The following is a guest post from Jim Tomberlin, which appeared inÂ REV! Magazine, July/August 2009. I thought this would go well with what we’ve been discussing as far as the role of campus pastor. Read the article and comment any thoughts or questions you have.
Almost every week I receive a callÂ from a multi-site church desperatelyÂ searching for a campus pastor.Â We have come along way from theÂ early days of the multi-site movementÂ when no one knew what a campus pastor was,Â or if they did, werenâ€™t interestedÂ in being one.
Once seen as just an emcee for aÂ video event, the campus pastor role isÂ becoming one of the most strategic andÂ sought-after church staff positions inÂ many churches. The campus pastor is theÂ most important element in the success orÂ failure of a multi-site congregation. It allÂ rises or falls on leadership.
Traits of a Gifted Campus Pastor
Having assisted many multi-campusÂ churches across the nation, I have boiledÂ down my answer to the following observations.Â Assuming that this individual isÂ a spiritually mature person of characterÂ with a proven track record, an ideal campusÂ pastor is someone who is a:
- Catalytic leader: a high capacity, highÂ energy, self-starter who not only getsÂ things done, but makes things happen.
- Team player: someone who people willÂ follow, but who is willing to play secondÂ fiddle. Not a lone ranger maverick, butÂ around them. They have a high â€œfunÂ factor.â€
- Mobilizer: not only attracts followersÂ but can turn them into teams of volunteers.Â The key to success in any staffÂ position.
- Multi-tasker: shows high capacity toÂ juggle a lot of balls simultaneously andÂ loves the juggling act.
- Communicator: doesnâ€™t have to be theÂ worldâ€™s best Bible teacher, but is capableÂ and articulate speaking to a room full ofÂ people.
- DNA carrier: bleeds and defaults to theÂ mission, vision, values, and senior leadershipÂ of the church.
Traits Not Conducive for aÂ Campus Pastor
- An overwhelming desire to preach:Â Someone who has to preach (unless youÂ put them on the preaching or teachingÂ team). If a person believes he or she hasÂ been called primarily to preach, he orÂ she will not succeed as a campus pastor.
- A passion for solo performance: AnÂ independent entrepreneur with the emphasisÂ on independent.
- A capacity for mixed agendas: SomeoneÂ with an agenda other than reachingÂ people far from God and growing aÂ congregation. You donâ€™t want someoneÂ whose agenda is not completely in tandemÂ with the churchâ€™s.
Where Do You Find Camp us Pastors?
The first place to look is internally. WhoÂ is on your staff right now who embodiesÂ your churchâ€™s DNA? Who has proven thatÂ he or she is ready for a new challenge?Â Who is the best person on your team?Â Lead out with that person.
If not on the staff, who is in yourÂ congregation that could transition intoÂ this role? There are high-capacity marketplaceÂ leaders sitting in your churchÂ who have the leadership gifts and yourÂ church DNA to be wildly successful asÂ campus pastors.
The next best place to look is withinÂ the network of your own staff team.Whom do they know around the countryÂ who could be good campus pastor candidateÂ for your church? Bring them on theÂ team and incubate them. Take a year toÂ train and acclimate them at home baseÂ before launching them into their ownÂ campus.
Finally, you can place ads in venuesÂ such as Willow Creekâ€™s Exchange, ChurchÂ Staff.com, Tony Morganâ€™s jobamaticÂ blog, MinisterSearch.com, and denominationalÂ networks.
Are You Campus Pastor Material?
Contact Jim@Multi-SiteSolutions.com. If you have the right gifting, I may have a church for you!
Jim Tomberlin is chief strategist of Multi-Site Solutions, and has served as a senior pastor and various other ministries.