15 Proven Strategies to Drive Your Pastor Crazy

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In a recent post I outlined 15 ways that a senior pastor can make life miserable for the church staff.

But it goes both ways.

In my years as executive pastor of a large church I also discovered that there are ways that a church staff can drive their senior pastor or executive pastor crazy.

Here are 15 proven strategies that church staff members sometimes use, guaranteed to push their senior pastor to the brink.

If you’re a senior pastor or executive pastor, let this list simply be a chance for you to vent as you recognize some of your own staff’s behaviors.

More importantly, if you’re a member of a church staff and desire to make a positive contribution, make sure you steer clear of these!

  1. Treat “office hours” more as suggestions or guidelines. Show up only when you really feel like it.
  2. When you report your “number of hours worked”, include any church gathering as part of your work week. Even attending weekend services.
  3. Don’t attend the church regularly.
  4. During the work week disappear for hours on end. And don’t tell anyone where you are.
  5. When it’s time for ‘all hands on deck’ for a church-wide initiative, be mysteriously absent. Again.
  6. Don’t support the church financially.
  7. Attribute consistently poor ministry results to “Satan’s attacks”.
  8. Refer to church leadership as ‘they’- as in “I’d like to change our ministry to Thursdays but THEY won’t let me”.
  9. Schedule your ministry event in direct conflict with a church-wide event.
  10. Make sure you submit your ministry expense report at the last possible moment.
  11. Continue to insist that the only way you can have a successful ministry is to have lots of weekend announcements.
  12. Whine about what you see as preferential treatment other ministry leaders are receiving.
  13. Overspend your budget. Again.
  14. Don’t put anything away after your ministry event. Again.
  15. Sugar-coat ministry results. Even when an initiative is clearly tanking, report on it like there’s revival breaking out.

The fact is, even among the most diligent members of a church staff, these bad habits can creep in if you’re not careful.

So be vigilant to ensure these habits don’t find their way into your approach to work. Not only will your senior pastor be happy, but you’ll find your own ministry run will be a lot more productive.

Anything you would add to this list?



the author

Scott Cochrane

Vice President- International, Global Leadership Network. Love Jesus, Nora, Adam & Robin, Amy, Dave, Willow & Olive and John, Fiona & Will. Lifelong learner.

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