03/08/2022 by Rev Doug Walker 0 Comments
As seen in the HEARTbeat and Village Voice
Remember when you reported to your first job? Confusing? Chaotic? Did your
supervisor greet you, handle introductions, and take time to discuss expectations with
you? Perhaps your supervisor was experienced and knew how to affect an easy
transition. Or, you may have had an overwhelmed, inexperienced supervisor who
focused on daily operations instead of making certain you were well received. Worse
yet, perhaps you had a supervisor who just really didn’t care. Whatever your experience,
a thorough understanding of the “5 R’s” would have made that first experience much
The 5 R’s are a roadmap to success in the workplace. They are, in order, rules,
roles, relationships, responsibility, and results. The first thing we were probably handed
on day one of our new job was the Policy manual. If the supervisor was a good one, they
would have sent you to read through it. But more times than not, we were asked to sign a
piece of paper saying we had read and understood it, to be told we could read it later!!
Next is the role you play in the office, which should be defined and accepted. What
follows would be your relationships with others in the office, which should be based on
trust and respect. Fourth are your responsibilities. What are the metrics and expectations
by which the job performance would be measured? And finally, are the results, which are
evaluated by quality and quantity against the previous “R,” responsibility. When the 5
R’s are followed in this order, offices and organizations will run smoothly and
effectively. Sadly, the 5 R’s are a rarity instead the norm.
Do churches fall into the same trap? They most certainly do. We carry our “job
description” around, but rarely open it. We know the relationships, but they sometimes
develop into closed groups. We have a “supervisor” who stands in front of our group
every Sunday. We listen to the job description criteria as he or she speaks, but we seldom
open our own “manual” to see if the morning’s talk is in agreement with the written
words in our manuals!
Preachers are great orators. Many have decades of experience. But like you and
me, they are fallible. While they are highly educated, they can inadvertently sometimes
weave opinion and conjecture into messages, which is misleading. How can we know
what is right and true?
Read your manual! The Holy Spirit speaks to all of us, including (tongue in
cheek) to most pastors!! Don’t take the words spoken from the pulpit as gospel. Most
pastors desire a congregation who is connected to each other and connected to God
through the Holy Spirit. To stay connected we must test the words of man ourselves
against what God says on the subject.
God speaks to pastors through the Holy Spirit; listen to them. But then dig into
God’s word to see what the Holy Spirit has for you. We have a job description. It is
spelled out in His Holy Word. If you don’t know what it is, then spend some quiet time
with the Master and author of the “Manual”!