I remember my very first day at Trinity Church in Lubbock. I was taken across campus to fill out some HR and tax paperwork, and after I finished I found myself all alone in someone’s office that was far from my own. I asked where I needed to go next, and was told that I should go to my office and start the adventure. However, there was one problem. I didn’t know where my office was! I spent the next 30 minutes walking around campus looking for my office. In fact, it wasn’t until a week later that I discovered that the lady working outside my office door actually worked for me. Amazing, I had an assistant and it took me a week to figure it out!
Now things have gotten much better at Trinity for new employees, but it’s still proof that being on a church staff can be quite the adventure. Guess what I hear when I talk to people in church ministry? Few want to talk about their ministry, but a good deal of people want to lament their pastors, peers, or volunteers.
Why is this so?
Because the most challenging and most unprepared aspect of working in church ministry is how we work within our staff structures. Let’s be honest, how many of us ever dreamed that working with others would be so hard at a church?!?
This week I want to talk about something that has consumed my life as of late. Learning to navigate all the different staff relationships we deal with inside of a church-staff setting. Before we get started, let’s look at defining the three main categories of all staff relationships.
Define the Three Main Categories of Staff Relationships:
- Those we Lead
- Subordinates = Staff that reports to us directly.
- Volunteers = Those that serve in our areas and depend on us for leadership.
- Those we Cooperate with in accomplishing the Greater Vision of our churches
- Co-Workers = Peers that work on our same level within the organization
- If you re the Kid s Pastor, here is your Youth Pastor
- Those we Follow
- Managers = Direct Reports
- Executive Leaders/Pastors = Lead those we report to, or lead us directly.
- Senior Pastors = Leader of entire organization