When I helped plant a church in my area four years ago, we adopted a different leadership model: a preaching team of three that planned together and rotated services for preaching. I found it to be a helpful and stimulating experience as a pastor.
In a recent article for LifeWay Pastors, Todd Wright talks about benefits he has seen through developing a preaching/teaching team. Here are three of them:
It helps conquer a “God Complex” in the pastor and church.
All of us have seen a pastor with a “God Complex.” It could have been in the mirror. It’s dangerous when a pastor begins to believe and embrace all of the spiritual rhetoric that flows from parishioners. “God speaks through you like no other!” “You’re an amazing man or God!” “You’re the best preacher I ever heard!” People in the pew too often make gods out of pastors, and too often pastors embrace their efforts. Developing a preaching team helps maximize the influence of Bible teaching rather than a single pastor’s personality. At my church we never announce beforehand who is preaching the next Sunday. We’re teaching the people that it’s not about the preacher, but about the Word being preached!
It improves the sermons for the congregation and the preachers.
For many years I planned my sermons and series alone. Now I work with a team. Sometimes we preach expositionally through a Bible book, a topical series of several weeks, or a Bible character study. Everyone on the team gives input and creative ideas with the goal of teaching for greater impact and life change. We have scheduled times each week for critique of the previous Sunday’s teacher and sermon. In every case, the series, sermon, and preacher are better because of the team.
It helps refresh the lead pastor.
I remember the days of preaching every Sunday morning and evening and Wednesday evening, and even planning my vacations around Sundays. Now I preach 60% of the Sundays and the other 40% are shared with two teaching pastors on staff. For years I felt like the church could not function well without my presence. Now I see some of the greatest movements of God happen when others on the team are preaching. God can use them too, while I’m taking a break. It’s a win-win! [Read the full article with all 5 benefits]