By Chuck Lawless
Occasionally over the last few years, I’ve spent time with a church staff that seemed really happy together. Here are some characteristics that mark those teams:
- They spend time together outside the office. They don’t run from each other as soon as the workday is over. They’re not “business acquaintances”—they’re friends.
- They know each other’s families. They know the names of spouses and children. Even the most introverted of the group fits in somehow.
- They laugh a lot. That’s because they actually have fun together. They’re comfortable hanging out just for the fun of it.
- They work hard together. They share a common vision, and their commitment to that vision and to each other results in diligent, consistent work.
- They help each other succeed. Nobody’s fighting a turf war. Everybody’s on the same team, and they know that the success of one contributes to the success of all.
- They battle out their differences in a healthy way. They disagree at times, but they do it in a biblical way. And, after they’ve reached a conclusion, they present to the congregation a genuinely united front.
- They’re committed where they are. Nobody’s actively looking for a new position. When you enjoy being part of the team, you don’t think much about the next opportunity out there.
- Their happiness is infectious. Whether they’re sharing announcements or kneeling at the altar, you can just tell they love each other. Sometimes, they’re the first united, excited staff team their church has ever seen.
- They don’t see themselves as silos. Even when the church structure promotes silos, they fight against that tendency. They intentionally think about how their individual ministries connect with others.
- They pray a lot together. Their prayers aren’t just reactions to needs; they’re heartfelt intercession for brothers and sisters who serve as a team. They’re a confession of “Lord, we want to do this together, but we can’t do this at all without you.”
What other characteristics of healthy staff teams have you seen?
Posted on October 16, 2019
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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I have served my church as a Ministry Assistant for nearly 17 years and. The first few years were pretty good, but then we went through about 11 years of what often bordered on a hostile work environment, with quite a few staff changes (I have now worked for 4 pastors, counting our current one, and 3 interims). I think we may FINALLY be on the road to becoming a cohesive staff. Thank you, Jesus!
We join you in thanking the Lord, Becky.
These are good. They should be the hallmarks of any small group or team.
I feel so blessed to be a part of a team like that! I am old enough to be the pastor’s mom and the worship leader’s grandma! We work together, pray together, play together and take care of each other in church and outside of church. Blessed beyond all measure!!
Sounds like a great team, Linda. Thanks!
Thanks … some of these are more developed than others on our team but this has helped me identify some areas for growth.
Just prayed for you as you seek to address these areas, John. Blessings!
Wow! I can only dream of having a team like this.
As would most staff members. Thanks for writing.
As part of such a staff, I am prayerfully grateful, because I know how rare they are.
What a blessing, Hal!
Great list. I’m thankful to be on a healthy, happy staff team that has all of these characteristics. The only addition I could think of is that they have each other’s backs. Not in a ‘cover-up’ of sin sort of way, but by filling in to help even when it’s not technically your job, taking on some workload during busy seasons or vacations, and helping each other deal with difficult situations.
Great point, Kevin. Thanks.