Almost every congregational staff calls itself a team. But are they really teams? In many, perhaps most cases, staffs have hierarchical leadership with staff members working in “silos.” When this is the case, they are not teams. What are some key characteristics that reveal whether or not a staff is a team?
Terminating a staff member is difficult under the best of circumstances. When the congregation gets reactive in response to the termination, leadership becomes especially tricky. Five guiding principles can help you navigate the turbulence than follows a dismissal.
Don’t automatically replace departing staff with another person doing exactly the same work. Use staff turnover as an opportunity to examine how those dollars might be better used in a different staff configuration.
Part-time employment relationships are on the rise. Many congregations are converting full-time positions into part-time roles due to declining budgets and the rising cost of benefits. Part-timers offer many advantages to a staff team, but they also pose unique supervisory challenges.
If you are an exceptionally bright, talented, attractive person, you can energize a congregation quite a bit by doing everything yourself. But if you want to make more happen than you personally can lead, you need to learn to delegate.
Only the largest congregations have the resources to hire full-time supervisors. The average congregation employs a “head of staff” who also preaches, teaches, provides pastoral care, leads mission and ministry, and guides the work of the board. Given this breadth of responsibility, how many employees can a pastor effectively supervise?
Many congregations think the answer to their problems is a superstar—a charismatic senior pastor, a superb musician, or a Pied Piper youth director. Research on teams reveals a deep flaw in such thinking, and congregational leaders are well advised to pay attention to the data.