Your view from the trenches may be very different from your Pastor’s perspective. A little over a year ago I did a workshop at a Children’s Pastor’s conference. Our topic: An integrated strategy linking church and home to equip the generations. As I shared the strategy we are working at Kingsland I watched eyes and hearts connect as we talked about the path of legacy milestones. Children’s Pastors know, kids have a much better chance to grow up with a biblical world view if the church equips parents to be better primary faith trainers.
Several weeks later I met with small group of Student Pastors to talk about the same issue: Integrated strategies linking church and home to equip the generations. Again eyes, questions, and cool student pastors writing feverishly indicated a deep sense of understanding. Student Pastors know that in order for the next generation to experience the best spiritual formation possible, parents will have to take the lead in the process.
I have had discussions with Children’s Pastors, Student Pastor’s Adult Discipleship Pastors, and a host of other age level specialists in the last two years. When asked to identify the most significant barrier to implementing an integrated strategy connecting church and family like milestones, without fail one of the most significant road blocks identified is the Senior Pastor.
For many reasons Senior Pastors often allow staff members to influence their own areas (Children, Students, Adults) but when it comes to developing a strategy that causes directional issues for the entire church, pastors balk. The reality is, in order to most effectively equip the next generation in America, most churches are going to have to rethink their discipleship strategies causing a bit of a paradigm shift from church based discipleship to parent led and church supported discipleship. This is a paradigm shift that, while necessary, scares the pants off of Senior Pastors. It is out of their comfort zone, not covered in their seminary training, and frankly is a risk to their fairly comfortable ministry.
So what can you do to influence your Senior Pastor? I will spend the next few weeks talking about answers to that very question. For now, your assignment is simple. Get your pastor to listen to a podcast.
Recently I interviewed my Senior Pastor, Alex Kennedy, about Milestones and other strategies linking church and home for effective spiritual formation. The podcast is titled, “For Senior Pastors Only.” You can find it at http://www.legacymilestones.com. Click on the “Church Leader” side of the website and then click on Podcast. Listen to it and then ask you Lead Pastor to listen. I think your Pastor will respond well hearing from another Senior Pastor.
Join me over the next several weeks as we discuss this crucial topic of influencing Senior Pastors to champion the cause of connecting church and home for the sake of the next generation.