35 - How a Pastor's Duties and Responsibilities Change as the Church Grows - Leaders.Church


35 – How a Pastor’s Duties and Responsibilities Change as the Church Grows

What’s in this Episode?

Here at Church Tips, we like order. A place for everything and everything in its place. And when we find something that works, we stick with it. But have you ever tried that in ministry? You see, as the ministry grows, things have to change. And that includes the roles and responsibilities of pastors. And so in today’s episode, we’re going to talk about how these roles and responsibilities change as the church changes and grows.

Read the Transcript

Jonathan Hardy 0:25
So when we launched Summit Park church, you know, we’re a church plant, you know, from ground zero, and we’re starting this thing. And so we had a leadership team in place, all volunteer people, in place to help start the church and lead various areas that we are going to be doing throughout the ministry of launching the church and fortunately, the church began to grow as we started getting some traction and so great things were happening and then as a result of the growth, it caused us to have to change the way we were doing the leadership roles. And so we actually brought a couple people on, we shifted some responsibilities. The part I had increased, I had more things added to my plate. And the reality is, whenever churches start to face growth like that, they’re going to be having to make these shifts in the duties and responsibilities, not just of the pastor necessarily, but also of the entire leadership team that you have in place, whether they’re staff or volunteers or whatever. You have to constantly be at that point where you’re looking to maybe change things. And so today we want to talk about how a pastor’s and leader’s duties and responsibilities change as the church grows. And so Dick, why don’t you kick us off here?

Tip #1: Recognize the Seasons in the Life of the Church

Dick Hardy 1:37
You bet. The very first thing you need to do is recognize the seasons in the life of the church. Very few churches are just going to start from scratch, as Summit Park did, and just go on a rocket ride upward forever and ever. I did talk to a church one time that he had, oh my goodness, it was like 25 years of incremental growth every year. And then he hit a year where he flattened it. And he went into a tizzy. Now he got the thing, but that’s an anomaly. You’re gonna go through seasons because you plant, we know the biblical principle, you plant, you water, you harvest. You’ve got to be doing this all the time. And as the leader, you’ve got to respond to the various season you’re in. So you’re not expecting in the planting season, just to go out the next day and see a full harvest. You know, when you’re in the watering season, you have to know the season. And you do that by being attuned in prayer. Now, you’ll hear us frequently on this podcast, talk about the importance for you as the leader, being deeply entrenched with the Lord in prayer, because in this case, he’ll help you respond to the season of the church. You’ve got to be listening to the Lord all the time, and when you do, you’ll be able to respond best to the season.

Jonathan Hardy 2:57
Yeah. And I want to mention to, as you’re thinking through the season, you’re looking at it, that’s also helping you identify what’s coming down the pipeline. We’re going to talk a little bit more about that, but you know, in order for us to be prepared for that next season, there might be some things we have to do, some changes in the roles in this season now to prepare for that. Yeah. So that’s good.

Tip #2: New Roles Equals New Growth

Jonathan Hardy 3:16
Second thing is that new roles equals new growth. Growing pastors take on new roles, and when they do that, that helps. That’s a mechanism that can help the church grow. On the flip side, and unwillingness… So this is very important. An unwillingness to do a new role, basically will solidify a church’s or pastor’s or leader’s stagnation. So in other words, if you don’t do it, you’re really going to be shooting yourself in the foot. It’s hard though because that means you have to change some things that you’re doing. It means that you have to, you know, do things differently, but we have to be creative and new roles and thinking through how this new season as you’re talking about what that’s going to look like in the future, and what do we need to do different in our leadership structure. What roles responsibilities, maybe do I need to be passing off because I, there’s new things coming, or you know what do other people need to be doing. So we got to be thinking through that. And then you want to really do that quickly. Don’t drag that out, don’t make this a long, year long committee decision. It’s like, just look at it, maybe solicit some counsel, and then say, okay, this is where we need to head and then we got to implement. And so that’s very, very important is that we recognize that new roles equals new growth.

Tip #3: You’re Redistributing The Roles and Responsibilities of your Team Members

Jonathan Hardy 4:38
And then the next thing is, you want to make sure that as you start to enter into having new leaders, you want to make sure you’re equipping the new leaders. Now, actually, in the previous episode, Episode 34. We talked about enlisting new leaders, very important thing you have to do if you did not listen to that episode, make sure to listen to that one. But once you’ve got these new leaders in place, or you’ve got people that have said, “yes, I’m gonna help help you,” you’re redistributing the roles and responsibilities of your team members. And again, we’re talking about volunteer people here. I’m not necessarily talking about a bunch of staff roles and job descriptions. Now, there are job descriptions for volunteers, which I would encourage you, and sidebar here, to have. You have to have that in writing. So it’s very clear for the person who’s volunteering their time to lead a ministry. And it’s very clear for you to make sure you’re on the same page and the best way to do that is in writing. And honestly that’s part of the equipping process is to be equipping them, you got to make sure that they understand what they’re doing. You get the tools and the resources and the things that they need in place so that they can lead most effectively to help that ministry be what it is.

Tip #4: Change from New to New

Dick Hardy 5:42
Okay, number four, change from new to new. Now, you gotta listen to this one. Frequently, we’ll think “okay, we’re gonna change from old to new,” and you do need to do that. But you’ve got to change from new to new and this is where I’ve seen so many pastors get stuck, because they find something new that works. And they say, “I’m going to stick with this.” The problem is, something that was new last year and worked last year, won’t work this year. And I’m telling you as fast as life and ministry and culture is changing, you’ve got to change from new to new to new.

Jonathan Hardy 6:24
What got you here won’t get you there.

Dick Hardy 6:25
Exactly right. That is exactly right. Don’t settle in. So if you think oh, wow, this new thing is really cool. Don’t settle in on it, because it’s going to get old. And it’s going to get old way faster than you think. And you’ve got to change to the new thing. Larger growing churches change from new to new to new all the time. You’ve got to shift from success to success. If you don’t make that shift, your success will stop and stagnate. So you’ve got to make this change and you’ve got to help your team members understand the need to make those changes.


Dick Hardy 7:00
Okay, so let’s do a summary here. These four things we talked about, number one, recognize seasons in the life of the church. Number two, understand that new roles equal new growth. Number three, equip new leaders. And number four, change from new to new. If you’ll do these things, you’ll see your church position for the growth, exactly the growth that you’re asking for. So, we really appreciate you taking time to hang out with us today. I will say, that if you’re going to see these four things happen, it starts with you. And one of the things we really want to encourage you to do is to take advantage of the Four Secrets Masterclass that Jonathan put together here recently. He did a great job with it. We’re getting great feedback on it. I would really encourage you, as a leader, to go through and here’s where you go: leaders.church/secrets. That’s leaders.church/secrets, and sign up. It’s just less than an hour masterclass that will help you get better as a leader, because when you get better, then these four things we talked about are going to come easier, and the church is going to get better.

Jonathan Hardy 8:07
That’s right.

Dick Hardy 8:08
So, really, and we want to thank you for watching or listening today. And on whatever podcast platform you’re listening to, I would encourage you to subscribe. And if you’re watching on YouTube, subscribe there as well. And then you’re going to get the notifications of new content coming out because we’re doing everything we can to help equip you as a pastor with new content all the time. Also on Apple podcast, if you would rate and review we would be very appreciative of that. In fact, we want to mention a guy. I think it’s a guy. Maybe guy or gal, preacher1ADS, he said, “the Hardys put together another win for church leaders.” I like the sound of that. “Dick and Jonathan have an infectious desire to serve the Lord by serving the local church and its leaders. The energy they bring in just 15 minutes is simply amazing. I look forward to making the podcast part of my daily commute to the church office.” Right there!

Jonathan Hardy 8:59

Dick Hardy 9:00
I like this guy! We gotta find out who this guy is. So if you’ll review, maybe we might read one of your reviews on a subsequent episode here. So, anyway, anything to add here, Jonathan?

Jonathan Hardy 9:12

Dick Hardy 9:13
We’re good to go! Thanks for watching and listening today. Hope you’ve enjoyed it, make it a great one and be blessed.

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