For one year, Kayla and I actively served on the Kids Team at a church in Baton Rouge, LA. We asked to be scheduled twice a month -- and in some cases three times. Although this commitment was more than expected, we loved it that much.
The more we were around and served, the more the leaders engaged with us. We knew the Kids Pastors and staff more than just a quick "hello" on a Sunday morning. We often talked about the church, the vision, and how we were challenged by the messages.
During our entire time serving and attending this church we never once had a conversation with the Lead Pastor. We never even shook his hand.
... and I thought this was normal!
I had no church background prior to attending this church. When I committed my life to Jesus, I started attending a church, reading my Bible, and eventually serving. Through my discovery of Christianity and my experience at that church, I never expected to know the pastor personally.
Fast forward six years -- a couple of new churches -- and many personal conversations later and I've realized my prior expectation is in the extreme minority. In fact, I've often heard this popular statement: "I just need to go to a church where I know the pastor."
Can I lovingly nudge your perspective for a few paragraphs? My suggestion is that despite what we may think, pastors were never intended to have a close relationship with every person in their church.
I think that this perspective correlates with the fact that 90 percent of churches stay less than 200 people in attendance. I don't fault people for desiring a close relationship with other people -- however our expectations that the person should be our pastor is misguided.
Let's think about it.
The first pastor in the Bible was Moses. It was physically impossible for him to be close with his people. Why? There were millions of them. In fact, so overwhelmed by the administration of leading millions, his father-in-law suggested he develop other leaders to meet the needs of the people.
When Jesus arrived on the scene, many instantly decided to follow Him after witnessing His teachings and signs. As His followers increased, He always stayed close to his 12 disciples.
When the Church exploded on the scene in Acts, we quickly see the apostles couldn't handle everything and everyone. They had to raise up team leaders (elders) to lead areas of ministry.
As Paul started planting churches, he would arrive to towns, preach the Gospel, develop leaders and leave. As the churches continued growing, they continued to develop leaders. It's why Paul spent most of his time writing letters to leaders and churches. There was no way Paul could personally know everyone -- even in churches he personally planted.
In fact, the roles God assimilates in the church -- apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers -- were designed for this one functionality.