An associate pastor works alongside an executive or senior pastor in larger congregations. The associate pastor typically must be an ordained minister within the denomination or faith of the church. That ordination normally requires at least a bachelor’s degree, but sometimes also requires post-graduate work in divinity studies from an accredited school or bible colleges.
The associate pastor helps prepare worship services with the senior pastor. They usually fill a liaison role to lay liturgy groups within the congregation, helping lead their efforts in the worship service. They should also take an active role in presenting the liturgy and teaching sermons. They also must ensure a consistency of worship message and medium from the senior pastor through various elder groups, choirs, and liturgical speakers.
Many times the associate pastor’s job includes assisting with recruiting members to the congregation, which involves not only community interaction, but also developing strategies to contact “guests” who have attended services and reaching out to potential members. Additionally, this pastor is usually called upon to assist with running weekly activities such as bible studies and fellowship groups. They visit members in hospitals and nursing homes to offer comfort.
Depending on the size of the congregation, the associate pastor may be required to have some prior experience at a smaller church. They normally are expected to work many different hours and days as required by the needs of their church congregation.
Associate Pastor Tasks
- Assist in leading worship ceremonies.
- Foster a culture of life-long disciple creation.
- Develop, guide, and manage small group leaders.
- Offer and provide general pastoral support.