What the Patriots Taught Me About Church Leadership

It is that time of year again here in New England – time to celebrate another winning Patriots season. But it’s not only their athletic skills that I admire.

A few years ago, they made the phrase “Do Your Job” popular, and my wife bought a Patriots beanie with that slogan. When they won Super Bowl 49 (I’m not so good at Roman numerals), there was a documentary called “Do Your Job” that followed the Patriots season. The filmmakers showed the interior of the Patriots offices, and etched on a glass door were the staff rules —

When you’re here:

  1. Do Your Job.

  2. Work Hard

  3. Be Attentive

  4. Put the Team First

I was stuck by how applicable these rules are to leadership in the church. Our staff has adopted them as well. Allow me to share how we frame and apply these rules on our context.  

Do Your Job

You are uniquely created by God (Psalm 139:14) and are on our staff to fulfill God’s mission for First Church. It starts off with doing what you are here for. You bring skills, abilities and talents no one else has, and you are to utilize them to accomplish your task. If you do not do your job, it requires someone else to do it, which takes them away from their job. Do your job and do it well. (Colossians 3:23)

Work Hard

Ministry is tough. At First Church we often say, “Ministry is messy.” We do not have a 9-5 job, nor do we have an easy job. God has called us to work hard since he is our “boss” (Colossians 3:23). If we choose this work, we are to do it will all that we have in us (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

Be Attentive

Watch what is going on around you and be sensitive to what is happening. Remember that we have an enemy, and he desires nothing more than to destroy us (John 10:10). He is always looking for ways to hurt us, and we combat that by being vigilant (1 Peter 5:7-9).

Put the Team First

Ego is the thing that will destroy a team faster than anything else. We combat that by remembering that we are part of a body (1 Corinthians 12:12), and that we are always to remember to put others before ourselves (Philippians 2:3-4). This means that not only do we need to do our job, but we also need to work with everyone else and make sure the job gets done!

If you are a small church pastor like me, you are often forced to be a jack of all trades that must be able to do more than just preach on Sundays. As pastors, it is easy to get caught up in good things but drop the ball on what is most important. For me, Do Your Job is a strong reminder that I have to focus and be obedient to what God has called me to do as the pastor of our church. As pastors, we should all Do Our Job in the community and church God where has placed us by proclaiming the Gospel, making disciples and loving the people God has put before us.

Erik Maloy is the lead pastor of First Church in Charlestown, MA, co-host of the Church Revitalization podcast and occasionally blogs at www.erikmaloy.net.