A lot of pastors are put in an awkward position. They need a raise or work on the parsonage or time off for renewal. If they ask for they need directly, it can open the pastor up for criticism. They can sound selfish or ungrateful or lazy. “The previous pastor never needed time off and was fine with the pay and parsonage. I guess the new pastor just isn’t that committed.” So pastors may hint about it and grow resentful when no one picks up on the hints.
This is where the Staff/Pastor Relations Committee needs to step in. When it comes to the needs of the pastor and the needs of the congregation, there is often a communication barrier or problem. Here’s what the committee needs to consider:
- How are we advocating for our pastor? Look for how you can lead the change in areas that are negatively affecting your pastor but are awkward for your pastor to address head on.
- How are you advising your pastor? Don’t bring complaints to your pastor veiled in anonymity. This is a horrible thing to do. Instead, use your filter to bring real needs and concerns to your pastor.
- How are you training your pastor and the congregation to respect boundaries? This is an issue on both sides. Define what healthy boundaries look like and work on communicating this to the congregation.
- Boundaries by Cloud & Townsend: https://www.amazon.com/Boundaries-When-Take-Control-Your/dp/0310247454
- Carey Nieuwhof on Identifying Toxic People: https://careynieuwhof.com/how-to-deal-with-toxic-people-7-pro-tips/