Dan Reiland The Pastor's Coach – Developing Church Leaders

Category / Staffing

When it comes to great staff, we all want to hire the best leaders, see them flourish and realize their God-given potential!

When a staff member is motivated, competent, and loves their job, they are a joy to work with! They bring life to the party and you want to be around them.

We also know that’s not always the case. An unhappy staff member who struggles to do their job, and possibly doesn’t like where they work can really hurt the team.

Selecting the best staff is an art, we never get it perfect, but if you know what you are aiming for you are much more likely to get.

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John Maxwell and Kevin Myers are two great bosses I have worked for in my ministry career. They are both strong visionary leaders, creative, empowering, and love God. I’m grateful for them both.

I have also known many bosses that other people work for who are a cross anywhere between Mr. Rogers and Godzilla. Extremes I know, but bad bosses are unfortunately all too common.

Over the years, I’ve interviewed hundreds of church staff and asked them what they want in a great boss. This post reflects those answers and my experience.

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I will admit that I’m leery to write this article.

Writing about a subject that is so very subjective and far more art than science, in a bullets and numbered lists format, makes me nervous. But I’m trusting that you will grant me grace by adding the heart and nuances of story from your own situation.

The bottom line is that you can’t coach anyone who doesn’t want to be coached.

You can pray, encourage and challenge, but when it comes to attitude, the ball is in their court.

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When a staff member makes the choice to resign, it can feel like a defeat of some kind, like something broke or a mistake was made. But sometimes transitions are a normal part of staff life.

Some transitions are very difficult. The kind when you need to “fire” someone, but those situations are rare and usually represent one of three things.

  1. You didn’t have the honest and tough conversations.
  2. One or more people were not willing to change.
  3. You waited too long to make corrections.

If we set the more extreme cases aside, we can see that transitions on your staff, while not necessarily routine, can be part of a healthy environment. This perspective is far better than keeping a staff member when it’s not working, just because no one is willing to be honest and make the tough decision.

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