In the church world, we pastors are always talking about how to effectively reach and disciple people. We come up with creative ways to do so, and I think for the most part, have a real concern for the hurting people in our communities. In focusing on those within our church and those we are reaching, there is one segment within our church that can very easily be lost in the mix: our staff.
If you’re not careful, leaders do burn out. They’re not machines, they’re people just like everyone else in your church. The only difference is some of them are probably paid by the church. Although having paid staff does give you a higher level of accountability, it doesn’t give you an excuse to manage them like slaves. Here’s a few ideas for managing your leadership team (many of these ideas are geared toward full-time staff settings):
- Create community with your staff: Have a living room setting in your office area. Be intentional about creating an environment where people feel connected to each other. Remember, we’re a team not each others’ competition.
- Communicate with your staff: Make sure your staff feels a part of what is taking place in the church. Don’t lead in secrecy.
- Encourage & affirm your staff: It’s ok to say ‘You’re doing a good job.’ A simple word of affirmation to one of your staff will go much farther then you could ever imagine. People will work that much harder for someone they know appreciates them.
- Challenge your staff to have lives outside of ‘church’: Now this can definitely be overdone, but it’s healthy for your staff to have a life that isn’t ‘church’. That doesn’t mean they neglect their responsibilities – it just means they have a healthy social structure in their lives.
What do you think? Anything you would add?
Hey Nick, this is exactly what Tif H and I were just talking about not even an hour ago. What you wrote is so true, especially the part about affirming staff. There are times when a pastor telling me I’m doing a good job gets me through a task or a day.
As a Pastor’s wife, I think it is imperative to find those areas where I can minister effectively and yet not neglect the areas at home where I am needed. As a parent of grown children, I know that there was a season when I was not able to do all that I felt qualified to do. It was much more important for me to do what was needed most (raising my babies). Now that they are grown, God has freed me to do a lot of incredible ministry! To have tried to do it all back then, I definitely would have faced “burn-out”!