So, I spent two hours yesterday in a conference call with a couple pastor friends of mine. It was only supposed to last about an hour, but we were having such a great time. These are guys roughly around my age. We went to the same Bible college. They both started the churches they are pastoring, and both churches, though still considered "small churches," are doing well (in my estimation). Both of these pastors seemed to be excited about my vision for The Second Man, and are more than happy to continue helping me with this endeavor. As is the case with probably most of us "brothers in ministry," the conversation jumped around to a variety of topics, each of us cramming every thought we could fit into the brief opportunities we had to contribute to the conversation (very passionately, as if it would be our last chance to speak). I know I was hosting the conference interview, but as always, I finished wishing I would have listened more and talked less...especially as I try to harvest this "second man" attitude that I know is most becoming of my position. I wonder sometimes if I really have the humility and temperance to be that man!
I'll save the main content and most of the details we discussed for future blog posts, but what stood out to me (and what I feel needs to be pointed out to other ministry-minded men) are these two thoughts that I think help to crystallize the purpose and direction of this ministry:
#1. Pastors are in desperate need of good second men.
I'm not sure I have ever talked to a pastor about my job (Youth Leader/Pastor's Assistant) where they didn't reply with something about how important of a job that was and how fortunate my pastor was to have me (not so much because of any specific abilities I have...but simply because he has a man to fulfill that role). Often times, that comment is followed up by a question regarding whether or not I am "full-time" (Which basically means that I do not have to perform my ministry duties in addition to another full-time job in order to financially care for my family). Thankfully, I am one of the fotunate second men who are "full-time."
The reason that pastors immediately think about finances in relationship to a second man is no doubt due to the fact that it is nearly impossible to bring a good second man on staff if the church cannot meet his needs (and typically he is also married and has children, adding to the financial burden of the church). There is so much more I want to say about this subject (and probably will in future posts), but I'll just move on with this piece of advice: Yes, you need to take care of your family, but if the Lord has called you to a particular ministry, I do not believe the matter of how much the church can pay you should be your first concern! Now moving on...
#2. Good resources are in demand for encouraging and assisting the second man
These pastors I talked to implied that, other than training them on some of their ministerial duties, pastors struggle with how exactly to encourage and equip their assistants in how to be a better second man. Granted, most pastors were second men themselves before becoming a pastor, but let's face it, they are pastors now! First of all, their focus is now on pastoring, not on how to better assist a pastor. Then there is the fact that pastors don't always know how to explain what exactly they need. A pastor's assistant should have something to offer when the pastor is at a loss for what to do about a certain situation. He is supposed to "assist" the pastor!
That is where I believe this ministry comes in. It is my desire to provide resources that will encourage and equip men to better serve their church and their pastor. It may not be a position that is glamorous, and often times not very recognized, but the "second man" is perhaps the most influential and beneficial position in the church. If that statement is true, then it is equally important that we are encouraged and equipped to be the best second men we can be.
Some goals for this ministry include:
-Continued weekly or bi-weekly posts on this blog
-Continued ministry resources posted to social media (links at top of this page)
-Continued conference calls with pastors regarding topics relevant to "the second man"
-Podcast featuring interviews and instructional tips
-Much more that is perhaps too early to announce...
Please join me in praying for this endeavor, sharing with your ministry friends, and seeing what you can do to contribute to this ministry. Thanks, and may your passion for ministry grow as you "addict yourself" to it (1 Corinthians 16:15).
List of Articles