This post continues a series on “My Favorite Things” of deputation. We have loved the opportunities we have had to get to see God moving in the churches we have been in. Here is another of my “favorite things”.
Many churches we are in are not large enough to have a staff. I completely understand that. Some of our favorite experiences has been in smaller churches like this. Other churches have a church staff, whether it consists of the Pastor and one other man, or several men. I remember one church specifically. We walked in the church, and it was like the Pastoral staff were gears working and turning exactly in perfect timing. These men were at the right place at the right time. These men each did what they were “assigned to do” with such precision, and with the other men in mind. They worked as a tight fitting team unlike anything I have seen.
We arrived on Saturday before the conference began and one of the Assistant Pastors greeted us. Upon arrival, he led us to the specific area of the church in which we were to setup our display. As we were setting our things up, another Assistant came in and introduced himself, and asked for our video presentation to have it ready to view the following day during the service. We were ushered to a room in the church where coffee and small snacks were waiting on us. From there we were brought up to an office to meet with Pastor. We were no sooner seated when Pastor came in and began the meeting at the appointed time. This sort of precision continued through the whole day and followed into the next day. I could give more examples of this cohesive staff, but I think you get the idea. What made this staff so different? I don’t think I have the specific answer, but here are a few things I noticed…
- The Pastor and staff loved each other. My wife commented about how much the Pastor loved the staff. They had a relationship that went beyond “getting my part of the job done.” Pastor spoke of each man with such love. He wasn’t building his own name, he was building these men. The Pastor didn’t look at his staff as a means to build his kingdom, but as men he loved and poured in to. The Pastor showed more attention toward the individuals on staff, then on the task at hand.
- The staff respected and loved the Pastor. The staff knew that the Pastor loved them. They respected the Pastor and they believed in the purpose of the church. These guys didn’t work for a boss, they worked for a man they admired, a man they wanted to be like. These men had such loyalty to the Pastor and the vision for world evangelism.
- The Pastor and staff were all clear and onboard with the purpose of the church. The church’s mission is to get the Gospel to the world. It was all over the walls, the bulletin’s, the website, etc. This was not the Pastor’s vision that the staff worked under and followed. It was each man’s vision united together.
I am very sure there is much more to it all. It is hard to examine things when you are there for only a short time, but if you keep your eyes open and look for things, you may be surprised at what you notice. Our goal as missionaries is not just church planting, but training men. I don’t want to “build my own kingdom”, I want to build the men around me to advance the Gospel further. When I think about our months on deputation, this is one of my favorite things.