If you follow Pastor Joe, Pastor Pat, or myself on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter you see that we have a lot of fun together. We genuinely enjoy spending time together. As a staff we do not just get together once a week for a meeting, but sit together and get our work done. When we aren’t meeting with others you will often find us at a local cigar shop sitting, talking, reading, studying, or praying. We bounce ideas off each other and take time to rest and play cards together. When we are struggling, we share our struggles and pray for and with each other.
I am sure we are not unique, but it feels unique. When the elders first starting talking to me about coming on staff, it seemed like a “no-brainer” to me. I love the people, I love where they are going, and I love being with both Pat and Joe. I kept thinking to myself, “I get to serve the Lord and spend my days with Pat and Joe—I’m in!”
Unfortunately, not every staff team has the same dynamics. Some staff can't stand each other. Some don't trust each other. Some have deep seated issues that have poisoned their relationships. Some staff may not have drama, but they may not “mesh” well. They each work in their own areas and become islands of their own.
This is not to say that no staff, including our own, will never have issues to work through. But with a solid foundation, when those times comes a staff can more easily work through it and become stronger for it.
Looking at our staff relationship, there are four reasons that we have such a solid foundation.
I can tell you that I know Joe and Pat have my back. I trust that they have my best interest in mind. I know that they will tell me the truth when I have strayed, when I need correction, when I need help. I truly believe that they will protect me and not judge me. In no way do I believe that they would talk behind my back. They respect me and love me. When staff can’t trust each other they will always be second guessing motives behind others’ words and decision.
A staff that works together needs to play together. Pat, Joe, and I have a private chat group where we play around with each other as well as pass on information. We send each other messages and jokes. Sometimes during our down time we play cards. Pat and I talk about the Cubs or Superheroes. Around Redeemer Fellowship, joking around is seen as a gift. None of us take ourselves too seriously. Currently, Joe and I have been in a photoshop battle. He is much better than I am but we love playing around and poking fun at each other (and ourselves).
Not only do we pray together but we pray for each other. We don’t forget to lift each other up in prayer. Whether one is suffering through problems, or praising God for pleasures we share the burdens and blessings together. We pray that we would abandon sin and cling to Christ. We pray for each other’s hearts. We pray that we would remain strong, bold, gentle, and loving. Staff cannot pray enough with or for each other.
We know where we are going. We know the mission set before us. We work together to see the mission of the church, “To Make Disciples As Disciples”, is lived out and being worked out in everything that we do. We have a singular focus to love God and to make Him known in our lives and in the life of our people.
At Redeemer, we are not only work together but rest together. And despite what some church/pastor gurus have argued, we are not only staff, we are friends. We trust, have fun, pray, and are on mission together. We know that there will be times of trials and struggles, but there is also much joy in our relationships. We know that when difficult situations come we will be able to respond accordingly, remain close, and grow closer together.