servant. Imitate the one who washed his disciples feet (John 13). Make yourself available to serve. Serve as to the Lord, not for men.

And don’t get offended when you are treated like a servant!

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H.B. Charles, Jr. is a pastor, speaker, and writer. He lives with his wife and children in Jacksonville (FL), where he serves as the Senior-Pastor of the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church.