Making Your Church Staff Better, With Information

can telephones

A couple years into my role as Executive Pastor at my previous church, I saw a need to develop some staff values. These weren’t published for our church member’s consumption or developed for official use by our personnel team. These were merely created by and used for our staff, as a way of communicating practical expectations. Specifically, they provided a common language for ministry and accountability.

We settled on four values to focus on. As a staff we taught them, lived them, measured against them, and ultimately began to reflect them. They were:

1.         Information sharing

2.         Silo-free zone

3.         Owning it

4.         Saying the last 2%

Over the next couple weeks on this blog,  I’ll unpack the practical takeaways for each of these four values.

Today, I’ll begin with Information Sharing.

The concept is simple – what information do I have and need to share with fellow staff that’ll make them better at their jobs? Determine what that information is, and then share it freely.

This sounds like something everyone would do, right? Not really.

Here’s the struggle. If you share too much information with others, they will be able to do things more effectively. Maybe more effectively than you. You might even find out you’re dispensable.

For example, if you share a church-member’s pastoral care need to a fellow staff member, they might respond quicker than you or your ministry area. If that happens, you may not get all the attention for your pastoral care response to them.

It sounds selfish, but it happens a lot.

Another scenario I’ve witnessed often:

You find out that a member has felt God’s call to begin serving, or perhaps to designate money to a ministry in need. Do you keep that information to yourself so you have first dibs on their time or their financial gift?

Or do you share the information with your staff, determine  together what the greatest need is, and let the ministry with the biggest need follow up with the church member?

Information sharing means you have to:

  • Be mindful of others and how they might benefit from the information you have
  • Not care who gets the credit
  • Live out Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.”

When you ‘information share’ on your staff,  it becomes a cultural norm – and ultimately, it’s reciprocated. When information sharing happens freely, your whole team improves. And when leadership improves, so does your church.

Practice this week. When you get information, ask yourself if anyone else could benefit from having this same information. And if so, provide it and see what happens.

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