Pastor aide ministries support the pastor through various services. These ministries may provide invaluable assistance in churches where the pastor needs help in caring for all of the members of the church. They provide a visible example of how to support the pastor of the church. This ministry can smooth the transition when a church changes ministers by supporting both the old and the new ministers with prayers, presence, gifts and service.
Direct Pastoral Support
Members of the Pastoral Aide Ministry can pray for, encourage and support the pastor. They may provide financial support for special projects or organise fundraisers to support the church, pastor or outside projects financially. They can send letters and e-mails of encouragement and cards on birthdays and anniversaries. Team members with specific talents volunteer their services for tasks such as home repairs, church clean-up and getting pastor to and from the airport.
Prayer provides a powerful ministry tool that requires no ordination. Ministry team members can offer prayer for the pastor and any congregant who requests it. Those willing to pray on Sundays can arrive prior to services and remain for 30 minutes or more after service and stand in a designated spot or wear a prayer shawl to identify themselves for this service. Team members take time slots during the week so church staff can relay prayer requests as they come in and the team member on call acts on the request with either private prayer or by placing a call to the requester and praying with him directly.
Church staff often get a call asking for the pastor to visit someone in the hospital, nursing or rehabilitation centre, or at home. Pastor aide team members can take these calls and visit congregants to offer comfort, prayer and encouragement. This ministry may prove especially beneficial to shut-ins, nursing home and hom- bound congregants and long-term care circumstances where seeing the same person each time is desirable.
No one likes to walk through a crisis alone. Team members can arrive to provide comfort and support following a death in the family, a medical emergency or almost any othercrisis a person can imagine. Assistance with transportation, meals, childcare, elderly care and other types of hands-on ministry can get people through the beginning stages of a crisis. Ministry members may volunteer for specific types of support such as providing meals or driving someone to the hospital, so church staff know exactly who to contact when the need arises.
Pulpit assistance can involve giving announcements, reading the Scriptures prior to the sermon, introducing a speaker in the absence of the minister or giving the message in the event the pastor has an emergency or becomes ill. Some of these activities allow for planning, and others may occur on the spur of the moment, but the pastor will breathe much easier knowing someone can step in and help if needed.