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What Every Pastoral Assistant Should Know maybe

Last week my assistant approached me about a presentation that she had been asked to share at the next Pastor Assistants meeting.   The topic is, What every Pastor wishes their Assistant knew , or something along those lines.   I put some feelers out on twitter, and got some great feedback.   I then took some of the greatness passed along to me and mixed it with some of the lame stuff I had and came up with the following list.   It is NOT all-inclusive, and I would love to hear what you would have added in the comments!

What Every Pastoral Assistant Should Know maybe:

· That your position is a calling, just as much as we re called to our roles as pastors/directors.

o You re here for a purpose, calling, and reason. What an assistant does for the ministry is as vital the life-change of an individual as the pastor on a stage or in leader in front of a small group.

o You really part of what happens. You have value in the nuts and bolts of day-to-day ministry.

· Know that you have a voice in this, and let it be heard!

o Your opinion matters significantly. In the chaos of planning, writing, organizing, and pulling off great events and ministry happenings; it s important that your voice be heard. Don t be a willing participant in disaster!

· You are the first line of pastoral care.

o When you answer the phone you are the first touch point of grace. Your actual voice and conversation can bring hope and understanding to a difficult situation for someone.

· I view you as a level of protection.

o Discretion should be used in communicating information that isn t life-giving. This is NOT a warning to keep secrets from the pastors, but using wisdom about what information should and should be communicated in its entirety.

· I m as here for you as I am for others.

o Don t be afraid to ask for prayer, encouragement, or share what is happening in your life. While it s important to guard my time, it s also important that you don t create unneeded distance between us.

· Take ownership in the things you don t fully agree with.

o You will not totally do everything the way the pastor may do it, but you should still do it with integrity.

o Taking ownership means that I don t obey simply to fill in a checkmark next to the tasks on my to-do list. Taking ownership means that you defend the decision and pass it off as my very own.   If I make it known that I m doing something in a way that isn t my way it undermines my own authority, alienates those in authority over me, and decreases my potential for success.

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.