They didn’t teach me management skills in seminary.  But 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.

Staff Management

Point Number One:  If you can’t measure it, it will not succeed.  I know, someone will say, “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 picture.

Point Number Two:  Staff seldom succeed without clearly defined expectations. A pastor I know hired a youth director for his church.  His set of expectations were this: “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.

Point Number Three:  Hold staff accountable to your expectations. It’s not enough just to give clear directions.  Follow-up is essential to success. Ask questions like, “How’s it going?” “What do you need to succeed?” “Why do you think you couldn’t fulfill the expectations this year?”

Point Number Four:  Never put up with mediocre efforts from staff. Pastors are notorious for overlooking poor performance. However, allowing a staff member to continually under-perform takes the sails out of those who are performing well. So the best thing you can say to this person, after giving it a college try to get the person 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.”

Point Number Five:  The person you should be the hardest on is yourself.  The best thing you can do for your staff is 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 for your staff.

Question: How have you seen each of these points implemented in practical ways? Share your experiences in the Comments section below.

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