Church Administration

Pastor Memo To The Pulpit Ministers (10/24/ 2013)

Pulpit Ministers … I Need You, You Need Me, and We Need One Another.  The pulpit minister’s are appointed positions from the pastor and play a pivoting role in the forward moving of the ministry.  The requirement of a pulpit minister is saved, faithful, supportive, and subordinate minister with leadership capabilities.    They should be a regularly attending member of HOPTAN, Eastern Jurisdiction, MDC, and PAW services.  They should be licensed-registered member of the MDC/PAW.

The primary focus of the church is souls and the lifting up of the ministry by focusing on worship, fellowship, nurturing, education, outreach, and service.  In this administration, pulpit minister’s responsibilities are covered in the following areas:

  • Ministry
  • Pulpit Administration
  • Assisting the Pastor / Pastor Assistant
  • Business Ministry
  • Church Directors
  • Transition Advocate

I.  Ministry

Each pulpit minister will be responsible to ensuring that examples of spiritual leadership is exemplified and witnessed in sincere ministry, true worship, and total praise.  Study to show thyself approve and be followers of Christ so you may be followed. The following excerpt is a good illustration [thank you Eld Strain] …

At a denominational conference, a musical group sang a contemporary song in a most exciting “show-biz” manner and evoked loud cheers and applause.  People were smiling and saying, “Aren’t they good? Wasn’t their choreography entertaining?” The group was followed by a pastor with multiple sclerosis who from his wheelchair sang “No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus.” When he was finished, a holy hush moved over the congregation. There were tears in people’s eyes, and they were thinking, “Isn’t our God wonderful? Oh, how we ought to love him more!” No cheers and applause, just worship.

When ministry becomes performance, then the sanctuary becomes a theater, the congregation becomes an audience, worship becomes entertainment, and man’s applause and approval become the measure of success. But when ministry is for the glory of God, his presence moves into the sanctuary.  Even the unsaved visitor will fall down on his face, worship God, and confess that God is among us (1 Cor. 14:25).

The words of James Denney are worth reading again: “No man can bear witness to Christ and to himself at the same time.  No man can give the impression that he himself is clever and that Christ is mighty to save.” The purpose of ministry is the glory of God. “There is nothing God cannot do for a faithful servant who thinks only of the glory of God”.

II. Pulpit Administration

Each pulpit minister will be responsible to ensuring that

  • pulpit operations is administered on their assign week (and/or day)
  • weekly services start at it’s appropriate time and ends in a timely manner
  • ensure assisting personnel have been notified and in place when services occur
  • ensure the participating and training of the associate ministers in services
  • ensure full support and faithfulness in additional church services or special church events
  • promptness, professionalism in dress, behavior, reverence (titles),  respect (chain-of-command), and honor (acknowledgement)
  • responsible for their assigned week … which typically consist of Sunday, Wednesday, Friday, and any event that occur during their assigned week.

III. Assisting the Pastor / Pastor Assistant

Each pulpit minister will be responsible for assisting the pastor in all aspects of the church ministry.  It is expected that the pulpit minister will:

  • prepared to support the pastor at away invitations during their assigned week
  • prepared to minister, in the stead of their pastor, during their assigned week … if requested
  • prepared to minister on their assigned Sunday or Friday … if requested
  • prepared to teach bible class on their assigned Wednesday … if requested
  • prepared to minister at any funeral or event (e.g. wedding) … if requested
  • prepared to teach adult or young adult Sunday School class … if requested
  • prepared to visit the sick and shut-in, nurturing the entire body of Christ … all saints
  • prepared to assist in reaching out to the missing, departed, and new saints
  • prepared to keep a unified front (Obama Lesson Learned … as discussed)
  • be pastor extension … eyes (insight), ears (congregation), arms (helps), legs (visitation), & mind (ideas)

IV. Business Ministry

Each pulpit minister will be responsible for assisting the pastor in performing the church business. It is expected that the pm will:

  • Be able to lead the congregation into seeing God’s presence and control at every service
  • Be able to inspire the congregation and show support to the pastor (faithfulness)
  • Be able to take effective offerings and be an example
  • Possess or pursuing (waived by pastor) Ordination Licenses
  • Be able to attend the executive board and leadership board meetings
  • Participated in ministerial training (e.g. Ministerial Alliance)
  • Stay aware of the daily, weekly, monthly operations of the church
  • Understand the church structure, operations, ministries, and be faithful (“Junior Pastor/Assist Pastor” training – currently not planning on implementing)
  • Be ready to perform evangelical operations, baptisms, and alter call work
  • Be trained, certified, and appointed to take confessions (pastor appointment only)

V. Church Director

Each pulpit minister will be responsible for assisting in the operations of the church by being assigned the position of director over specific mixtures of auxiliaries, ministries, committees, boards, and special helps. It should be noted that this position does not give the directors command/approval authority over the presidents but advisory authority to expedite, minister, and support the presidents. These assignments are rotational and can be re-assigned periodically.  Some of the responsibilities will include:

  • In the event that a president is absent, not selected, removed, or not available … the director will stand-in as president of the mission.
  • Facilitate between current president and former presidents (e.g. lesson’s learned)
  • Assist in creating fully documented ministry with “program description”, website content, organization structure, and CONOPS.
  • If spouses exist, encourage them to play a partnering & supporting role to you implementing and encouraging the operations of these missions …demonstrating family& team work in leadership.
DIRECTOR          P.A. #1        P.A. #2       P.A. #3        P.A. #4      1st Lady
Auxiliaries   Pastor Aide Men’s Yng People Sun School Women’s
Ministries Min Alliance Foreign Msn PrayerIn-Reach Music Media Ushers OutReach Nursing / EP Marriage SinglesHelping Hands
Committees   Ways & Means Kitchen/Vend Bldg Admin IT/IS Hospitality Decorating
Boards & Helps Building Fd Golden AgeBook Store Leaders Mother’s Admin Staff
Director as President Min Alliance Bldg Admin LeadersHOPCA OutReach Women’sMarriage
 Directly Reports To Pastor-OnlyFinancial Committee, Executive Board, and Deacon Board 

VI. Transition Advocate

During this time of transition, there is a need to work together to manage areas that determine whether a transition is successful.  The pulpit ministers should keep these areas that the pastor is planning on focusing on:

  1. Honor, respect, and celebrate the past
  2. Maximize the church’s strengths
  3. Complete the past
  4. Articulate the church’s vision
  5. Develop a strategic plan
  6. Manage the dark side
  7. Commit to the long haul
  8. Do the work of ministry
  9. Listen to God’s voice

These were obtained from a very inspirational book “Leading Your African American Church through Pastoral Transition” by Ralph C. Watkins.  Other topics address are: 1) New Leadership – Old Issues; 2) It Ain’t Just about the Pastor; 3) The Forest and the Trees; 4) Taken by Surprise; 5) Being Led by the Spirit; 6) Following a Legend; 7) Is God Pleased?; and 8) Making History.

Continue to pray for your pastor as he seek God’s will and listens for his voice.

Humbly Submitted,

Elder Anthony D Pettiford Sr., HOPTAN Pastor


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