4 Ways Church Leaders Can Coach Young Single Staff Members
By: Vanderbloemen January 6, 2017
It can be hard for senior church leaders to know what to do with the young, single, millennial members of their team. They look and work differently, their life priorities are different than previous generations, and they often challenge the status quo. But these millennials can be some of the most influential and inventive people on your team if they have leaders to help guide, coach, encourage, and develop them. Or, without strong examples or mentors, they can have wasted potential, energy without direction, and passion without vision.
Here are 4 things that senior leadership can do to encourage the young single members of their church staff.
1. Encourage them to pour into relationships.
While they might not have a spouse and children to go home to, they do have friends and loved ones that they are close to. Remember to encourage and not devalue those relationships. Don’t constantly ask them to be the one to stay late when needed. Let them have a weekend off. As much as you need time to invest in your family relationships, they need to be encouraged to invest in their relationships as well.
Your single, millennial staff members are in a season of fewer responsibilities, but more freedom. They have the opportunity to prepare well for prioritizing community and relationship. Help them find that balance before their responsibilities increase. Ask them about their friends and "framily" as much as you are asked about your marriage and children.
2. Encourage them to get away.
Your single employees aren’t usually sitting down with their calendars at the beginning of the year to plan out what time off they will use for family vacations. These are usually the ones who are covering responsibilities during spring breaks and summer vacations. They also probably aren’t likely to speak up and tell you that they need a break, especially if they enjoy their work and are driven. Encourage them to rest and to find a Sabbath. This may mean allowing them to work off site for an afternoon or flexibility in other ways. This is a vital time in their life for developing good habits to avoid burnout down the road.
3. Encourage them to figure out their strengths & weaknesses.
Point them toward how they can make the most of both of them. Find places for them to continue to learn and grow, both inside and outside the walls of your church. Encourage them to invest in themselves, both personally and professionally. Provide resources and ways for them to attend conferences and read books. This may mean setting aside part of your budget for team development. Millennials want to know that you care about them as a person and not just as someone who's warming a chair and completing a task.
4. Encourage them to set healthy boundaries.
When a single person is living by themselves and doesn’t have a family to go home to at the end of the day, it can be incredibly easy for their work life to bleed into every part of their world. There’s no separation. Encourage these members of your team to set realistic boundaries that will help them maintain a healthy balance of work and home life. Again, help them start good habits while they have the fewest responsibilities, in order to prepare them as their freedom shrinks and demands increase.
In all interactions, treat your young single staff members as investments, not expenses or commodities. Show them the potential you see in them, and call it out of them. Help them develop great life disciplines at early stages, and train them well. Mentoring these behaviors will also challenge you to model them.
How else can you help encourage and develop the single members of your team?