When Manager and Minister Collide

Kim Porter June 27, 2017
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In the world of church leadership, there are numerous hats that leaders end up wearing. 

Many times, the art of balancing pastor, administrator, counselor, creative guru and other miscellaneous titles, can end up in a heaping mess on the floor of our church office. If we are honest, we can’t all wear the hats equally.  Some hats, become more pronounced while others get neglected.

Where should we put the most effort? How can we be both administrative AND love on people?  

Let’s be honest, its less stressful to focus on tasks then it is to put our hearts and souls into the individuals we work with. Because of this, the pull to manage can overpower the ministry we are called to. Slowly, we become drained, shallow and dry.  To truly do what God has empowered us to do well, we need to lean into both.  We need to manage, but we also need to value and engage people. So how do we do both efficiently?

To keep a healthy balance of manager and minister, we should look at how they can work against each other. Here are just a few areas where they can collide.

The manager will focus on tasks, while the minister focuses on people.

There will be days when we can neatly check each box on our task list and drive home satisfied. There will also be days when we are unable to check a single box because someone had a need more important. Lists keep us organized, but we can’t mark people off our agenda. When one needs to trump the other, always side with caring for people first.

The manager is driven to accomplish a goal, the minister plans for the experience.

If we are not careful the planning, production and number counting can overtake the reason we do them- the people. Know the purpose of your plan. Remind yourself why you are doing it. Keep your focus on what God has planned for the hearts and souls of individuals who will be impacted. A goal is important to achieve, but without a plan for what God wants, all we put forward is pointless.

The manager is an organization developer, the minister is a people developer. 

Rick Warren, of Saddleback Church, said in his book, “The Purpose Driven Church” that it should be the “purposes of God” first, “people” second, “programs” third with “property” in last place. To build a great church, we must develop those who are committed to it. When we invest in people, our church will grow naturally.

People are not an interruption to our ministry-
they ARE our ministry.

Yes, they are messy. They make mistakes. People aren’t always reliable and they will, on occasion let us down. Ministry needs to be based on our love for people.  When we get that down, all the other details and planning will fall into place. Trust God to guide you through the beautiful mess called “Ministry” and see what amazing things He will do!

With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. 2 Thessalonians 1:11 (NIV)

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Kim Porter

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