Manpower: People are selected and placed in positions that fit their gifts, passions and callings and that align with the church’s objectives and culture

The Bad and Good of Skip Level Communication

In a company, business, or church, the chain of command refers to levels of authority from the top position, such as CEO, owner, or pastor down to upper and mid-level supervisors and then to front line workers. Hierarchal organizations institute a chain of command structure to improve communication, supervision, problem solving, efficiency and effectiveness at all levels. In fact, rank... Continue Reading

The Development Diamond: A Staff Development Strategy

Before every commercial airplane takes off a flight attendant reviews various safety reminders. One of those is how to use the oxygen masks should the cabin depressurize. Passengers are reminded to always put their own masks on first before attempting to help others. The rationale is obvious, if you don’t first ensure your own safety you won’t be able to... Continue Reading

Performance Management or Performance Development?

With change permeating the church, evolving work environments, and the needs of next generation employees, maximizing the performance of staff is more important than ever – for both employee satisfaction and church effectiveness. Unfortunately, Gallup Surveys indicate just one in five employees strongly agree their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to perform outstanding work. Further, millennial... Continue Reading

How To Conduct An Effective Staff Exit Interview

The primary purpose of conducting an exit interview is to identify opportunities for improvement within the church and staff culture. A well designed exit interview will allow you to see patterns in feedback from departing staff, understand the reasons people are leaving, and identify actions that can be taken to avoid future loss of valuable employees. Unfortunately, most churches miss... Continue Reading

Pre-Employment Screening: Reference and Background Checks

Pre-employment screening is a vital component of a comprehensive church staff hiring process. Pre-employment screening can make the difference between a successful and an unfortunate hire. A thorough pre-employment screening process includes both reference and background checks. What is Included in a Reference Check? A reference check is when an employer contacts a job applicants previous employers, friends, associates, schools,... Continue Reading

Is It A “Fit” Or A “Fit In” Issue?

When a staff member has difficulty assimilating into a new church culture, we often reference the dissonance as a “fit” issue. And, increasingly we see more emphasis being placed on “fit” during the hiring process. I have found it helpful though to further differentiate into “fit” and “fit in” factors. For purposes of this discussion, “fit” related factors are more... Continue Reading

All I Need To Know About Being An Executive Pastor I Learned On West Wing

The breadth of responsibilities for the typical Executive Pastor makes it difficult to briefly describe the position’s job duties. The pithiest description I’ve heard is “the Executive Pastor does everything the Pastor can’t do, won’t do, and shouldn’t do, and if did do, we’d be in big do.” Aside from witty maxims, analogies can be most helpful. The analogy of... Continue Reading

Church Staffing Levels: Getting It Right

Following World War II, English historian, C. Northcote Parkinson wrote a well-known book, Parkinson’s Law: The Pursuit of Progress, where he ridiculed the excesses of government bureaucracy. Parkinson cited as an example the 5,000 employees supporting 5,000 English Navy vessels during the war and the same number of employees supporting only 500 vessels following the war. Parkinson’s “Laws,” though satirical,... Continue Reading

Should You Hire More or Less Church Staff?

The staffing structures of many Southern Baptist Churches has been influenced by the philosophy of W.A. Criswell, Pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas (1944-1991). Dr. Criswell was known to employee numerous Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary students and graduates to oversee very narrow and specific age demographics. Criswell was said to have set recruitment goals for church staff based upon... Continue Reading

Does a Lean Staff Really Increase Volunteers?

Much is being written about the evidence that leaner church staffs result in increased numbers of volunteers. For some it appears the verdict is in and they are prepared to declare unequivocally that too many staff negatively impacts volunteerism. My problem with this assumption, besides my own experience to the contrary, is summed up in the “post hoc, ergo propter... Continue Reading

Leader Engagement….Getting It Right

In last week’s post, Where Are You On The Leader Engagement Continuum?, we looked at the symptoms of too much, too little, too early, and too late leader engagement with subordinates. This week we examine the causes of ineffective leader engagement and the behaviors that lead to appropriate and timely leader engagement with those they supervise and lead. Causes of... Continue Reading

Where Are You On The Leader Engagement Continuum?

One of a church leader’s continual challenges is knowing when and how much to engage with their employees, volunteers, or teams. Leader engagement is the face to face or transmitted interactions and involvement with those they lead, and falls on a continuum from low to high, and from too early to too late. Much like the concept of situational leadership,... Continue Reading