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Empowering your staff and volunteers to carry your church’s vision and values into every area of ministry is crucial. Your ministry team is your greatest resource to make disciples, and advance the kingdom of God.

There are four key ways to lead your staff:

  1. Determine Where You Are Going
  2. Value Wins
  3. Communicate Expectations
  4. Develop Next Steps

These four checkpoints should be constant processes, applied to each ministry event, project, sermon series, or initiative.

1. Determine Where You Are Going

Churches and ministries don’t move forward if there isn’t an overarching vision that is clearly communicated. A mission statement and core values that are grounded in the word of God should be written on the walls of the building and on the hearts of your congregation. This overarching vision determines where the movement is going, and must be overemphasized through every phase of the ministry. And, be clear and specific. 

Where are you going as a ministry? Do you know where God is leading you? If you don’t know where God is leading, how do you expect to communicate it to your staff? Spend some time in prayer today and use the following questions to guide your time.

  • What is the vision God has for your congregation?
  • How have you cast the vision for your congregation?
  • What is God specifically calling your ministry to do?

2. Value Staff Wins

Value your employees’ wins where you can, and focus on showing your appreciation in the areas that would have the biggest impact on their work confidence. A ministry staff isn’t made up of competitors, but of soldiers of God, pushing towards the same goal. Where are they adding value to the Kingdom of God? How is God transforming them? Celebrate these things regularly and often. 

At the same time, an important part of encouraging your staff is providing them with honest feedback — so that they can feel better equipped to do the work they are called to do. 

Here is the format we follow to provide our staff with feedback:

  1. Annual Review: This review is centered around conversations regarding job performance, responsibilities, and compensation.
  2. Mid-Year Review: This review should be used to give a pulse check on the worker’s spiritual health, and maintain alignment in vision, strategy, and implementation. 

There should be no surprises during the review process because we live in a relationship with one another. Meet frequently with your team. Your entire staff should be in the same space at a minimum of once a month to worship and thank God for the ways he continues to move, and to resettle on the same page with the same vision. 

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

 – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

3. Communicate Expectations

Frequent and effective communication provides clarity on expectations that are in place for all staff members. Expectations can be communicated through the culture you create among your staff and clear job responsibilities. Clear expectations remove the chances of splinters being created in your ministry.

Our team uses a Ministry One Pager as a framework to establish clear job expectations and benchmarks for our staff reviews. At our church, we make space to help people encounter the Living God, so we hold ourselves to high standards of excellence. Everything we do has a clear champion/task owner, timeframe, and metrics for success. We are committed to growing and sharpening our skills as we join God in His work to multiply transformed followers of Jesus.

You can download our template here.

We often use phrases to communicate Biblical truths and expectations to our staff. Here are some examples of phrases we frequently use at our church:

  • Transformation is a continual process, not a one-time event. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18) 
  • Mature leaders invite accountability. (Hebrews 3:13, James 5:16) 
  • Conviction is a blessing. (Titus 1:9, Hebrews 13:18) 
  • God can redeem anyone from anything at any time. (Romans 10:9) 
  • Every time God speaks it demands a response. (Isaiah 55:11) 

If your staff understands the common values used to shape ministry culture, then they will also know what is expected of them. Being continually transformed, inviting accountability, praying for convictions from the Holy Spirit, and responding to those prompts are all things that should be expected from someone working in ministry.

4. Develop Next Steps

Without developing next steps, strategies and plans fail. We cannot move forward. In every meeting you have with your staff, there should be next steps established. We are all on a journey of transformation, growing to become more like Christ. 

In this stage, evaluate what next steps need to be taken to further the Kingdom of God. What will have the most impact for King Jesus? 

Joel Wayne

Founder of Be The Church

Joel Wayne has spent twenty years improving leadership and cultivating healthy culture within organizations and churches in Connecticut, Kentucky, and Michigan. He currently serves as Lead Pastor for Chapel Pointe in Michigan. Joel’s dynamic communication style conveys his enthusiasm for developing strong leaders focusing on Vision, Strategy, and Implementation to create an overall organizational reset. He currently lives in Michigan with his wife and four children.