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.
Truth 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? Spiritual growth is measured by the discipleship of others. I could go on but you get the message.
Truth Number Two: Staff need clearly defined expectations to consistently succeed.
A pastor I know hired a youth director. 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.
Truth Number Three: Hold staff accountable for the expectations. It’s not enough just to give clear directions.
Follow up is essential to success. Questions like- “How’s it going?” What do you need from me for you to succeed? “Why do you think you missed fulfilling the expectations this year.?”
Truth Number Four: Don’t live with mediocre efforts from the staff (or yourself for that matter).
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. So the best thing you can say to this person, after giving 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.”
Truth Number 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 for your staff. And remember this: preaching, as important as it is, isn’t the most important thing you do as a pastor. The most important thing you do is introduce people to Jesus and help them grow into spiritual redwoods. So instead of burying yourself in your office and your books, invest yourself in people, first with your staff then with those around you.
Bill Easum is the founder and president of The Effective Church Group. Author of 30+ books and the recipient of the prestigious Donald McGavran award for church leadership