12 Characteristics of the Best Church Staff Members I’ve Known

Over the years, I’ve met some great church staff members. I’ve also met some problematic ones, but they’ve hardly been numerous. Here are some of the characteristics I’ve seen in the best staff members I’ve known:

  1. Loyalty. They’re committed to God, the church, and the senior leadership of the church. No one has to worry about their stabbing another staff member in the back.
  2. Calling. They might struggle at times with how they carry out their calling in a given situation, but they can usually speak about a clear sense of what God wants them to do. They know their giftedness.
  3. Teachability. They don’t assume they know everything about their area of responsibility. They may well be the most informed, but they remain open to learning.
  4. Commitment. These staff members aren’t always look toward the “greener grass” on the other side. They’re plugged in right where they serve today.
  5. Ability. We can’t ignore this needed characteristic—the best staff members I’ve known have been gifted (and usually trained) to do what they do. They’re focused and productive.
  6. Prayerfulness. They know they serve only under the grace and power of God. They talk with Him readily; prayer is in their DNA.
  7. Responsibility. They take seriously the expectation that they will handle the matters of the church in a godly, responsible way. Others can rightly trust them.
  8. Creativity. I’m not that creative, so I’ve been amazed by what these staff members dream of and accomplish. They don’t get stuck in “we’ve never done it that way before.”
  9. Honesty. If they have a concern about someone or something, they deal with it face-to-face. They’re not gossiping throughout the congregation about others.
  10. Care. These staff members genuinely care about their pastor, other staff, their families, and the congregation. They know people by name and minister to them when needed.
  11. Deflection. That is, they’re careful not to let success become pride in their lives. They honestly deflect any praise to God and others.
  12. Equipping. These staff members know their role is to help raise up the next generation of church leaders. They intentionally equip others for the work of ministry.

What characteristics have you seen in the best staff members you’ve known? 


  • DAVID WILSON says:

    Absolutely Perfection ~ Printed this out to remind myself!

  • Lovelypeace says:

    Here’s my experience-

    Our church staff gets caught up in the business of doing church that they forget to be the church.

    Our problems are care and creativity.

    Some staff people are rude and abrasive and a lot of young families have left because of poor treatment in the education department. Not helpful for building a vibrant church!

    Also in committee meetings I’ve had arguments with staff people who are so concerned about building and protecting ‘their kingdom’ that they forget about building and expanding ‘the kingdom.’

    They tell me they’ve been burned by people so many times that they’d rather do stuff their way and not count on others to help.

    They really believe they are the only ones who can get things done, so they have a hard time letting others help, be involved in generating ideas and executing the plan and just volunteering the day of an event. And then they wonder why their activities tend to be duds (more often than not), having low turnout and little enthusiasm.

    A few of us work around these people to do the programming and activities we’d like to see at our church and strive to build more community in our church.

    We refuse to let the naysayers stop us. I’ve been involved in the creation of several new groups/classes and the reception we’ve gotten is amazing from other church members. They are really excited about all the new activity and opportunities for spiritual growth.

    Our community is a high growth area – new housing developments are going to be filled up in the next few years- and newcomers really just want to do things and have ways to connect to the church. They don’t care about massaging staff egos.

    It seems like a fight every step of the way because we are pushing certain people way out of their comfort zones.

    Staff simply can’t send contradictory messages to the congregation. You can’t talk about wanting a vibrant, welcoming church then complain when people try to actually create that! Words and body language matter and are noticed.

    Loved this article!

  • Cynthia says:

    Of administrators and secretaries in my past churches, the best have been the face of the church and our mission strategy. Whether greeting delivery people or fielding inquiring phone calls of potential guests, my present admin is often our first line evangelist and pastoral care giver.

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