They didn’t teach me management skills in seminary. I wish they had, because as the leader of a church, I needed them badly and it’s a shame I had to learn them on my own. So I thought I would pass on some pointers.
Pointer One: If you can’t measure it, it will not succeed. I know someone will ask, “How do you measure spiritual growth?” It’s simple: by watching how your leaders lead. How much like Jesus do they lead? Are they more concerned with the least, the last, and the lost than themselves? Do they yearn for the salvation of their networks or do they just come to church? I could go on, but you get the message.
Pointer Two: Staff seldom succeed without clearly defined expectations. A pastor I know hired a youth director to lead the youth. His set of expectations amounted to “Grow the youth group.” Instead he should have given clearly defined expectations. For example: “Build the youth group through collaboratively raising up enough adult leadership to mentor and equip 150 youth every week within two years.” The expectations are clear and the results are measurable.
Pointer Three: Hold staff accountable to the expectations. It’s not enough just to give clear directions. Follow-up is essential to success. Questions like these: “How’s it going?” “What do you need to succeed?” “Why do you think you didn’t meet expectations this year?”
Pointer Four: Never put up with mediocre efforts from staff (or yourself, for that matter). Pastors are notorious for overlooking poor performance. However, allowing a staff member to continually underperform takes the sails out of those who are performing well. So the best thing you can say to this person, after giving it the old college try to them the help they need to succeed, is to say, “Perhaps it’s time to move on. I’ll help you find a church where you can be effective.”
Pointer Five: The person you should be the hardest on is yourself. The best thing you can do for your staff is to keep your own fires burning brightly. Remember, you can’t give what you don’t have. So set your expectations for yourself higher than those you have for your staff.
Question: What management pointers would you add to the list? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.