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Category: Associate Pastor

Tips and thoughts for associate pastors and other church staff. These formerly appeared on an old blog site.

Do we need a meeting? Respecting others’ time

The time people give for meetings is a generous donation. Image by ( [Copyrighted free use], via Wikimedia Commons
The time people give for meetings is a generous donation. Image by ( [Copyrighted free use], via Wikimedia Commons
Some six months ago, I began living the life of a layperson while remaining clergy. After more than 20 years as an associate pastor, I now work a desk job in an office. While there are similarities to my previous life, it has been a season of adjustment.

One of the lessons I have learned is about time and the limited amount of it I have available each week.

In my pastoral positions, I had a good deal of control over my schedule. There were many appointments to keep and meetings to attend, but I was the one setting most of them. For example, I could schedule the mission trip parents meeting on Wednesday night because on Tuesdays my family watched Dancing with the Stars together. Protecting family time was important and it should be.

What I failed to realize fully, was that every meeting I did schedule was cutting into someone else’s family time, which was just as important to them and should be. I confess I didn’t always treat their attendance as the valuable donation to the life of the church that it was.

When people come to a meeting, they are donating something very valuable to the church. Respect their gift with these tips.

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Leading the league in assists

James Worthy, Michael Jordan, and Dean Smith
Left to right: James Worthy, Michael Jordan, and coach Dean Smith, legends of University of North Carolina basketball. Photo by Zeke Smith, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

I have been a college basketball fan since high school. I remember my heart breaking that night in 1982 when Georgetown guard Eric “Sleepy” Floyd, mistakenly passed the ball to North Carolina’s James Worthy with 7 seconds on the clock, icing the championship game for the Tarheels.

This weekend I plan to watch all three games. While I’m not a fan of any one of the four teams left in this year’s madness, I will be rooting for Michigan State and Kentucky (a) because I picked them, and (b) because one is the underdog and the other is going for history. Won’t that make for a great championship game story?

One of the things I like about college basketball is the importance placed on the assist. For those not familiar with basketball, a player receives an assist when they make a pass that leads to another player scoring. While the guy hitting the 3-point shot or making the thunderous dunk may get most of the applause and headlines, assists get noticed. They are an official stat listed alongside points and rebounds in the boxscore.

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