October is Pastor Appreciation Month! This may mean your church celebrates you, or it might mean that the senior pastor is celebrated while you’re not. Either way, we’re so glad you’re a part of the Download Youth Ministry community. We recognize that you probably work with staff almost daily, whether it’s just you and the senior pastor or you and a whole team of pastors striving to reach the lost and equip the saints. Regardless, you still need to relate to these people!

Here are four tips for thriving on staff with other pastors:

  1. Avoid Gossip

    Do your best not to speak ill of anyone on staff to other pastors or, even worse, to someone in your congregation, even if it’s true. We constantly encourage our students to avoid gossip, and this principle applies to us when interacting with our co-workers. If you have an issue with someone on staff, do the right thing and talk to them directly about it. Even if it creates discomfort or awkwardness, you’ll know you did the right thing and avoided office gossip.

  2. Offer Encouragement

    If you notice a staff member doing something great, ensure they know it! Give compliments freely and encourage your fellow staff members when you see them doing something exceptional, especially tasks that others in your congregation might not recognize as unique. For example, if your associate pastor did an excellent job with announcements on Sunday, acknowledge it. As a children’s pastor, if someone delivers an inspiring staff devotion, follow up and express how much they bless you. Encouragement can be the driving force that keeps someone going when they’re ministering from an empty cup!

  3. Lend a Helping Hand

    Whenever someone on the staff needs assistance with a task, and you can help, be as supportive as possible. For instance, if the children’s ministry needs pool noodles and you have some leftovers from last summer, offer them up. Yes, I understand they didn’t come from their budget line item, but you’re all on the same team, right? If a pastor asks you to visit someone in the hospital whom you don’t have a relationship with, go ahead and make the visit. You might be doing your pastor a significant favor. Be known as a staff member willing to lend a helping hand whenever possible.

  4. Be Reliable

    Submit your work on time. When you commit to attending an event, ensure you show up. If you’ve promised the older members that the Youth Ministry will help with a big sale, put in the effort required to be there. Youth Pastors can sometimes get a bad reputation for being chaotic and juvenile. Wouldn’t it be better if we were known as the responsible and dependable people on staff? Keep your promises and appointments. Strive to be the most reliable person on staff, showing up and delivering on time.

October can be challenging, especially if others get recognized, and you feel left out. Don’t worry about it. We don’t do this for the paycheck or the recognition anyway. Be the best coworker you can be this month. I promise it will benefit you later!

Want to be the type of encouragement you want to see? Start with your own leaders! Use these thank-you cards to encourage your volunteers and keep them around!