The pastor of a small church carries a heavy burden. It isn’t an easy profession. Smaller churches don’t have the resources and infrastructure larger ministries do. Trust me. I know. I am a small church pastor.
So what happens when a pastor finds himself doing everything and feeling burned out? If you’re careful, you can find ways of avoiding this trap. Here are five principles I’ve learned regarding effective small church care:
1. Get on board with your board.
I can’t stress how important this is. Those men are your single greatest resource. They’re as close to staff as you’ll ever have. So utilize their talents. Get them involved.
Find a way to create a leadership team out of them. Even a man as great as the Apostle Paul felt it necessary to have a team. You need one as well.
2. Find the pulse of your people.
After you’ve shored up your leadership situation, find out what other human resources you have in your church. The church has been called the body of Christ. That’s because there are many members working as one unit.
Your people have unique gifts and abilities that need to be tapped. If you evaluate your people first, you’ll find it’s much simpler to fill positions. In a small church, it’s even more important to do this because of limited resources.
3. Set up a simple administrative structure.
To make sure every aspect of the church runs smoothly you must make sure to have some kind of organization. Administration is important. But keep something else in mind: with a small church there can be a tendency to over-administrate.
That’s why it is wise to keep the organizational structure simple. You don’t have to fill every ministry with department heads. You’re a small church. Keep it simple.
4. Don’t do everything yourself.
Once you have an administrative structure in place you shouldn’t have to do everything. You may be tempted to because it’s simpler to just do it yourself. Don’t give in to that thinking. Make sure the people you put in charge are doing their job. Beyond that it isn’t your responsibility.
5. Focus on what’s important.
Don’t overextend the ministry. If you try to implement too many programs too quickly you’ll have nothing but a bunch of burned out people. Focus on the important tasks first, then build from there. You’re people will be much happier (and rested).
These tips may not create a miraculous turnaround for your profession. But following them will improve the efficiency of your small church. God bless.