Do You Have My Back?
Many of the staff and leaders went to a church conference today. It was on different aspects of ministry. I was not able to attend but I heard it was really great. There was one thing that made me smile and I have to share it with you though. Now again, I was not there so someone who was might need to fill you in on the details a bit more than me but here is what happened.
I was sitting in my chair with my laptop. I had just finished helping the kids with their homework. I stated getting texts, emails and messages saying, “Pastors, we have your back! I am with you. I believe in you. I will protect you. I will fight for this ministry. You can count on me. I love you. I will uphold you!” Well my first inclination was that something was wrong. Why is everyone fighting for me? Did something happen where you need to fight? What is with all of the texts, emails and messages?
So I called one of the team and asked them what was going on. They said that in one of the sessions a senior pastor of a large, growing ministry spoke. He let people know exactly what he needed to hear and feel from his leaders, staff and the people who attended his church. He told them that the senior pastor needs to know you are behind him catching his back. When you are out front you have a bull’s eye plastered on your back and you want to know that people got you covered so you can focus on what God has called you to do. Let’s face it, when you are in a position where a lot of correction has to come down at times, people don’t always like it. You will be talked about, make no mistake about it. You will get people who will want to attack you and the vision God has given you. It is usually the people you had to privately correct for pretty major issues at that. And of course nobody really knows about that stuff, but you sure do.
So here is what I know. I have never been surprised by loyalty. I know who is loyal. I know who has my back. I have never, ever been caught off guard by it. I just think that the Holy Spirit is so great at revealing heart motives because God cares so much to see His Kingdom established, He will show you holes in the loyalty blanket. And yes even if you don’t want to see them.
As the texts kept coming in, I knew in my heart that each and every person who had contacted me was loyal. I have never questioned them. It was not because they said it with their mouth (although that really makes you feel good at times like it did to me just now!!!) it is because they said it with their actions. Their commitment and the way in which they give of their lives shows me their loyalty each and every time I am around them I can literally feel it. You can just feel it in your bones just like you can feel the opposite in your bones. There is no bones about it! He he!
So if you are a senior pastor reading this, let your people know how much their loyalty means when times get tough. Every ministry has seasons, every one, and those who stick with you through the winters are the ones you want to pull in close. Those who are just there when the harvest comes in the Summer are not loyal. They just like being associated with something that looks fruitful at the time. The next new thing that comes down the pike will weed those people out. Those who actually help to cultivate and plant when it is hard, those people, keep them close and appreciate them. Those are the ones who truly got your back.
If you are reading this and you attend a church, does your senior pastor feel you behind him? Have you been loyal to the place where God has called you even in times of Winter? Are you more interested in the vision God has placed there than your feelings being hurt? Do you know how to stand the test of time and weather storms? If you do, I know your senior pastor knows it and appreciates you more than anything. The Kingdom of God can not be established without you taking your place and fighting for all of those people who are yet to come and meet Jesus. Your loyalty matters and your loyalty changes lives! Thank you for all you do in your churches!