The Senior Pastor or Administrator Micromanages me.

Your Question:

“How do I work with a senior pastor or administrator who micromanages me?”

The Issues:

You have been hired to serve under, and support, this senior pastor or administrator. This doesn’t mean that you must agree with everything he stands for, but it does mean that you must be respectful while carefully expressing your own views. “Micro-managing” springs from a need for control, and a lack of trust for others. It takes time to earn this trust.

Scripture Foundation:

“Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.”   Proverbs 29:23

Short Answer:

It is critically important to understand why a senior pastor or administrator micromanages those under him/her.  He/she is probably not an “evil dictator,” instead he/she is most likely a passionate builder!  He/she may have led the church when there were just a few leaders. Those very few leaders had to do everything!  They were possibly “over-worked,” and yet they enjoyed the process of building a church! 


Your senior pastor or administrator may have the perspective borne from years of ministry that says, “If you want it done right, do it yourself!”  This perspective may have been critical for a “season” of time as the church grew.  Every church “builder,” or missionary understands this concept.  The passion that comes with a calling must drive this “builder” to lay a strong foundation for future growth.  Once the foundation is laid, and the growth begins, it is very hard for that “builder” to let others build.  So, your senior pastor or administrator’s tendency toward micromanaging may spring from a very hard “season” of his/her life. 


Be very careful not to imply that you want to take away his/her joy of seeing them ministry grow.  Your purpose must clearly be to support him/her and to do all you can to further the work that he/she started.  You can’t force him/her to release control, you must earn that trust.  You may spend years asking him/her, “What do you think I should do?” before he/she says, “I trust you, do what you think is best.” 


Working with a micromanaging senior pastor or administrator takes patience. You must show him/her respect and ask for his/her suggestions regularly.  For a while, it may feel like he/she is “running” the ministry.  If you provide regular updates (via email and personal meetings), your senior pastor or administrator will eventually see that you are supporting his/her vision and that you are “safe.” He/she may also “tire” of dealing with all of the “administrivia” of leading the church and the CM.  When this happens, and if he/she views you as “safe,” he/she will begin releasing control of the ministry more and more to you. 


This is the ONLY way to work with a micromanaging senior pastor or administrator! If you try to fight for control, you will lose!  Your “fight” will be interpreted as a threat, and he/she will get rid of you as soon as possible.  So, Proverbs 29:23 is a perfect verse for your process!  Enjoy the ride!


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More help on the “Working With The Senior Pastor or Administrator – APPENDIX” 

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