Why Pastors Need To Invest In Their Staff’s Development
Pastors have a seemingly never-ending list of pastoral duties. They are responsible for shepherding not just their congregation, but also their staff. In their busyness, too many pastors put the leadership development of their staff on a back burner. But it is key to invest in your church staff’s development.
Depending on how large your church and staff are, it may be that the Senior Pastor invests in their leadership team, who are then empowered and equipped to invest in their team members.
Here are three reasons why leaders need to invest in their staff’s development.
No one wants to stay in the same job forever. Most people want to advance in their career. Vocational ministry is no different. If anything, those in ministry desire advancement even more because they feel God’s calling on their path. It is important to establish both a leadership pipeline and cross-departmental training. Church staff members want direction and support for where they feel God is calling them in both the short and long-term.
In a recent Vanderbloemen Leadership Podcast episode, William and Hadyn Shaw mention that millennials now make up the majority of the workforce. What does this mean? The senior leadership of churches is not stagnant. Soon, there will be a new wave of senior leadership coming from a younger generation. Those who are not a part of senior leadership today need to be equipped to become the senior leaders of tomorrow. Invest in your staff and create a leadership pipeline.
Typically, staff members who are not part of senior leadership don’t have the experience of an Executive Pastor or a Lead Pastor. If you desire excellence from your team, give them some of this experience. If their goal is to be in senior leadership, let them shadow those in senior leadership. Bring them along during pastoral tasks. Coach them by providing content to help them grow in their pastoral development, spiritual development, intellectual development, leadership development, or even their physical development. Let them research and present requests to you for ways they could develop themselves, like online training, conferences, or coaching networks. Let this kind of investing and equipping be ingrained into the culture of you church staff.
When you provide excellent leadership for your staff, excellence will be mirrored through your staff’s service to the congregants. If you raise the bar with your pastoral leadership, the staff will follow suit. People will be inspired, and God will be honored through the excellence and effort of your leadership and your staff.
Likewise, if you have a staff member who embodies excellence in what they do in their role and in their life, you want (maybe even need) to keep them around! You want them to continue where they are, advance in their role, and be developed under your leadership. However, there are many young church staff members who leave their jobs in ministry because they don’t feel challenged or don’t feel they are being developed.
When considering all of these reasons, it is important to remember this is Kingdom work. As a senior church leader, if you invest in your staff, you are fulfilling Jesus’ command to make disciples. Let these passions drive you to effectively lead & develop your church staff.
A good friend of mine, Lance Witt, states in his book Replenish: Leading from a Healthy Soul, “It is slower to lead with a group, but it’s also healthier and wiser.” It is hard investing in staff development, but it is worth it. It will pay off. They are your team. And having a healthy and happy team is always a more effective way to do ministry.
What are the most effective ways you’ve found to invest in your church staff members?