5 Things A Ministry Leader Needs to Hear Their Pastor Say

A couple days ago, I posted an article, “5 Things A Pastor Needs To Hear You Say.” It seemed only appropriate that I turn the tables and look at it from the other angle.

Many leaders in the church work for a pastor. Pastors are busy and spread thin. They often have their attention turned in many different directions. There are times when that direction is not towards the ministry leader.

Unfortunately, when the attention from a pastor is turned towards a ministry leader, it is because something may have gone wrong. Therefore, the attention turns out to be negative.

If you are a pastor, I encourage you to say these five things to the people that minister alongside you in your church:

  1. Thank you for the work you do. Lay ministry leaders work hard. They are dedicated and passionate about ministry and their church. They desire to do a great job. Although they don’t do ministry for the recognition, they need it. We all want our pastor to affirm us for the work that we do. We want to be recognized by you! If you get a chance, say it and mean it. It will go a long way to motivating us.
  2. I’m going to give you a raise. A church is a non-profit and budgets are often tight. It is a fact that salaries are not high in the church. Still, if we want to keep good ministry leaders, especially as they start to grow their family, a church needs to give them a living wage. Yes, ministry leaders don’t work in the church for the money. However, they do need to survive. Try your best to take care of your team financially. If you don’t, your best leaders will leave sooner or later.
  3. I want to send you to this conference. No leader comes to a church fully formed and trained. Each of us are a work in progress. Conferences and trainings are a great opportunity to learn new skills that will help our ministry expand and grow. Send us to a conference and pay for it, including the meals. We will love you for it!
  4. I’m going to raise your budget. Every ministry leader I know tries to do more with less. This is often because our budgets are small. Ministry leaders can get really creative when budgets are tight. Still, if there is a chance to raise a leaders budget, do it. This communicates two things. 1) That you think their ministry is valuable. 2) That you want them to succeed in their ministry. Those are two powerful statements.
  5. I want to help you win. There are too many people in our lives that don’t want to see us win. Our pastor should not be one of those people. A pastor should want all their ministry leaders to win. To do that, a pastor needs to be intentional about coming along side their ministry leaders to coach and mentor them. It’s always leaders who have good mentors that create the biggest impact in the church. Say these words and prove it by mentoring them in their ministry.

Question: Are you a ministry leader? What do you want to hear your pastor say to you?


  1. Ann Marie Eckert says:

    I want to hear my pastor say, “Let’s talk.” Regular meetings (weekly perhaps, or monthly) give both parties a chance to get back on board with each other–to find out what they need to know about an upcoming event, to check in on problems that the ministry leader might be having with a volunteer or colleague, and to just be present to each other. Staff meetings can handle a lot of things, but one-on-one time is still important.

    • John Rinaldo John Rinaldo says:

      I agree, Ann Marie. One-on-one time is extremely valuable with the pastor. It communicates that they care about you and your ministry. With these regular meetings, the leader is not second guessing what the pastor is thinking because they talk on a regular basis.

      Thanks for the addition!

  2. Makana Aiona says:

    “I’m listening” anyway the pastor can say this (whether verbal or non-verbal) is something that always lifts the level of ministry at a parish. I’d personally appreciate it if a pastor borrowed the listening ears from the little girl above and wore them to all of his pastoral council meetings :)

    • John Rinaldo John Rinaldo says:

      Hey Makana, that would be a sight to see a pastor wearing those ears. I sometimes fall into the trap of hearing, but not really listening. Sometimes a pastor has their mind on so many things that it is easy to tune out what is going on in front of you.


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