During our Lawless Group church consultations, I always interview the church staff. In those interviews, I often hear from staff members who’ve never felt comfortable telling their pastor all they’d like to say. Of course, they do need to talk to their pastor – but nevertheless, here are some of the things they’d like to say:
- Pray with me individually. It’s great that you pray with us as a staff, but I need to hear you praying for me. I want you to ask about my personal concerns.
- Involve me in determining the church’s vision. You’re the leader, but I want to be part of the team. If you just hand me the vision, you’re asking me to implement a plan that I’ve not helped develop. That’s difficult to do.
- Don’t micromanage me. You hired me to do a job based on my training and expertise. Walk alongside me, but let me do my job. I’ll serve better with you if you trust me.
- Watch my back. I won’t do everything perfectly. Somebody will get upset with me and come to you before talking to me. Please stand by me. If I messed up, support me first and then come to me.
- Know the names of my family. I realize our families may not spend much time together, but it means a lot to me if you just know the names of my spouse and children.
- Ask me once in a while, “How can I help you be the person God wants you to be?” I want to do my job well, but I want more than that to honor God with my life. Sometimes I need you to be my shepherd rather than my boss.
- Require me to take my time off. I want to work hard. I want God to be pleased. Consequently, I may not always take my scheduled time off. You can help me by holding me accountable for rest.
- Go to bat for me regarding salaries and benefits. Talking about salary is seldom easy for me – and I’m not usually in the meetings where folks make such decisions. Help me by speaking up on my behalf.
- Tell me where I need to improve, and then help me get there. I can’t grow unless I know my weaknesses. I know some of them, but I doubt I recognize all of them. Point them out to me – but do it in a way that helps me improve.
- Talk to me rather than talk about me to others. I don’t want to hear through the grapevine that you’re concerned about me or my work. Please talk to me directly. I assume you’d want me to do the same for you.
- Allow me to get more training. Further education can only help me do my job better. Help me continue to grow by leading the church to give me time (and even tuition) to accomplish this goal.
- I want our staff team to succeed for God’s glory. Let me know how I can help us get there.
What things would you add to this list?