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Tag: leadership

The caulk ministry model

Caulk is the gooey stuff used around windows and sinks that fills the gaps. It stops water from seeping into cracks, getting behind your tub, and doing damage that would be costly to repair. Caulk is also used to seal window and door frames to keep the cold air out in the winter and the cool air in during the summer, making those in the home more comfortable. Caulk is wonderfully useful around the house, but it is a terrible ministry model.

Associates are often tempted to do “caulk ministry,” filling the gaps, or making sure nothing falls through the cracks in the ministries they serve. I found myself doing some caulking recently.


Have you emptied yourself?

Jesus "though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness." -Phil 2:6-7

My morning devotion on Christmas Eve directed me to Philippians 2:5-11 (NRSV) – a passage we read to understand more about Jesus, but a passage originally written to a group of Christians in need of an ego check. The church in Philippi was apparently bickering over power issues, and issues of right and wrong. These are issues we associate pastors know well.

Paul’s advice to the church was to adopt the “mind of Christ,” a posture of humility. In context, I hear Paul saying something like, “You think you deal with people who don’t get it? Imagine being Jesus – God in the flesh – and having to deal with the likes of you and me. Thankfully Jesus did not wield that like a big stick. Instead, he put it aside and subjected himself to even experiencing crucifixion. That is why he is who he is!”

We associate pastors are leaders who are working under the authority of other leaders, and called to facilitate the members of our congregation to participate in that leadership. That is a lot of leaders in a small area. If we are not careful can become the too many cooks who spoil the broth.

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Thriving under a difficult leadership style

“The only person you have the power to change is you.” You have probably heard this more times than you care to count. I tell my children it is “Dad’s Secret to Life” (please don’t tell them I didn’t come up with it). Our recognition of this truth helps guide our relationships with our spouses, our children, and even the members of the congregations we serve. But I have met many associate pastors who have a great deal of trouble applying it in their relationship with their lead pastor.

  • Can you believe he asked me to…?
  • Do you know that she expects me to…?
  • Doesn’t she understand that is not in my job description, and doesn’t fall in the “at the discretion of the lead pastor” clause (oh, I will have to write a blog about that gem soon)?
  • Doesn’t he understand I’m not here to serve him?