No job is ever secure in ministry. In fact, just two short years ago, I found out my position was on the cutting board due to major cutbacks in my local church. Since that time, I’ve tried to lead as best I could from the second chair and serve my team to the best of my ability. The last few years have definitely stretched me and have made me a better leader. But it’s called me to question (and also put me on the search to find the answers) what churches really need as they go through difficult seasons as an organization.
When churches are making decisions to hire (or fire) staff, particularly in this economy, I believe they are looking (or should be looking) at qualities beyond a specific gifting or skill set. They must look for indispensable qualities, indicative of a staff member who can thrive in whatever season you are in as a church. So I’ve come up with a list of four indispensable qualities every staff pastor should have. And, yes, as a current staff pastor, I also realize I am holding myself accountable to these four qualities as a leader.
• Staff Who Inspire—Each staff member should work hard to be able to cast the vision of their senior leadership and inspire others along the way. If you aren’t casting the vision, chances are you are detracting from it. Really seek to own the vision of your senior leader, and look for ways to cast that vision to those you lead.
• Staff Who Build—Staff pastors should be interested in building the team. Not only should the staffer look to build his or her own ministry team, but he or she should also be interested in building teams for the whole church. This may involve making sacrifices in their own personal ministry so another ministry within the church can profit.
• Staff Who Are Problem Solvers—Senior leaders usually respect staff members who take initiative in solving problems. Don’t be too quick to pass off problems to your leader, but, rather, attempt to solve the problem if it’s within your leadership capability. If there are problems that need to be passed off to your supervisor, then take some time to list possible solutions to the problem and offer your assistance.
• Staff Who Execute—Bottom line, churches want team members who get the job done. If you were hired for the position, your boss wants you to accomplish the work of the ministry. Indispensable leaders take action … develop strategies and plans of action, and fully execute.