This vital revised and expanded update to How to Thrive in Associate Staff Ministry (Alban, 2000) provides guidance to the growing population of staff members employed by churches. Churches are expanding their staffs, but the turnover rate remains high, often due to stress, isolation, and conflict on the job. Lawson and Boersma address what it takes to thrive personally, professionally, and relationally within associate staff ministry.
Based on updated research and interviews with over 600 veteran associate staff members from many different denominations, Lawson and Boersma describe the priorities, attitudes, and practices that can help associate staff members thrive in their ministry roles. They present, explain, and illustrate a four-part “Model for Thriving in Associate Staff Ministry,” a concrete framework that readers can use to help achieve satisfaction and balance in their own lives.
In addition to addressing those in associate staff roles, the book also includes chapters to help supervising pastors and church boards support their associate staff members. Each chapter includes questions for personal reflection or discussion with others to help readers engage with the material and determine what steps they might take to improve their own experience in associate staff ministry.
About the Author
Kevin E. Lawson served as an church associate staff member for eleven years before moving to seminary teaching. He has a passion for strengthening the teaching and discipleship ministries of the church, and the preparation and support of church staff members. He currently serves as director of the PhD and EdD programs in educational studies at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University.
Mick Boersma is professor of Christian Ministry & Leadership and Chaplain of Talbot School of Theology, La Mirada, California. He served as an associate in worship and youth ministries before leading a congregation as senior pastor for several years. As part of his service at Talbot, Mick and his wife Rolane provide encouragement to seminary alumni throughout the world.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Lovett Weems
Introduction to the Second Edition: A Model for Thriving in Associate Staff Ministry
Part 1: Thriving Personally
Chapter 1: Finding Satisfaction in Following God’s Call
Chapter 2: Sustaining Spiritual Vitality in Ministry
Chapter 3: Weathering the Stresses of Ministry over Time
Part 2: Thriving Relationally
Chapter 4: Strengthening the Home Front
Chapter 5: Working Well with Your Supervisor and Fellow Associates
Chapter 6: Building Supportive Relationships
Part 3: Thriving Professionally
Chapter 7: Attitudes and Commitments That Support Thriving
Chapter 8: Ministry Settings That Support Thriving
Chapter 9: When You’re Not Thriving
Part 4: Support from Church Leadership
Chapter 10: The Valued Ministry Supervisor
Chapter 11: The Supportive Church Board
Appendix A: The “Thriving in Associate Staff Ministry” Studies
Appendix B: Professional Organizations and Further Reading for Associate Staff