It’s how we describe people who are good at a lot of things, or people who have been honed through a wide-range of life-experiences. Nevertheless, no matter how well-balanced a person may seem, upon closer examination, even the most “well-rounded” typically have one or two strengths that stand out above the others. Those particular “talents” may just be natural and undeniable gifts, or they may be the fruit of many years of focused training. Whatever the root cause, those core strengths of every individual are the reasons for having a team-based pastoral leadership.
Calling, accountability and chemistry are a few others reasons for having this leadership model.
Ultimately, we believe the calling of a pastor is more than just what convention defines. It can mean so many different things for different people. We believe that God, our Creator, knows us intimately and calls us in very specific ways. The purpose of the team-based pastoral leadership model is to enable the pastors of New Mercy Community Church to focus on the areas of their primary gifting or calling for the larger benefit of the church and surrounding community.
There is no question – Christ is the head of our church. But when it comes down to human leadership, the pastors of New Mercy Community Church will work as a team with no one senior pastor. As some innovative and successful business models indicate, the strengths of a charismatic leadership team can be just as effective, if not more than CEO-leadership models. While some may still question this model and the long-term effectiveness of it, we believe it’s essential for accountability, longevity and creativity. Even our pastors recognize that they are broken individuals who need accountability and aim to find that within the team of pastors. Not only for themselves and their work related to the church, but for their families as well. Our pastors and their families will be its own small group, providing the community and support that is often difficult to find in many solo-pastor churches. Part of the reason so many pastors burn-out and their families fall apart is because they try to shoulder the burden of the entire church alone without these essential support structures.
Pastor’s strengths, calling and ability to find accountability are all important aspects to this leadership model. But another key factor we can’t overlook is chemistry. While we believe leaders of a church are united in the Holy Spirit, you can’t substitute or artificially generate natural chemistry between people – even in the church! When you see our pastors interact, it’s immediately clear that they are not only friends with great respect for one another and but they have cultivated the ability to collaborate with each other with understanding. This pastoral team was formed and calibrated with chemistry as a top priority.
Our team-based pastoral leadership model is unique. And to say our pastors are excited about it is an understatement. People don’t voluntarily request pay cuts, which is exactly what our pastors have done to work in this type of ministry model. And it’s something our church is excited to see in action – to be exposed to God’s teaching through each of our pastor’s unique and varying perspectives and to serve with them in planting this church.