I’ve had the pleasure of serving in only two churches; under two lead pastors. The first I served in for 10 years, the next for 9 years. During those 19 years I discovered that the relationship we have with our lead pastor is one of the most vital ones we will have in ministry. If the relationship with your lead pastor is unhealthy it will have a significate impact on your ministry. This is why it’s so important to have a strong and healthy relationship with your lead pastor.

So, what does it take to develop and maintain a healthy relationship with your lead pastor? Well, at least four things.

Trust

The glue to a healthy relationship with your lead pastor is trust. Trust is built over time and can be lost in a moment. Therefore, we must work hard to gain trust and work even harder to guard the trust we have gained.

The way you build trust is through alignment, communication, and honor.

Alignment

NextGen ministries aren’t standalone ministries, they’re extensions of the church and the lead pastor’s vision and mission. Therefore, it’s critical to make sure your vision and mission line up under the vision and mission for the entire church. Alignment includes trusting your lead pastor’s direction and decisions, even if you disagree.

Communication

The lack of communication can put a strain on any relationship. Unspoken expectations will frustrate even the healthiest relationships. Your lead pastor needs to hear from you. They need to know when you need help, and rejoice with you over your ministry wins. If there’s no communication, how will they know what’s happening in the ministry you lead?

It’s your responsibility to communicate with your lead pastor, don’t wait for them to initiate the communication. I recommend you check-in with them weekly. This could happen in a brief face-to-face meeting, or through a weekly report you email them.

Honor

Most kids or youth pastors won’t be best friends with their lead pastor. However, they must honor and respect them. If trust is the glue that holds a healthy relationship together, then dishonor is a tool which pulls a relationship apart. Our lack of honor and respect can divide Jesus’ church, as well as undermine our ministry effectiveness.

Leader, God has placed you and your lead pastor together, for such a time as this. You need to make every effort to develop and maintain a healthy relationship with them. I know God will bless your efforts.