Frontline Staff

We’ve got it wrong.\r\n\r\nIt’s not the clergy who are on the frontline, but Ordinary Church Members.\r\n\r\nIt’s the Ordinary Church Member who has to go out into the marketplace and be the light of the world.\r\n\r\nIt’s the Ordinary Church Member who has to be at home with difficult decisions about money, complicated spouses and unreasonable children.\r\n\r\nThe clergy staff have the support of fellow clergy, Bishops, other staff members built into their job description. The Ordinary Church Member doesn’t have that support. More often than not they are the only Christian where they work or live, they rarely meet their church leaders and pastors for anything other than a cursory hello, and they rely on brief and inadequate weekend encounters with other Christians at church to receive their encouragement.\r\n\r\nIt’s a misconception to say that the church staff are on the frontline because (for example) they go into a primary school once a month. Generally they are well respected and well accepted in other institutions. They are given a platform, with even a measure of government support in the curriculum.\r\n\r\nNo, like most other large organisations it’s those lower down the chain who are on the frontline, face to face with the public, often with little support, little encouragement, nowhere to turn.\r\n\r\nSo if that’s true, what sort of leaders should we be?\r\n\r\nAnd what sort of churches should our churches be?