Living in a ministry silo – Staff love their sphere of ministry (e.g., students, music), but few others share their level of passion. Others make decisions that affect their ministry without discussion or dialogue. Calendaring events becomes competition rather than cooperation. The silo gets lonely.
Last week, I posted about burdens pastors often share with our Lawless Group consulting team. Others have since asked what we hear from church staff members. In response to that request, here are topics of pain we often hear from staff. Again, I ask you to use this post as a catalyst to pray for your church’s staff members.
- Lacking time with senior leadership – Given the size of some churches, it may be difficult for staff to spend significant time with the senior leader – but that reality seldom lessens the desire of staff to have face-to-face conversations. Staff often struggle when they have no more time with the senior leader than does the typical layperson.
- Lacking clear role expectations – Sometimes leaders know in their mind exactly what they expect from staff, but the church has provided no written job descriptions. In other cases, a job description is provided, but expectations are different than the written narrative. In either case, staff are then held accountable to unstated expectations.
- Longing for a God-sized vision – Too often, staff cannot answer our question, “What is the vision of this church and its leadership?” When this happens, we usually learn that senior leaders have lost their vision as well. Staff yearn to serve with a leader whose vision compels them each day.
- Having few friends, especially among other staff – I am an introvert, but even I am surprised by how many staff members are lonely. Church members become acquaintances, not friends. Staff families seldom spend time together. Staff themselves are sometimes at odds with each other, especially in struggling churches.