Campus Pastor Skill #1: How to Close a Service

As a regular and ongoing rhythm, the campus pastor needs to close out the service.

Campus pastors are not highly paid emcees or volunteer coordinators as I outlined in this previous article.

Campus pastors play a critical role in the life of a multisite church. They are the vision carriers for their campus, the equipper of the equippers, the pastor of that community, and the unifying ligament to the other campuses and the broader church.

Typically, campus pastors don’t preach, unless they are also a part of the teaching team. As a result, the preaching either comes via video from the main campus, or the teaching team will prepare the sermon together and each preach it live at their respective campuses.

I’ve been a teaching pastor in both models, and they each have their respective positives and negatives. In any case, in both models, someone needs to close out the service. And my conviction is that it needs to be the campus pastor. This is one of the primary public ways that the campus pastor can shepherd their campus. Yes, obviously this will happen through leadership development environments, coffee, and ministry done together, but as a regular and ongoing rhythm, the campus pastor needs to close out the service.

I’ve seen campus pastors do this well and I’ve also seen them do it poorly. Check out this chart I developed.

This may seem pretty straightforward, but you’d be surprised at how difficult it is to stick to the positive ways to close out a service.

I know this because I’ve often done the latter when serving as a campus pastor—especially when I forgot to share an announcement earlier in the service, or needed to reemphasize a programming issue.

As a campus pastor, if you have closed out the service well by contextualizing the message to your campus, then leave any last announcement to the very end of the service, after your prayer! This is because once you finish praying, you often have the opportunity to share one more thing while people are beginning to leave. Don’t make this too long, otherwise, the positive impact of your closing will wane.

An Example…

I’m blessed to serve as a Teaching Pastor at The Fellowship, alongside two great campus pastors: Len Taylor and Scott Matthews. While being different in personality, leadership style, and demeanor, I’m so encouraged to tag team in ministry with them. There is no one perfect way to close out a service because every campus pastor needs to be true to their unique personality and leadership style. There is, however, a wrong way to close out a service—and that’s to just copy someone else and try to be someone you aren’t.

Published January 21, 2017

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