From Bill Easum

I would say that no matter what the circumstances, unless moral
failure, the loyalty of the staff must be to the senior pastor without
hesitation.  When a staff member cant do that they should leave for
good of the church.

It means never, ever, contradicting whatever the staff decides at the
staff table. it means praying for one another.  IT means also speaking
with one voice on the mission of the church

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I understand, and agree, with all of your points.  My question is what
tactics can you implement so that the staff doesn’t become a cult of

This should also be a good question to answer for “single pastor”
churches, so if you want to expand it out I’d love to hear what you have
to say….

From Bill Easum

How I will answer is good for both a single pastor and or a staff

first, every church is the reflection of its pastor and or staff if those people are effective and are making a difference in the lives of people. In other words, if you are influential in someone’s life you hold much more sway over their lives. So, when competent people are leading a church personality will always play a part.  Having said that, here are some tactics.

The primary tactic I see isn’t really a tactic.  The pastor and staff consistently give all of the glory to God rather than themselves.

Second, this is where a permission giving environment enters the picture.  If the pastor and staff embed the DNA and then allow people to use their gifts, their way, within the confines of the DNA, they are free to do so.

Third, the pastor and staff don’t rush to take credit for things but instead go out of their way to make heroes out of those in the trenches doing the ministries.

Fourth, key lay leaders are constantly in the loop with the paid staff.

Does this help?

My question is what tactics can you implement so that the staff doesn’t become a cult of personality?

From Bill Easum

1. Say out loud, a lot, “This isn’t a staff-centered church. This is a church centered on Jesus Christ and people becoming his followers and caring for the world and one another, according to their specific gifts, through participation in teams and small groups.” Or, more succinctly, “We are church centered on Jesus, not the staff. Jesus is the center of mission and ministry, teams and small groups are the frontline. You get what you need by being part of small group and serving on a team.” If you are a staff of one (i.e. solo pastor, substitute pastor for staff).

2. Insist, radically, that your staff equip for ministry and give away control. Every time you hear a staff person complain, “So and so didn’t check with me first,” congratulate them for becoming obsolete.

3. Let worship leaders and others drive worship experiences. If the only person speaking/leading worship is a paid worship leader and the pastor, you will have cult of personality. The paid worship leader should be equipping and releasing other worship leaders. The pastor should be equipping and releasing other preachers.

4. Tell lots of stories (during sermons, for instance) of what others (non-paid servants and leaders) are doing in your church.

5. Feature non-paid servants at every opportunity.
6. Publicly thank and recognize servants, every week, every opportunity.

7. Create a cult of personality around Jesus, and pen ultimately around unpaid servants.

8. Concentrate your leadership on 10 (give or take a few), not on the crowd.

9. Lead, follow, and get out of the way.
10. When a staff person is engaging in frequent attention-seeking behavior, you know it. You just do. When you know it, correct it.