Pastor or associate
I recently accepted a job in a great church.The church had grown, planted 3 other churches and the previous leader was stepping back and up to lead a group of churches planted out of the original church. I am leading the 'mother church.'
However, the previous pastor is intent on leading all the churches. He provides the teaching material for each (not scripts but titles) and makes decisions about each church with or without the church leader being needed. Most of the staff are central and serve all the churches equally. Not always listening to the pastors as they say that they need to look at the bigger picture. There is one eldership that covers all the churches and one vision that each must follow (which is a good vision as it goes). The network leader expects to do 50% of the teaching in my church (his former church) too which means that I feel like I can't create culture through preaching and have my hands tied. I genuinely wonder why he left this church in the first place.
I love the church and love the people. I also believe that my network leader's heart is good and that he wants us to be a network. However, I feel that I am not leading a church but more like an associate in a multi-site feigning as a church planting network. I want to be humble and serve my church. I also don't want to draw a rift between these churches. But I feel like I am not leading the church but an associate or campus pastor. I am not sure what to do as I love this church and God is using me here. However, I feel completely frustrated. Thanks for any advice that you may have had.
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