How To Develop & Implement Change On Your Church Staff


The other day I was walking through the house holding my 2-year-old daughter. “Dada, Light!”  I looked and we had just passed a light switch, so I stopped and got close enough for her to flip the switch. Off. Then On. “LIGHT!” she squeaked. She was so happy with herself. We stood there for about a minute. On. Off. On. Off. It was so simple, and somehow it was the greatest thing to her.  And it made me happy too.

It made me wonder why she was so delighted. Was it the color of the light that delighted her? Or was it the sound of the click of the light switch?

At first, I thought it was autonomy that delighted her; she was controlling her environment by flipping the light switch. But, as I stood there holding her, I realized that it wasn’t just autonomy. I could have put her down and she could have walked where she pleased. It was more than that.

In her little world, where she has so little control, it brought her joy to have the power to changesomething.

In each of our jobs, we have a sphere of influence.

For some, it is a great sphere. For others, like my daughter, it is a really small influence. All those who do ministry have a sphere of influence and, again, they vary greatly in size. Do you know your reach? Do you know who is listening and watching?

If you haven’t identified your sphere of influence, then how do you know if your ministry is effective?

Identifying your sphere of influence isn’t necessary solely because it benefits you. Effective leadersidentify their sphere of influence so that they can develop those they influence. How do you know how to be an influence if you haven’t identified whom you’re able to influence?

Start by identifying your sphere of influence in each of these areas:

1. Entire Church Body

Has your church identified its sphere of influence in its community? If not, plan a team meeting or bring in an external consultant to help you learn the demographic of your sphere of influence in your church’s community. Once you identify your church’s sphere of influence, you can develop a strategy for how to reach the people it’s able to influence.

2. Your Ministry Team

Whether you’re on a church staff or a lay leader, you’re most likely on a team within your church body. What is the sphere of influence of the ministry team on which you are serving? Perhaps it is the children of the congregation, the young families, or the new members who have recently joined your church. Once your ministry team knows its sphere of influence, it can then create goals and a plan of action to reach its sphere of influence within the church body.

3. Your Specific Role

Regardless of whether your role is a director role where you are leading a team or whether you are in a support position, you have a sphere of influence. Define that sphere of influence and approach each day by asking the question, “How can I encourage and develop my sphere of influence today?”

Leaders, are you allowing those who serve beneath you to increase their own sphere? Not just with the people they influence, but also with the decisions they are able to make.

Our team read The Gold Standard for our last retreat, which describes how Ritz-Carlton creates an unforgettable customer experience. We learned that every Ritz-Carlton employee is allowed to spend up to $2,000 per guest everyday in order to meet the needs of their visitors. Isn’t that amazing?!

Think about how your church culture would change if you gave your church staff the freedom to spend intentional time investing in those that are within their sphere of influence. What if our ministry leaders (or even volunteers!) had that kind of flexibility in order to reach others for Christ? Isn’t that in your church’s mission?

I am reminded of the Lord of the Rings characters Gandalf and Frodo, discussing all that is going on in their world, and how Frodo wished he could change it all. He wished that he could change the decisions that others had made and the challenges they caused.

Gandalf replies with one of the most relevant quotes in the whole saga. He says, “…so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for (us) to decide. All (we) have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given us.”

The same is true for you and me. We can’t change it all, but we can change something.

Know your sphere of influence and make a plan of action. What would it look like if your ministry were actually known in its community for the values it has listed on its website? Let’s move in that direction. Let’s decide to do something great with the time that has been given to us. 

If you liked this, then you'll also like 3 Indispensable Management Principles For Leading A Church Staff.