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?

3 thoughts on “Frontline Staff”

  1. This is the strength of the “home group” or “cell group” of about 6 to 12 people. Small enough for everyone to contribute and be significant but large enough to be a microcosm of “church”. Each member can have prayer backing and a sympathetic ear as well as the opportunity to try out or develop their own ministry and leadership gifts.\r\nUnfortunately many church leaders are typical of “British management” and not very good at it but then again we do, rather unreasonably, expect omnicompetance from our leaders and wonder why we feel disappointed.

  2. On the “front line” issue. Church staff are not on the front line because churches generally don’t hire front line staff. As you suggest school visits are a miniscule (if existent) part of church staff life. Churches generally don’t employ people to work outside the church ie on the front line. Even “mission” agencies are often looking for doctors,nurses,agriculturalists rather than evangelists. Then we wonder why the church is still shrinking. “Durrrr”

    1. Thanks for the comments!! It could be a much longer conversation. How about agriculturalist AND evangelist? In other words Mission AND Evangelism …

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