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Some Realistic Staffing Roles for the Church

I just had a few thoughts in my head I had to throw out. I know that these roles may exist in some churches out there and if so I would love to hear about it (leave comments please.) 

I was thinking about how much of a burden it is for leaders to have to deal with every single issue to the point of ruin and frustration-driven reclusion. Ministries going unseen, unheard, and misrepresented hurt the body; ministries with great dreams and visions but with poor execution and follow thru hurt the body even more.

These job roles paid or unpaid came to my head as opportunities. What would it look like to have a person like this around? When I think of these roles I don’t think of them as principals carried out by leaders but instead I think of them as real jobs by real people with real ramifications and purposes to help propel the mission forward.

Director of Decentralization – A church that hires this individual is serious about putting the ministry in the hands of volunteers. The DOD works with ministry leaders and staff dismantling their duties into defined and executable sections. Together they develop the plan of oversight, dissemination, and follow up. The DOD works everyone out of a job. They are a talent scout, strategist, and coach. They hold the leader to task on delegation in a life giving consistent way.

Why should they exist? The church is full of creative and visionary types who need gifted administrative minded people to help them distribute the work of ministry in healthy, thought out, and thoroughly communicated ways. The creative wants to be free and often wrecks his or her own work solely on the reality that they struggle with the distribution of their own creation and it’s execution. They are not wired to maintain and sustain and they shouldn’t be led as such but they should instead be assisted.  

Church Reporter – A mid to large sized church with multiple ministries, small groups, and, staff by sheer volume and frequency of effort realistically need an individual whose sole responsibility is to investigate and detail the work. The CR meets monthly to bi-monthly with volunteers and staff to find out the what, where, when, and why of everything that is happening. Their job is to convey and uncover the “real stories” behind the movement and mission. They report to the church board or oversight team what is really being said, done, and conveyed in the trenches. They ensure that reality is being seen and that the truth of the work is on the surface.

Why should this role exist? The work of leading ministry is hard and the reality is that ministry leaders seldom meet with key oversight. Unfortunately, when they meet it is usually over problems or discord. The axiom of “lead up” sounds great in theory but in practice it is not always tangible. A church reporter is on sight at ministry events, gatherings, and moments where life change is happening to be the eyes and ears behind the movement. 

Project Manager – The PM assembles teams for specific decisions and opportunities to hold them to task and shape creative formation. They decide how long it should take to make a decision, who should be making the decision based out of the overflow of impact, and most importantly how the decision, vision, or project will be carried out. The PM has no other responsibilities than this so that their leadership is free from preference and limitation.

Why should this role exist? – The same three to five people simply cannot be qualified to make every single decision. Many churches struggle with leadership that locks in on an exclusive band of individuals who make every single decision. When that group is on everyone loves them when they are off the opposite is true. The PM assembles teams to the task based on the task and who is best suited to wrestle with it. The other side of vision and vision casting is that there is a temptation to know what needs to be done but not worry at all about “how” it will be done. The launch fast and launch now mentality often ruins good people and frustrates the whole into stagnation. The main discussion is not “prove to us why this should happen” but instead “show us how this will happen.” The PM pushes creativity and with the team pushes execution in plan and outline. If a team cannot have a plan for how the decision will be carried out then the decision should not be made or even conveyed, especially with vision and all inclusive change.

UPDATE: 

I knew there was one last role I had thought of and forgot.

Community Groups Recruiter – The CGP canvases the community for organizations that meet real needs. They interact, offer, schedule, and invite those advocacy groups to utilize the church space and people for their needs.

Why should this role exist? The building needs to be used as much as possible and doing nice things for people in the community meeting real needs looks like Jesus. Don’t make people come and beg to you… seek them out and be proactive in helping good things that are already going on. This helps with insuring that you’re not re-inventing the wheel and diluting the effort of people more qualified and called to tasks that are already happening.

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chadswanzy@churchleaders.com'
Chad Swanzy has served in youth ministry for 15 years and currently works as the student ministry director at Gateway Community Church in Austin, Texas. Learn more from Chad and ask him your questions at ChadSwanzy.com.