Three Ideas to Make Being On a Church Staff Easier

It can be so frustrating to be on a church staff. The pay is often not great, the hours can be long, and because we work with people — we are prone to suffer some emotional wounds.

If you are frustrated at your church staff job, boss, or pastor you are not alone. According to a Gallup Poll 70% of employees hate their job or are disengaged at work. Being an employee is tough. Being a church employee has a unique set of challenges. If you work on a church staff here are three ideas to make your life easier.

  1. Remember the people.

    One of the most unique and challenging aspects of being on a church staff is how frequent Sundays come. It’s relentless. If you hit home run with an event or lesson you don’t get an offseason to recoup. The following week there is another Sunday. Add to that if you are a Student Pastor and you do a mid-week service. Those come every week as well. Because the monotony of Sundays it is easy to check off a few tasks and then forget about the people. As a church staffer you are in the people business. Tasks have to be done, but your job is to equip people.

    If you are a people person like I am then this will help you survive ministry. You have to worry about details, lessons, liability forms, etc. but you must intentionally focus on people. How? Intentionally set up times to invest in people. The tasks of getting Sundays ready will consume your schedule unless you are intentional about investing in people. Set up some specific times in your calendar to write encouraging notes to volunteers, text people you haven’t seen in a while to simply say hello, send an encouragement on Facebook, or celebrate a win for your team in a public forum. The tasks are important, but not more important than the people.

  2. Follow the vision

    Where there is more than one vision there is division. One of the reasons being on a church staff is difficult is you don’t set the vision. It’s tough following someone else’s vision. It is even more difficult if you are on a church staff and your pastor doesn’t have a vision for the church. It’s easy to be discouraged because your ideas often can be rejected. Here’s the key…work hard at thinking of ideas that support the vision. If you have a different vision then you need to start praying about if God wants you to move on to a new church.

    When you have an idea show your pastor how it helps fulfill the vision and you have a greater chance of seeing that idea happen. It’s the pastor’s job to have the vision, and the staff’s job to support that vision. You can be incredibly influential and make a massive difference supporting the vision of your leader. You can also be destructive, miserable, and create disunity when you don’t. If your church’s vision is to make disciples then make sure any idea you have supports that vision. When you bring a vision to a pastor and it’s rejected it will lead to frustration or apathy. You must protect yourself. Make sure every idea you have supports the vision set.

  3. You don’t have to work at a church — you get to.

    This may be the most important of the three. You don’t have to work at a church. It’s an honor and privilege. Ultimately, no matter what job you have, you are working for Jesus. Even more so when it’s paid to work at a church. I know it’s difficult, exhausting, and sometimes thank less, but it’s worth it. You are getting paid to help people love Jesus. That’s an honor. You don’t have to show up on time, you get to. You don’t have to encourage your pastor, you get to. You don’t have to deal with difficult parents … you get to. It’s an honor. Don’t ever forget that.

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