As an assistant pastor, you have been chosen by the man of God to help him in the ministry that God has called him to do. A portion of this will be to help, serve, and minister to the people of your church.
- Remember, you are not their undershepherd.
God has placed your pastor as the undershepherd for the people in your church and also for you and your family. God did not call you to be the Pastor of your church. You may be called to assist the Pastor, but unless you are the pastor, those people are not your sheep.
- Constantly be directing the people to God and to their pastor. Don’t be an Absalom.
A good assistant pastor should develop a relationship with the people of the church. This will simply be natural as you lead and serve alongside many fellow Christians within your church body. Because of this, there will be times when some will indicate or even verbalize that “they can’t get to the Pastor – he’s too busy, so may I ask you a question.” Encourage them to set up an appointment with the Pastor and then follow up to ensure it is cared for. Always be sure to share with the pastor the situation when the time allows.
- Don’t have a need or desire to know everything about the members of the church.
As you serve alongside the members of your church, your care and concern for them will naturally grow as well. However, since you are not their pastor, do not make the pastor feel obligated to share with you everything that is going on in a member’s life.
- If you know of a special day in the life of a church member, share it with the pastor.
Birthdays, anniversaries, church anniversaries, ministry anniversaries, retirement and many other days are important in the lives of individuals. Although people are different, people like to be remembered.
- If making a home or hospital visit for the pastor, be sure to share with them that he requested that you make the visit.
Oftentimes, the pastor will ask you to make a visit in his stead. These types of visits could range from a visitor’s in-home follow-up to a hospital visit for a church member. If you are asked by the pastor to make this visit personally, be sure to share with the one whom you are checking on the fact that the Pastor asked you to come by and visit with them.
- If you notice a dangerous trend in the life of a member, share it with the pastor.
The pastor cannot be everywhere at all times. As an assistant pastor, you are to be an extra set of eyes for him. Should you notice that a church member may be going down the wrong path, be sure to share your concern privately with the pastor.
- If you hear of a blessing or a victory in the life of a member, share it with the pastor.
Good news often goes unannounced or unnoticed. When you hear of a blessing, victory, or an amazing story involving a church member, be sure to pass that along to the pastor.
- If you hear of any struggles or emergencies in the life of a member, share it with the Pastor.
One of the most disappointing things in the life of a pastor is for someone to be struggling or go into the hospital, for the member not to tell anyone, and then to get offended because nobody checked on them.
- When counseling with a church member, be sure to keep the pastor aware of the issues.
As soon as you come on staff as an assistant pastor, check with the pastor to see if it is his desire that you do any counseling. It may be his desire to handle all of this personally. However, if he would like for you to help him with his counseling load, be sure to set certain principles up in advance for counseling – principles such as when you will be available, how you will maintain accountability if counseling ladies, and so forth. One vitally important principle, to begin with, is to maintain the spirit of “If I know it, Pastor will know it.”
If your pastor has set up a regular time for you to meet with him, it would be wise to keep a list of these counseling appointments since your last staff meeting and then to share with him during that staff meeting how the counseling appointments went.
- Strive to learn your pastor so well, that you can communicate with the church members his preferences, direction, and doctrine.
It is your role to learn the pastor, not for the pastor to learn you. You have an amazing opportunity to learn from and get to know a man of God like many others do not. Do not be distant from him. Soak up his wisdom.
- Support his goals and vision both publicly and privately.
Whatever the pastor has put on the calendar and is publicly supporting and announcing should be your same agenda. You are there to support him, not your own goals and vision.