Rev. Sarah A. Schlieckert has written two excellent articles on “How to be a Good Assistant Pastor. Both of her articles have some real good material that I believe can be helpful to any associate or staff member in a congregation.
First of all, my entire approach to working with others is largely shaped by the family systems approach, which I think at base suggests it’s pretty silly to try to change other people. If you’re IN the system, you CAN change it. Perhaps not as quickly or even in the exact way you’d like to, but it is absolutely possible. And the way you do that is by changing the way YOU function. So I’m going to suggest some ways to do that.
The other day, one of our conference staff passed along this article about associate pastors “strengthening” senior pastors, and asked me and several other associates to comment. Seems that all of us found it lacking—as I pointed out in my reply to him, if you have a good relationship with your senior pastor, it was pointless, and if you actually need help building that relationship and understanding that role, the article doesn’t actually tell you HOW to go about doing it. He then asked if any of us had written an article—I’m not nearly important enough to have stuff published, but I, like so many others in the democratic chaos of the internet, have a blog, so I figured, why n