Skip to main content

The 2nd Man within the Church

               The 2nd Man within the church is generally referred to as the Associate or Assistant Pastor. He is often the go to man for most things within the church and is often considered the right arm of the Senior/Lead Pastor. However, there often is a misunderstanding of the 2nd man’s role within the church by both the pastor associate/assistant, and especially the congregation.  Having been in pastoral ministry for the past 33 years, I have been the 2nd man in churches with a small congregation of 40 to a larger congregation of over 3000 and assisted the various pastors in a full-time capacity, as well as, part-time and volunteer positions.  However, no matter where I have been, the job has been the same: assist the Pastor.
              
My definition of a 2nd Man is quite simple, “To assist the pastor in accomplishing the mission that the God has called him to do within the Body of Christ in which we both serve together.”
 I’m about to make a statement that is going to send some Associate/Assistant, Children’s and Youth Pastor over the cliff.  As the 2nd man, you are hired to serve with the pastor, you are not the shepherd.  I believe that God only calls one Shepherd for each flock to avoid confusion and chaos.  There can be only one direction, one mission, one plan of action, and one leader.  As the 2nd Man, you can provide wisdom and support but ultimately, it is the pastor who leads the ministry.
              
I believe that there are key strategies for both pastor and 2nd man.

1.       Support your pastor publicly, disagree with him privately.
It is never appropriate to disagree with him publicly.

2.       Discuss your doctrinal disagreement prior to preaching or teaching in the church.
·         There has been times that I have worked with a pastor that has a different view of Calvinism than I do or the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  If you’re going to be teaching or preaching, you don’t want you compromise your personal beliefs, so it is better to let him know your feeling or thoughts beforehand. But it is important to find out how the pastor wants you to proceed.

3.       Take your concerns to the pastor first, not members of the church.  This could also apply to the pastor if he has a concern with the Associate.
·         If you have a concern about something the pastor is saying, doing, or something in the church that you’re concerned about, you have an obligation to talk with the pastor first. If it is not resolved and the concern involves ethical, moral, or spiritual issues, take it to denominational leaders or your church board. A word of caution: pray before you do this and be prepared to defend what you say.

4.       Be yourself, but not to the point that you over shadow the pastor.
·         My personal style is very outgoing while others are more reserved even stoic.  Just be cautious that you don’t become the center of attention at the church; always keep the focus on the pastor and most importantly CHRIST.

5.       Don’t fall into the trap of believing your own press. Members that are disgruntled with their pastor will often attempt to influence the Associate rather than speak to the pastor; it is a dangerous walk.
·         To be blunt, if you need to be the boss and the center of attention and can’t see yourself as an assistant (non-dominant), don’t take the position.  But, if you’re ready to be a blessing to Christ, your pastor, and to your congregation, then step into the very rewarding position as an Associate.

Popular posts from this blog

Suicide & The Pulpit

Reports have emerged that Pastor Bill Lenz who was founder and longtime senior pastor of Christ the Rock Community Church in Harrison, WI died Monday by committing Suicide.   Bill was a strong advocate within the Christian community for Suicide Prevention, and along with his brother created Life Promotions, that ministers and teaches folks about Suicide Prevention and how to recover from those thoughts. Reports that I have read have stated that Pastor Lenz reported suffering with Anxiety,   Panic Attacks, and Depression for about three months, and his staff and board responded by providing support and encouragement including giving him time to seek counseling and treatment.   However, the depression became overwhelming and on Monday, he chose to take his own life.    My prayers are with his family, friends, staff, and members of his church.   Having provided Suicide Prevention training to staff members at churches and other organizations I am not sure what could have been done dif

Time for the Next Great Awakening …

Throughout the late 1800’s there was political nightmare happening in America. This nightmare eventually erupted into a Civil War. However, what is also interesting it also ushered in some of the Greatest Revivals in history. As I sit today reading the news, listening to people talk, and realize we are once again in the midst of a political nightmare. I listen to the President talk and yes even tweet (personally I wish all their tweet accounts were shut down), I hear presidential candidates, Senators, Congressmen and Congresswomen, political advisors, and sadly, Pastors commenting back and forth. Realize, just as with the events of the mid-1800’s the only true survival for America is a great move of God, Yes a real National Revival, from the White House to the Farm House, from the Department of Education to the classroom, from the Pentagon to the local military base. Yes, even from the National Cathedral to the local church. It is time once again for America to seek a real soluti

God help me stand in your place today!

I was reading Proverbs 25: 6-7 today … what a powerful passage of scripture. When you read those words in Christian Standard Bible they jump off the page: "Don’t brag about yourself before the king, and don’t stand in the place of the great; 7 for it is better for him to say to you, "Come up here!   " than to demote you in plain view of a noble." I’m fearful that too many preachers are promoting themselves above the place that God has called them to be. I was taught humility as a young preacher and even today I still hold on to these truths. I always allow the minister where I’m preaching or teaching to give my title that will be used such as Reverend, Doctor, Pastor, Bishop or Minister. I always sit on the front row or with my wife if she is there until the pastor asks me to come to the platform. I always respect the position of authority over me (Pastor/Bishop). I’m a guest at his church and acknowledge their position, and never assume that I have s