God uses your prayers to fulfill His sovereign plans. He also uses prayer as a means of growing us by grace. So pray! Pray for your staff. Pray with your staff. Have your elders pray regularly for your staff. Make prayer a central part of your staff meetings. Pray that God would be glorified through the ministries led by your staff. Pray that He would protect your staff from evil, from division, from pride, and from the influence from this unbelieving world.
When church staff are being properly shepherded and led, when they know the expectations that the leaders have of them, when they have a clear sense of their purpose and significance within the greater body of the church, when they are appreciated and given adequate feedback, and when they are being equipped to carry out their tasks with greater competency and faith, leading and managing staff can be one of the most exciting aspects of pastoral ministry.
In the first part of this series, we looked at three principles of leading and managing church staff well that will help build up the body of Christ in both maturity and unity: (1) hiring, (2) purpose, significance, and appreciation, and (3) equipping and training. In this post, we’ll round out the list by considering four more.
Principle #4: Inspire Them
Nobody likes to be pushed from behind. This is especially true with church staff who need to follow a leader who is leading from the front—setting the course with clear and actionable vision, calling others to go where they themselves are going, and inspiring them with sincerity of faith.
To be sure, Scripture gives us the example of “sending out” Christ’s disciples—deploying them—for ministry. But if they don’t see you (as their leader) willing to do the things that you are calling them to do, then resentment and bitterness are brought to bear. For example, if you tell others to evangelize, but they never see you evangelizing, then thoughts of hypocrisy seep in and your leadership takes a hit.
Principle #5: Clearly Define Expectations & Goals
If you don’t clearly define expectations and goals for your church staff, you are setting them up for confusion at best, and failure at worst. As someone has said, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” If a staff member doesn’t know what is expected of him or her, there will be a growing divide between you and them. You will no longer be on the same team.
When you set clear expectations and they are met, reward your staff with compliments or other forms of encouragement. If your expectations aren’t met, first reflect on the feasibility of the expectations—they might have been too difficult. If the expectations were reasonable, then gently but firmly coach him/her to better meet the expectations in the future.