Working with Church Staff

As a pastor’s wife, I have a unique perspective on working with church staff. Here are some insights I have gleaned that could help you as a WMU director:

Do 

  • plan ahead. Have a yearly, monthly, and even weekly calendar. The church staff plans a year ahead and the church calendar fills up quickly. Know when publicity is due and don’t miss deadlines.
  • make appointments. Don’t talk to staff members in the hall or just “pop” in their offices. Make an appointment so the staff member can pay attention, take notes, and respond with undivided attention.
  • be flexible. Be willing to change your plans. Expect the unexpected, because things happen—that is the life of a church.
  • take care of as much as you can yourself. Try not to use the staff as your setup crew, teardown crew, or audio/video people.
  • develop relationships. Work on developing relationships with each staff member so you will know how to pray for him or her and what he or she is responsible for.

Don’t 

  • think WMU is the only or most important organization. Remember that the staff has to juggle the desires, plans, and complaints of lots of people and organizations.
  • make WMU leadership team meetings boring. Do whatever it takes to make meetings fun and interesting. Think outside the box and don’t stay stuck in yesterday.
  • start meetings late or go over time. Honor staff members’ commitment to come and start and stop when you say you will.
  • use staff members’ spouses as go-betweens. Staff members’ spouses are not on staff and shouldn’t be used to get messages or suggestions to staff members. Don’t make them feel as if they are being used for whom they know!
  • assume that everyone shares your passion for missions. That should be the goal, but not every staff member or church member is there. Meet people where they are and plan things to inspire and excite them.

Think and pray about what God would have you do to better work with, pray for, and partner with your staff to help church members understand and be radically involved in His mission.

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