Tag Archive - church staff

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4 Keys to Great Church Staff Coaching

Just because coaching doesn’t come natural or easy to everyone doesn’t mean your team shouldn’t receive good coaching. You can get better results out of your team by giving them better coaching. Here are 4 steps you can take over the next 30 days to get better results out of your team!

#1 Stay Positive

People you’re coaching need hope. I’ve never gotten a better performance or better results from someone in the work place by yelling at them, but encouragement on the other hand has produced all kinds of great results. Sometimes people just need someone to believe in them and be given an opportunity.

#2 Be Consistent

Consistency in coaching is key. Coach ahead of time by giving them as many “game like reps” as possible, encourage them while they’re “playing the game,” and review and break down “game tape,” afterwards.

#3 Be Clear

When coaching be specific and include as much detail as you believe is helpful. Eliminate information overload and confusion.

#4 Don’t Say Everything You See

Don’t be afraid to say the hard things. But say them in increments that people can receive them in. Prescribe in doses that they can digest and act on. Get them moving in the right direction. Don’t’ worry about solving everything at once.


Posted in Leadership

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Top 10 Reasons Churches get Stuck

For more than 18 years I’ve been working full-time in a local church setting. The last 13 of those have been in large mega-church and multi-site settings. I’ve had the unique opportunity to work with an incredible team of people at a the Unstuck Group a successful consulting firm specializing in helping churches get unstuck. Over this span of time I’ve seen churches get and stay stuck for all kinds of reasons but there are 10 catalysts for church stuckness that I see come up over and over again. Here they are in no particular order:

1. Insider Focus

Alright so I said these weren’t in any particular order, well that’s mostly true. All except for this one. The most common area where I see churches get stuck is this issue of being insider focused. And it’s rooted in this fundamental question, “What is the church for?” I feel like I write about this topic a lot so I won’t regurgitate it here, just search “insider focus” in the search bar to your right and you’ll get a grocery list of stuff. Bottom line is a majority of churches that are stuck get that way and stay that way because they’re focused on insiders instead of outsiders. They would resist that diagnosis and the label, but they’re practices, language, guest services (or lack thereof), and low number of annual conversations and baptisms tell a different story.

2. Staffing and Structure

There are very common growth barriers that churches hit and get stuck at. A start up church that is setting up and tearing down in rented space, the medium sized church, the megachurch and multisite church aren’t different in size or economies of scale. They are completely different organizations. To get through these barriers and stay past these barriers takes more than momentum it takes changing the staffing and organizational structure of the church, and often times the way the Church Board operates in relationship to the staff. Do you have a staffing plan to get you where you want to go? Do you know what structure best fits your size and strategies?

3. Misalignment

A majority of churches do not organize around a central vision. Many don’t have a clearly stated, meaningful, actionable, and relevant mission statement, vision statement, or organizational values. Or if they do they’re on a piece of paper in a drawer somewhere. It’s the rare church that actually organizes the staffing strategy, budgeting process, ministry calendar, weekend teaching schedule, and communication strategies to synergistically move the whole church in a particular direction. There is no clear plan to move from where they are to where God wants them to be. And a failure to plan is planning to fail.

4. Leadership

I love what Bill Hybles, the Sr. Pastor at Willow Creek has said about leadership, “Everyone gets better when the leader gets better.” A leader can be the lid on a church. In other words, sometimes churches get stuck because the leader is stuck. And it’s one thing to get stuck and a whole other thing to stay stuck. Leaders need to invest in their own leadership gifts and keep growing or they’ll end up being the reason the church gets stuck.

5. Teaching

So I may be about to get some speaking pastors a bit upset. But speaking/preaching is a gift. Not everyone has it. Right? The other truth is not everyone who has a preaching gift has that gift given in the same amount. There are some that are simply great preachers. And guess what. Mediocre teaching, even good solid teaching is a barrier to growth and can lead to stuckness if great teaching isn’t developed or hired. Your church may be stuck because the teaching is stuck.

6. Weekend Experience

A lot of ministry segment leaders aren’t going to like what I’m about to say here, but it’s true, even if you don’t like it. In North America, it’s all about the weekend experience. That total street to seat experience that people have when they come to your church. It’s why your children’s ministry is growing (kids don’t drive themselves to church because they like the crafts that much), it’s why people say things like, “I’m not sure what it is but there is something special going on here.” New people bring new people when the weekend experience is going well. But when it’s stuck, there are no new people.

7. Volunteers

I rarely come across a church that says they have all the volunteers they need. I also rarely come across a church that makes it easy for people to get connected and start volunteering and they view volunteering as a part of the discipleship process. Meaning that when you serve you are actually becoming more like Jesus. In most churches the same people are still doing everything that they’ve always done. And until things change, nothing is going to change.

8. Finances

Many churches are stuck because of finances. Some are over extended in debt with no clear plan to pay it off. Many don’t have and haven’t thought through a clear strategy to engage the givers in their churches. Few have a clear and effective budgeting process, much less know what financial health looks like in a church setting. Many don’t teach about generosity for fear of sounding like all they care about is money. Your church doesn’t have a generous culture and as a result the Kingdom isn’t taking the ground that it should be. If you don’t have a clear plan to manage today’s resources for tomorrow, your church is probably stuck financially.

9. The Past

I commonly see churches that are still enamored with past practices and ministry programs that worked years ago to connect new people to Jesus, but now only serve to keep the committed comfortable. Most churches don’t know how to gracefully put old ministry programs out to pasture. Unfortunately as a result those same churches continue to engage in ministry practices that were successful in the past but keep them from being successful in the future.

10. Next Steps

Many churches haven’t defined next steps for people who are attending their church. What is the next step coming out of a sermon? Now that I’ve attended for the first time as a guest, what do I do now? How do I get into a Bible Study? How do I get involved volunteering? How do I financially contribute? Has your church defined the win regarding spiritual maturity and what you hope people will look like, and have you clearly charted a road map to help them get there?

What are some other reasons you’ve seen churches get stuck? What would you add to the list?

Does this list resonate with you? Is your church stuck in one or more of these areas? It might be worth a conversation with the Unstuck Group, we specialize in helping churches get unstuck!

Photo Credit: tricky (rick harrison) via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership

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Why Comparison is a Church Killer

Comparison is a Church killer, period. I think it’s ironic that we’ll preach messages in our churches about the body of Christ having unique parts, gifts and abilities but copy each other and chase after sameness. Comparisons are killing the movement of the Gospel and hurting churches and their staff. Healthy biblical leadership avoids comparisons and simply chases after following God and being the best you that God wants you to be. Below are 4 core issues that comparing your church to other churches directly affects.

Identity

You weren’t created or called to be anybody but you, and your church has been set in a unique community with unique issues at a unique time, with a unique leader who has unique gifts and abilities. God has called you to be uniquely you. Comparison will subtly lead you to move away from the unique identity God has called your church to.

Innovation

Comparison can thwart innovation. Many Pastors seem to value mimicking one another over prayerfully discovering and following the unique vision that God has for their church. It’s one thing to discover best practices and the wisdom that comes from transferring principles. But copying ministry is not only lazy but it short circuits innovations that will lead to the spread of the Gospel.

Generosity

Comparison actually fuels a spirit of competition and inward focus. Instead of thinking about others first you begin to think about yourself, your kingdom, and how your decisions can get you where you want to go. This kind of attitude is in direct conflict with a spirit of generosity that the Gospel compels us to move towards.

Humility

When we compare ourselves to other churches and begin to realize that God is doing something unique and special at our churches there is a tendency for pride to creep in and for us to begin to take a bit of the credit. Scripture is clear that God resists the proud. That’s not the side of things I want to be on, how about you?

What else have you seen comparing churches lead to? What would you add to or take off the list? Leave a comment.


Posted in Leadership

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Top 5 Posts of 2011 #3: Why church staff change churches

Believe it or not I originally wrote this post back in 2010, and ever since then this post has remained on my top 5 list. This post began a series of posts on church staffing that I’m actually in the process of editing and turning into my first e-book that will be available during the first quarter of 2012.

Why Church Staff Change Churches

In reflecting about a major move that is coming up this summer for my family from Phoenix to Atlanta, my heart was stirred about why Church Staff change churches. And while this isn’t an exhaustive list, I thought it was a great place to start. So in no particular order, here is my top 10 list of “Why Church Staff Change Churches:”

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Posted in Leadership, Staffing