Culture Creation

We’re working to create a different kind of leadership culture at Grace Community Church.

Our staff doesn’t function like many other staffs, even though we are one of the most understaffed church staffs that I know.  And though we’re busier than ever preparing to launch a new campus (details HERE), it feels like the right kind of busy.  Here’s what our pastors do, that other pastors and leaders may not do.

Our pastors

  • Answer phones. We don’t have a receptionist.  If you call 931-647-6800, you’re going to immediately hear from one of our pastors.  But please don’t try it just for fun…I’m busy today.  And if you leave a message, our system emails us immediately so we can follow back up with you quickly.  Because we value resources, and don’t want to spend money on someone whose primary responsibility is something less than shepherding.
  • Are highly accessible. You can reach our staff members by Facebook, Twitter, Email, or cell phone.  Because we care about building relationships with those we’re seeking to minister among.
  • Set up on Sunday mornings. Our pastors are there as early as any volunteers, setting up tables, speakers, coffee, and banners.  Because we don’t want to ask our volunteers to do something that we aren’t willing to do.
  • Answer our emails quickly. Because we value promptness, and strive for excellence in our communication.
  • Book our own schedules. If we’re traveling to a conference, or scheduling a lunch meeting, we do that ourselves.  Because we hire pastors on our staff, not just administrative assistants.

Is this the right way to assemble a staff of leaders?  Is it biblical?  Is it the only way?  I don’t know.  But I do know that this is what we do, and it’s working well for us.

Difficulties and Rewards

Because we’re so accessible, more people feel the freedom to email and call us about random events in life at random parts of the day.  Which I think is pretty awesome.

Because we hire capable shepherd leaders, our staff is stretched pretty thin doing the work of ministry.  Which I think is pretty awesome.

Because we setup on Sunday mornings, we’re physically and spiritually drained by Sunday afternoon.  Which I think is pretty awesome.

Because we value promptness in communication, people have begun to communicate more, and more often.  Which I think is pretty awesome.

You can assemble your leadership staff differently if you want.  And I won’t fault you for it.  But I’m thrilled to serve here at Grace.

What things should a pastor be busy doing?

Does the way you spend your day show that you value relationships?

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Ben Reed is the small groups pastor at Long Hollow, a multi-site church in the Nashville, TN, area. He holds an Mdiv from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Ben is also an avid coffee drinker and CrossFitter, but not at the same time. Catch up with Ben at In his book, "Starting Small: The Ultimate Small Group Blueprint," he helps leaders through the process of putting a small group ministry together and creating a place where people belong so they can become.