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5 Reasons a Church Should Invest in Coaching for Their Senior Pastor

Investing in Your Senior Pastor
Investing in Your Senior Pastor

Pastors invest so much time, effort, and hard work in the church.  A wise session or board can consider investing in the senior pastor beyond the salary and benefits package.

As I am working with senior pastors around the country, there is a growing realization that senior pastors need Leadership Coaching.

Some need counseling, but this is not what I am talking about.  A business consultant might be helpful to a pastor, but most times, the business world wisdom has to be translated into the church world.

Pastors need coaching which is biblically-based, gospel-driven, grace-oriented, and professionally delivered.

5 Reasons a Church Should Invest in Coaching for their Senior Pastor

Reason 1: Pastors carry a tremendous responsibility for the care of the flock.

I Peter 5:1-3 exhorts pastors to shepherd, exercise willing oversight, and be examples.

So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.

A Leadership Coach can help shepherd the pastor as he shepherds the flock.

Reason 2: The Book of Church Order 20-6 tells the session to promise all proper support, encouragement, and obedience in the Lord.

The [name] Church being on sufficient grounds well satisfied of the ministerial qualifications of you, [name], and having good hopes from our knowledge of your labors that your ministrations in the Gospel will be profitable to our spiritual interests, do earnestly call you to undertake the pastoral office in said congregation, promising you, in the discharge of your duty, all proper support, encouragement and obedience in the Lord.

A Leadership Coach can assist the Session by providing proper support and encouragement to the pastor.

Reason 3: Sessions usually don’t know how to support their pastor beyond prayer and the benefits package.

Shepherding the CEO is not a concept that most businesses carry out.  Many Sessions, made up of businessmen, haven’t seen this concept modeled.

Also, the focus of the Session is the business of the church, therefore properly supporting and encouraging the pastor is passed over and replaced with “Pastor, great sermon last Sunday!” I’m being a little hard on a Session to make a point.

A Leadership Coach helps the pastor experience quality support so the pastor can introduce a mutually encouraging support system to the Session meetings.

Reason 4: The Session wants to make the most strategic use of limited financial resources.

What would you say is the most strategic use of church funds?

A church has to pay the mortgage, electricity bill, water bill, facility improvements, landscaping, office equipment, and ministry budgets. These could be called “perishable expenses.”

When a church invests in the pastor and staff, it becomes an “imperishable expense” because the church experiences the multiplication effect.

When your Session chooses to invest in the pastor (beyond the salary and benefits package) through Leadership Coaching, it will send dividends of strategic influence throughout the church.

Leadership coaching for the senior pastor could be one of the most important expense-investments a church can make.

Reason 5: An investment in the life of the pastor will promote longevity in his stay at your church.

Thom Rainer has some helpful thoughts on the short tenure of pastors.

Pastors generally don’t stay long at churches. The average tenure is between three and four years. But, as our research has shown consistently, longer tenure is needed for church health. Longer tenure does not guarantee church health, but a series of short-term pastorates is typically unhealthy.

Leadership Coaching helps the pastor have long thoughts for the church which strengthens and elongates the Ministry Plan (vision-mission-values-goals).

When the pastor sees the big picture for the future of the church, he wants to stay there to see it become a reality.

Providing biblical, gospel, and professional coaching to Senior Pastors and Leaders around the world is my calling and joy.

The best thing you can do is to set aside money to pay for a season of coaching.

If I can be of service to your Session to invest in your Senior Pastor, he can set up a complimentary consultation to discuss what that would look like.

What other reasons do you think senior pastors could benefit from Leadership Coaching? 

*Photo Courtesy of kasto/BigStockPhoto.com