Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A New Era Begins

Well--"era" may be too dramatic a word for it. But this week our new,called Associate Pastor begins his work with us and our Interim Associate wraps up loose ends and departs for new things. Good stuff, but as with any transition there will be some twists and turns to negoitiate.

Here is where you all could be helpful in sharing your wisdom--around two of those twists particularly:

1) So far, both the Associates I've worked with here have been female and older than me. Our new Associate is male and younger. There isn't a lot of collective wisdom out there yet about the female head of staff/ younger male associate relationship. Any of you worked in that model in either role? What wisdom would you pass along?

2)Our new Associate is coming to us after having been a solo pastor for a while. I know Besomami and Listing Straight have recently made that move--maybe some of the rest of you as well. Again--any wisdom to share on how to make that transistion a good one?

Also, be aware that after the great blog discovery controversy,I shared my own blogging identity with my new colleague, so there's a good chance we'll both be reading your responses!


Alex said...

Coming to an associate position after being a solo pastor has been great. I think I have much more to offer than if I'd come to this associate call right out of seminary.

I think the Head of Staff can really make or break this relationship -- so no pressure! :) If your roles are well-delineated from the start, I think you will have a good time working together.

Being an associate rocks -- especially at this point in my life. Being a working mom to two (soon to be three) children, I don't think I would want to be the primary "decider" (as GWB would say). I am enjoying Big Church so much; I hope your new associate has a similar experience!


Anonymous said...

I have been hearing the same thing over and over: solo first, associate second is GREAT. It means that you can use his best skills--knowing that he really CAN do it all, and that he chooses to be there, rather than in his "own" church (like we ever get to own our churches?)

I know you'll be fine. The advantage to hiring a younger male is that you'll never be in the ladies room at the same time and be tempted to talk shop. That's all I got. Congrats on finding the associate and moving into a more stable period.

Songbird said...

I've never been an Associate or for that matter a HOS, but based on what I have observed be sure to remember the Associate's point of view when you make choices that impact both of you. You may not always be able to do what suits everyone, but at least taking all angles into account is helpful.
Blessings to both of you and the church on this new path in ministry.

Anonymous said...

I've worked with two young men (young enough to be my sons) and although they were not installed associates, they were de facto associates.

It's been great. One of the things I've noticed is that they are products of their generation: sensitive new age guys, uninhibited, not hung up on the Big Steeple chase, enthusiastic, collaborative. To be perfectly generalistic, they are more like women used to be coming out of seminary in that we were willing to work together, build each other up, etc. Unfortunately (for some) the generation of men who were in Head of Staff positions at that time were not of this ilk. I, for one, found competition, sexual undertones, and intrenched hierarchy. But maybe that was just me.

Enjoy! Use his skills as a Gen X-er (or whatever he is) and work together. Invite him to preach on one of the Big Sundays. Be a generous colleague. I'm sure you are a g.c. already.

Stacey said...

I've just gone from being a solo pastor to an associate, and I am loving it. Like Alex, I'm glad I did the solo call first. The biggest transition point for me has been the move from being at the center of things - sort of the clearinghouse for events, meetings, theology, decisions - to having a more narrow scope of responsibilities. The HOS has been really helpful in involving me in the decisions of the church as a whole, and allowing me to have authority over my areas of responsibility. This move would be much harder if I was suddenly treated like a "junior" minister who only knew how to deal with a couple of peripheral areas of ministry.