The role of the Executive Pastor, as well as the rest of the staff, are to be his hand extended to the church and local community. There is no “ownership” of ministry. As an example, it’s not the Youth Pastor’s Youth Group. It’s the Lead Pastor’s youth group. The Youth Pastor is his hand extended to the teens, parents and families. The role of the pastor(s) is to raise up, equip, serve and strengthen God’s people for the work of the ministry. (Ephesians 4:12) Ultimately, it’s not the pastor’s role to do the work of the ministry, but rather to teach, train, encourage, empower and release into positions those proven faithful in the small things.
The staff of a local church are to be in alignment with vision, preferences and passions of the lead pastor. While there may be room for respectful, perhaps even robust conversations held privately to help bring understanding of the vision, once the door is open, all of the staff and volunteers are to be of the same opinion, mind, heart and priorities. There is no room for discord, disunity or misalignment. From time to time, it’s only natural for conflict or misunderstandings to occur on staff or in the body. Those are always worked out privately and usually result in a greater depth of relationship.
Sanctification is a work of the Holy Spirit, beginning with the initial indwelling / deposit of the Holy Spirit upon salvation. While most churches offer classes such as Rick Warren’s 101, 201, 301 and 401 to help begin the process, the reality is that Spiritual Formation and Sanctification are a life-long process of God’s Spirit bringing his called-out ones into holiness. Classes and spiritual metaphors (such as the “ladder of leadership” or the baseball diamond) help people in their need for structure. People grow best by consistently sitting under the teaching of the Word. “When he had, by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high,” Hebrews 1:3b. We are washed by the blood of Jesus, and are cleansed by the receiving the Word, and submitting to it.
God’s people are free in Christ, and the church should not impose man made, non-biblical “traditions of men that make the Word of God void” (“the word of God of none effect through your tradition,” Mark 7:13). Those in Christ, saved by the blood of Jesus and the Word of God, are free to “work out their own salvation.” (Philippians 2:12) Those in Christ are free not to continue in sin, but to pursue holiness, passionate serving, cheerful giving, and joyful sacrificing. (Ro
People also grow best in community, best achieved by becoming part of a local life group where the fellowship of the saints and personal ministry for felt needs may occur. The church is empowered to assist in Spiritual formation by offering consistent and systematic opportunities of teaching, preaching, and instruction in righteousness, (and at times, gentle correction or Godly rebuke given privately.)
Every church has a set of Core Values, usually derived from what is important to the Lead Pastor, and that are indigenous to that local body. The Newcomer Reception is the perfect place to begin helping new members adopt those values and cherish them. Nearly all activities should, at some level, move people towards adopting and appreciating those values. An example might be “Connect, Grow, and Serve & Share.”
My wife and I personally tithe a tenth of our income to the local church. The tithe is holy, set apart, always having belonged to God. The tithe belongs to the house. We are simply returning it back to Him. “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. (1 Corinthians 16:2, NIV)” While some might quote 2 Corinthians 9:7, “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver,” as a justification to give less than the tithe, I’m committed that this freedom to decide as mentioned above is granted to us to be more generous, more sacrificial, not less generous in our giving.