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This is the Most Important Staffing Question You Can Ask

My associate pastor recently became a daddy.

Ah, I remember those days. The foggy expression due to sleep deprivation. The feelings of exhaustion that still lingered even right after taking a nap. The desire to put my face on my desk at work and sleeeeeep …

And all of those things were worth it because we had a new baby in the house!

Why am I mentioning all this?

Because I’ve been telling my associate pastor to stay home from work quite a bit lately. I’ve been telling him that because I want him to love working for our church. I want him to sense 100 percent support from me and from other staff. I want him to believe that his family is more important to me than his job.

Why am I doing that?

Don’t we have a lot to do at church this fall?

Don’t we have pressing issues that need his attention?

Don’t I care if his job performance suffers?

Don’t others have to take up the slack when he’s not around?

Of course we’re busy. Of course there are things he needs to attend to. Of course I want him to do his job. Of course the rest of us have to fill in the gap while he’s out.

I encourage him to take time off because it’s what’s best for him. If I truly want what’s best for him, he will want to do his best for our church. If I genuinely care about his wellbeing and the wellbeing of his family, he will care about the wellbeing of our ministry.

Would I like him to be in the office more? Sure. But when I’m tempted to wonder, “Where is that guy?”

I remind myself of the most important staffing question I can ever ask: Do I want him here today or do I want him here in five years?

Lord, help me always err on the side of treating the human resources on my team more like humans and less like resources. May I be the kind of boss who trusts my team, empowers my team, believes in my team, proves genuine love to my team and draws the best out of them! Amen  

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Alan Danielson is the Lead Pastor of a church that’s probably a lot like yours. New Life Bible Church is a church of a few hundred people, but not long ago he was on the executive staff of Life.Church in Edmond, OK. Now, along with pastoring New Life, Alan is a consultant and has worked with many of America’s largest churches. Despite this, Alan has a passion for the small church. That’s why he lives by the personal conviction that no church is too small for him to work with. Alan founded Triple-Threat Solutions to help leaders of and churches of all sizes grow. Learn more from Alan at http://www.3Threat.net.