I was talking with a pastor the other day who was having trouble getting what he needed out of his staff. I asked him if he had set clear expectations for them as to what he was expecting. He said, “Sure, I told them I wanted their area of ministry to grow.”

Well, folks, that’s not a clear expectation; it’s a wish.  Wishes can’t be held accountable. So what does a clear expectation look like?

If this pastor had said, “I expect you to grow your area of ministry by 25% by January 2014,” that would have been a clear expectation.  Expectations, like goals, have to be time-sensitive and measurable. You can do that for any church position.

Once you have set the expectation, you need to monitor it and hold the person accountable. This can mean many things.  For me it meant deciding what level of leader I was dealing with.  If it was someone I considered an effective, proven leader, it would mean, “Let me know if you need anything along the way.”  If I was dealing with un unproven leader, it would mean “Keep me posted on how you are progressing.”  It would also mean I would want monthly progress reports.

Setting clear expectations is easy if  you know what you need from your staff.  So you must be clear about what you want and when you want it.

Question: How have you or your leaders been sure to set clear expectations for staff? Share your advice in the Comments section below.

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