I know that what I'm about to share doesn't exist at every church, and perhaps, because of community dynamics and make-up it's not possible, but I still think it's something to pray for and a necessary component within the church to pray regarding.
For myself, we are part of what Pastor likes to call a cross-generational church. This is reflected in two ways, primarily (at least from my vantage point). The first in congregational. There's a very healthy number of "seasoned saints", long-time believers who have been active in the church for many years. We've been been blessed to have a growing kids ministry and youth group for the past number of years. And there is a healthy mix of everyone in between, young marrieds, families of all sizes and ages. Meanwhile, our current pastoral staff sits at a 60/40 split. 60% nearly fresh out of college, the other 40%, long seasons of ministry, but with young families.
What it creates from a staff standpoint, are what I can only imagine are incredible times of mentoring throughout the week, behind the scenes. New approaches to ministry as the younger pastors bring a relational understanding of the upcoming generation of the church in collaboration with pastors who have long-standing time and experience in ministry and church leadership; who are bring not only a "what works and what doesn't" element, but instilling a functional foundation of principles that will help build strong and more effective churches.
As we've prayed for associates before, knowing where to go, what ministries to be lead and oversee and interacting with church leadership can be difficult. Certainly, each ministry brings it's own set of challenges to the picture, combined with life experience and life as it continues outside the four walls of the church. Thus, while this is a cool dynamic to have and to watch, I realized it takes a balanced approach and healthy people. You understand by health, I'm talking spiritually, emotionally and psychologically. For pastors who aren't strong spiritually, healthy in the emotions or thinking that is out-of-line, this dynamic not only won't work, but can and will cause major problems. Which, I think we can all agree, the church needs less of, rather than more.
Thus, let us pray once again, for #associatePastorTuesday. Pray pastoral teams where relations are perhaps tense and strained, behind the scenes. While it may not be know to the congregation, may God work the miraculous where ministry and leadership are not functioning as they should. Pray for wisdom and understanding during this time, that healing and resolution will enter these situations. Pray for increased opportunities for mentorship, between established pastors and those that are just stepping on to the scene. May there truly exist a collaboration effect as they come together, to apply lessons, experiences and understanding to bring a stronger, more effective ministry to the communities and culture they serve.
That nothing would stand in the way
Of the advancement of the cause of Christ.
God help us to step out of the way,
As you work through those who step up to serve
As they have been called according to your purpose
For the kingdom and glory of God.
Just a man, attempting to fulfill God's plan. Husband, Dad, Dreamer. Blogger.