I fear that too many pastors expect their staff to have their own goals, but the pastors have no goals in how they lead that staff. As a young pastor, I led the same way. Now many years later, I think a lot about the goals I have for my staff. Here are some of them:
- I want them to use their gifts fully, even if their doing so eventually results in the Lord’s calling them to serve elsewhere. I don’t want to hoard their gifts, nor do I want to stifle them. If I’m privileged to work with them for a little while the Lord grows them, I’m okay with that.
- I want to provide them opportunity after opportunity to grow. For me, that means supporting them if they want further education, challenging budget teams to provide continuing education funds, and pushing staff to serve out of their comfort zone even while I support them if they fail.
- I want them to see me in their office as much as in my office. That is, I want to stop by regularly, check on them and their family, pray for them, and encourage them. I don’t want them to have to search for me any time they need something.
- I want them to look forward to staff meetings with anticipation, not with dread. It’s my responsibility as a leader to make sure these meetings are productive, supportive, and visionary. I want our time together to be a valuable highlight of the week.
- I want God to use them in greater ways than He’s ever used me. I can’t say with integrity that I thought that way years ago—I saw staff then as a means to build my ministry—but I suspect age has turned my heart in a different direction.
- I want them to know I know the names of their spouse and kids. That might seem like an unnecessary goal, but I’ve known pastors who know very little about their staff’s families. My experience is that staff will serve better if they know their family is loved and appreciated.
- I want us to pray together regularly and laugh together often. I want us humbly approaching God’s throne as a team even as we have fun serving together. Neither one of these things happens by accident.
I’m sure there are other goals to consider. What might you add?
Posted on December 22, 2020
Dr. Chuck Lawless is a leading expert in spiritual consultation, discipleship and mentoring. As a former pastor, he understands the challenges ministry presents and works with Church Answers to provide advice and counsel for church leaders.
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