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Many pastors complain of strained staff relationships. What makes a successful pastoral staff? Sharon Sterrenburg enjoyed a positive staff situation at Whittier Hills Baptist Church in California for six years. She writes this open letter to Pastor Dan Blied not only to thank him for his leadership, but to suggest why his staff relationships have been so productive.

Dear Dan,

Ten years ago, you asked me to come on church staff as women's coordinator. It was a growing, enriching experience. Why? I'd like to say it was due to the person you chose for the job, but I have to be honest! It was because of good leadership-yours and the board's.

A while back, I was telling a class at Talbot Seminary about my time at Whittier Hills, and one of the students asked, "What made it a good working relationship? Give us details so we'll know how to do it right." After I tried to do so, one asked, "Have you shared this with the leaders and thanked them?" Ouch! I admitted I hadn't.

This letter, then, is an ...

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