Moses staff split the Red Sea, mine split the church. I wrote that a while back in jest. Most humor is rooted in truth and that line is no exception. Being on staff at a church can be frustrating at times. Regardless of the size of one’s church, staff relations are extremely important. One of the most important things a pastor can do to ensure unity among the staff is to have productive staff meetings. I’ve had the privilege of being a small church pastor for over fifteen years. I’d like to share with you some of the things I’ve learned about staff meetings.
1. Have staff meetings. It can be weekly or biweekly, but you need to have regular staff meetings. It doesn’t matter if there are only two staff positions at your church. Staff meetings are a must. Don’t be legalistic about it. In fact I periodically cancel staff meetings just to give our group a break. But your staff needs to know that there is a scheduled time in which you come together to discuss the matters of the church.
2. Be on time. If the pastor is not on time to staff meetings it is likely that others will not be as well. As pastor, you set the schedule; therefore you ought to abide by it. If the other staff is waiting on you to show up, guess what they are doing. They’re roasting you. One of the easiest ways to lose respect from your staff is to be late to a meeting that you scheduled.
3. Have some time in the Word. Right now our staff is working through the Psalms. We have three staff positions. We rotate the devotion. By the time we are finished with Psalms we will have each led in 50 devotions. Pastors, we don’t have to be the only ones handling the Word. Trust your staff with the Word. Give them the freedom to explain and apply Scripture. Compliment them on their insight.
4. Have fun. Serving on staff at a local church can make your heart heavy and your back bend. The staff needs a sanctuary within the sanctuary. The staff meeting can be that place. The average local church has far too many committees and far too many meetings. Most of those meetings are dry and often unproductive. Don’t let the staff meeting be like that. In our staff meetings we laugh more than anything else. We rehash the problems. We analyze tough situations. However, I always try to lead us to a place where we can see the humor in the situation. I try and remind our staff of where we are heading, not where we are. I’m convinced that if you can’t laugh at what happens at church you’ll leave because of what happens at church.
5. Loosen up. There should be an order to the meeting. You should prepare an outline to follow. However, be willing to abandon that outline for the benefit of your staff. Sometimes a staff member just needs to blow of some steam or a subject may need to be dealt with that you didn’t even know existed. The staff should know that you value them enough as a person to tear up the bulletin and allow the Spirit to lead. A staff meeting is a great time for the senior pastor to lend pastoral care to the staff.
6. Pray together. Pray for your staff out loud. Pray for their ministry. Pray for their family. Thank God for them. Allow them to pray for you as well. Pray for the burdens and the vision of the church. It is a sad reality that many churches have staff that seldom or never prays together privately.