First Baptist Church Valdosta has an interesting and wonderful tradition. When the church goes through the calling process of hiring a new staff person the candidate goes through a series of meetings where he meets with various committees and groups of people.
Eventually, on the night of the church vote there is an option for discussion by the congregation and the candidate is then asked to leave the room. The church votes, typically unanimously, and the candidate is then asked to return.
Hereâ€™s where the tradition becomes interesting and wonderful. When the candidate enters the room there is thunderous applause, smiles, and cheers. The candidate enters with thoughts of uncertainty, apprehension, and unknowing only to be met with great encouragement and support.Â Then the congregation lines up to shake his hand and give him words of encouragement. What a wonderful way to begin a ministry; to begin with unanimous support and a great show of love.
Why Staff Members Need the Support of Their Church
1. Â It is a symbiotic relationship. The Lord gives churches to pastors and the Lord gives pastors to churches. If both love each other, then there is peace, mutual growth, and the church accomplishes itâ€™s God given purpose. (Matthew 22:36-40, Matthew 28, Revelation 2, etc.) When there is disharmony, distrust, a lack of submission, or when the relationship breaks down, there is only trouble.
2. Â It is a trusting relationship. Often times when a church hires a new staff member they travel great distances with their families to serve the Lord and the congregation. The new pastor must trust that the church will take care of him and his needs, and the church trusts that the pastor will do his job and do it well.
3. Â It is a growing relationship. Just as congregations go through stages of growth, maturity, and changes so do their pastors. Men of God are constantly changing. While their essential theology may not change, their philosophies of ministry, ability to handle difficult situations, abilities to minister to other people, and countless other life lessons that God teaches all of His servants does change. A pastor and church change over time (sometimes for the good, sometimes for the bad).
4. Â It is a relationship. As with all relationships both sides have to put forth effort for it to work. Most pastors that I know work countless hours, do tasks few want to do, and truly love their jobs. Most churches have a desire to do something great for the Lord and are looking for someone to lead them. When both work together, â€œeven the gates of hell can not stop them.â€ This a special blessing from the Lord.
Your church staff needs to know that you are behind them. For one young man, his family,Â and a church in South Georgia it all began with thunderous applause.