Every organization has key personnel. In the business world, there is often role redundancy to cover when one of those key players for that part of a project doesn’t come through for one reason or another. In churches we often try to do the same thing, but it gets harder as we work with a volunteer organization. You can’t just assign one church member to be ready if another church member is unable to fulfill the role.
In the perfect world, those church members who are in charge of an activity, key worship leaders, bible class teachers or whatever task they are overseeing are always there 53 Sundays a year (remember, this is a preacher’s “dream”; we want all bases covered including an extra Sunday if we can.) Alas, we live in the real world. People get sick, flake out, have unexpected changes at work and so on and simply cannot fulfill that role. That’s life. The problem for us small church ministers is that we don’t have enough people to always cover when someone needs to step away from a role. When a key member is gone, we are painfully aware of it as we scramble to find a solution. And when those people are out of town, sick, or on a well-deserved vacation, I see the church fall back a little and then I get frustrated a lot!
My elders are wonderful and not expecting me to fix all the problems. They are actively part of finding our solutions and I could not be happier to serve with a group of men like we have. However, as the minister, I still feel the weight of responsibility to help us keep moving forward. We small church guys don’t have other staff members to bounce things off of or have them cover areas we see that need help. So we try to cover them until we are physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted. Not a good place to be. I can tell you that by experience.
Fellow small church leaders, keep your head up and your heart connected to God. He WILL see you through. Fellow small church members, see if you can help someplace if you aren’t already doing so. It’s great to want to offer several areas of ministry as it would seem that’s what God would want to do, but we can’t meet everyone’s needs; only God can. I am trying to figure out how that looks in real life small church ministry. Any suggestions?