When groups pastors get together they often have conversations concerning what they need to know about senior pastors. Groups pastors, for the most part, really do want to work well with their senior pastor. In fact, most groups pastors will go the extra mile a hundred times to make life easier for their senior pastor.
Having been both a senior pastor and a groups pastor, I believe there are some things senior pastors ought to know about the average groups pastor. These are four of those things.
- Groups pastors believe gathering in small groups of 12 or less is where disciple making takes place… primarily. While groups pastors believe wholeheartedly in the importance of preaching and teaching at weekend worship services, groups pastors realize that, if that were the only disciple making event, the church would never make spiritually mature disciples.
- Groups pastors are pure of heart and seldom are happy working for, “the institution.” Most groups pastors are passionate about people and transformation taking place in them. Few groups pastors are happy in their work if they are told their work is to grow a bigger church numerically or get more money in the offering plate. Working for “the man” will kill the heart of most small group pastors.
- Groups pastors are relational. And because of this, they feel an obligation to live a biblical relational lifestyle. That is, while some staff members can live with bitterness and conflict between themselves and others, groups pastors cannot. Groups pastors are constantly reminding group members that conflict in the body of Christ cannot go unresolved and so, they are passionate to resolve conflict when it exists between themselves and other church leaders. Matthew 18 is a group’s pastor’s guide and anyone, including a senior pastor, unwilling to practice Matthew 18 is hard to stomach.
- Groups pastors are more how-to people than doctrinal people. Senior pastor, don’t misunderstand this statement. I’m not suggesting that small group people aren’t learned, passionate about God’s Word, or flippant when it comes to Scripture and/or doctrinal purity. Because the small group ministry is a “get it done” ministry, most groups pastors are focused on the how-to’s on a daily, ongoing basis.