Still trying to figure out exactly what the role of a campus pastor should be? You’re not alone. Thousands of churches across the country have gone multi-site (more than 5,000 as of an August 2012 report), spurring thousands more to consider it. Multi-campus churches have become one of the biggest trends in church planting, and with that comes a lot of discussion about how to do it well.
The role of “Campus Pastor” may seem a bit confusing, so here are a few thoughts on how this position can be an effective member of the team that helps grow the church.
Campus Pastors Champion the Culture and Vision
For many people who attend a multi-site church, the campus pastor is the personal connection. He is the vision champion, the inspiration that connects this community to the larger church. A campus pastor should have a gift for reading his environment and translating the mission to the people he is shepherding.In this structure, he’s responsible for replicating culture, rather than creating it from scratch. He doesn’t have to define the mission, vision, values, doctrine, etc., but he should be able to inspire alignment with them.
Campus Pastors Lead a Team to Accomplish the Mission in a New Context
Campus pastors should be able to lead a team to get things done since they will ultimately need to “own” the vision in their community. They need to be passionate about the local culture and be able to help the senior leadership team understand how to reach it. The campus pastor serves as their “eyes on the ground.”He should be able to raise up leaders and volunteers to effectively implement goals, calendars and budgets of all ministries on the campus to further the vision. Great campus pastors develop staff and create a healthy environment for ministry and growth but are also capable of cooperating with the “central” leadership team to integrate resources, collaborate and stay on the same page.
Love and Care for the Congregation
Perhaps most of all, campus pastors need a passion for the local church. Without it, the role becomes fruitless. Campus pastors make large churches feel intimate. They witness the transformed lives. They are in tune with the needs of the people they shepherd.They do a lot of what the biblical definition of a pastoring entails: caring for the total well-being of the “flock” entrusted to them.
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Photo Credit: Vik Nanda via Flickr cc