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3 Ways to Maximize Co-Pastoring

Effective co-pastoring requires more than just dividing up tasks.

3. Communicate, communicate, and then communicate some more.

his might seem excessively practical, and maybe a big, fat “duh” to everyone else, but I will throw it out there just in case. You cannot communicate too much as co-pastors. Simple ways to make this more natural and less of a hassle?

  • Synchronize your phone calendars so commitments for one pastor show up for the other.
  • Create a combined email account. This not only eases communication, it prevents some of the parishioner shenanigans mentioned earlier, like trying to get a “yes” from one pastor when the other has already said “no.”
  • Create intentional time each week to share your week, your intentions, and your challenges. This is also an important time for shared visioning and goal setting. If you are married to your co-pastor, try to resist the temptation to make every one-on-one encounter about church stuff. Healthy boundaries between home and work are essential for the married co-pastoring duo.

My co-pastor hubby and I continue to hash out what it means to be co-pastors in the trenches of everyday ministry and marriage. Some days, it feels awesome and right and exactly what we were made to do. Other days, we would rather do anything but this. Nevertheless, God is faithful and is empowering us to live into our calling. As you wrestle with the challenges of finding your way together, remember co-pastoring is not just a method of ministering―it is an opportunity to embody gospel-fueled cooperation in God’s mission. Live it well.

Stephanie Dyrness Lobdell is a Nazarene pastor, wife, mommy of JoJo and Jack, teacher, lover of learning, and friend. She and her husband, Tommy, have served as co-pastors of several churches. Currently, Stephanie serves as co-lead pastor with Tommy, as well as the worship pastor at Mountain Home Church of the Nazarene, an extraordinary community of believers in Mountain Home, Idaho, and blogs at www.stephanielobdell.com.

August29, 2017 at 8:00 AM

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