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3 Practical Tips for Leading Your Staff

Church leadership is vital. Its development is one of the most important things you can do to lead your church to healthy growth. But it’s hard to find the time. There’s always a sermon to tweak or a family to visit.

But carving out the time for leadership development, you can help every ministry in your church. And as a pastor, your staff looks to you for leadership.

Here are three practical ways you can lead them:

1. Help each person clarify his or her role

The more someone works in the church, the more “other” responsibilities he or she will pick up. Like a magnet, they will gravitate to things they care about, whether or not those things are in their job description or critical to their success. Because they love the church, they will pick up additional tasks. Those tasks won’t be bad, but they won’t be crucial.  

If you lead a church, department, or team, you are the Chief Clarity Officer. Andy Stanley says one of the most helpful things leaders can do is boil down someone’s job into one simple but powerful statement. He says it’s time-consuming work, but the results are magic

2. Manage people to mutually agreed upon goals

“You won’t do ministry that really matters until you define what matters,” says Aubrey Malphurs.

Setting goals and keeping them in front of you can make a big difference in helping you determine what matters.

Here’s a great question you can ask your staff about developing goals: “What do you want to see God do in the next year?” As you pray and discuss, a preferred vision for the future takes shape.
Remember this: It’s really important to set goals with your team, not for your team. But once you’ve set them and agreed upon them, manage them. Talk about the goals in your team meetings. Bring them up in evaluations and casual conversations. If they are important, talk about them all the time.

3. Lead yourself first, then let people in

Leading others doesn’t start with others at all. It doesn’t start by clarifying expectations, setting goals, asking questions, or casting vision.

It starts by working hard on yourself.

One of the exercises we recommend for every leader is creating a personal growth plan. Our version is just one page long and you’ll find it in The Senior Pastor’s Guide to Leading Your Staff. This simple PDF Is a way to intentionally get better as a leader.

And when you have your plan, share it with your team. Let them know what you’re working on as their leader. When you do this, you strengthen your own credibility and open the door to ask those you lead about their personal plans.

Get out front before you expect anyone to follow.

Taking the Next Step in Church Leadership

As a pastor of a local church, leadership is critical to both growth and health. This free ebook, The Senior Pastor’s Guide to Leading Your Staff, will give you more practical suggestions for leadership in the church. You’ll learn how to….

  • Help your staff clarify their roles and goals
  • Lead team meetings and keep them focused
  • Practical ideas for leadership development and training
  • Lead your fulltime and part-time staff

The guide is full of insanely practical advice and it’s free here.