When Brandon Doss and I were launching Cultivate Church with a Co-Pastor model, it wasn’t considered the most popular decision to others. Most people couldn’t understand the concept of how it would work, and why we wanted to do it. In their defense, the Co-Pastor model is not something that you see often. And in reality, it’s not for everyone. But you say you want to Co-Pastor? Well here are some tips.
1. Know Your Co-Pastor First
Brandon and I have been friends since high school and have lived a lot of life together. We have stories that will leave you with a blank stare. Doing life and ministry together isn’t something we have to work at, it’s just second nature. I would trust Brandon with any area of my life. The foundation of your leadership needs to be built on trust and friendship first.
2. Compliment Each Other
We may both share the same name, but we are really very different people. He would rather ride a bicycle and I’d rather ride a motorcycle. He would rather play football and I’d rather play video games. However, it is our differences that make our team better. He is the guy who is going to take a leap of faith, and I’m the one who is going to develop the plan around it.
3. Share the Same Vision
It’s ok to have different personalities and skill sets, but you must agree on your mission, vision, and values. Brandon and I sat together and laid out the core of Cultivate Church. The makeup of our church is exactly what God placed on each of our hearts, and we both just happen to share the same mission, vision, and values. We are both supporting one another as we move toward the same goals.
4. Put it On Paper
So you share the same mission, vision, and values, you compliment one another, but who’s responsible for what? You both share the same title as Lead Pastor, but how does that actually work? For Brandon and I we lead toward our strengths, gifting’s, and passions. So to make our roles clear, we documented them. The flow chart below shows clarity on what our individual leadership roles are, beyond setting our vision and mission together. 5. Build Something Else First
Planting a church has been the most difficult thing Brandon and I have attempted in ministry. Both of our families invested and risked everything to start Cultivate. There have been many challenges, difficulties, and sacrifices we have made through the process, and I couldn’t imagine facing these as a team for the first time. Thankfully, Brandon and I have built and lead many ministries together long before now. Our history is that of starting things from scratch. I wouldn’t dream of attempting something on this scale without having built something else together first.
So is leading through a Co-Pastor model for everyone? Absolutely not! Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend it to most people. However, I do believe there are others out there that feel the leading to do it, and it can work and be a great blessing for your church.
So what about you? What do you think? Are you wanting to Co-Pastor? How can Brandon and I help?