A Note from Kelly King: As a leader, it’s often easy to get caught up in the daily tasks and processes of managing. Yet, ministry is a call to put people over projects, even when you oversee church staff. Whether you serve in church leadership or you are looking for ways to encourage your church staff, Kasey Ewing gives you some great ideas on loving ministry families.
I am a book junkie leader. My team and I continue to go through a book together, and I am usually reading more management books on the side. I have found that if I am not careful, I focus on leading and not ministering.
The good ole Dictionary.com describes the difference in the two:
- Minister: to give service, care, or aid; attend, as to wants or necessities;
to contribute, as to comfort or happiness.
- Leader: a guiding or directing head, as of an army, movement, or political group.
Leadership in the church world is difficult especially if we are overseeing people in ministry positions. We are required to steward our resources well. Those of us in leadership positions must maintain the highest standards of accountability and excellence in staff management.
How do we lead well and minister to our staff and church family collectively?
- Love your staff families. Plan enjoyable times when you get together with staff wives. Spoil their kids. (I have sent Amazon tablets on Prime day when Youth/Children’s workers are at camp for weeks on end.) Surprise your pastoral families on a Friday night with pizza. Kids love to get stuff in the mail; you can send small care packages. I currently have on my to do list, at the request of one staff kid, “to write him a sweet note.”
- Teach them how to study the Bible. I am currently taking our Ladies Leader Lunch Group through a Precept study. We are learning to grow together in our knowledge of the Word and to know each other better. I am getting into a rhythm in our lunches of going back and forth between a study and a book for our leader lunches.
- Pick a day to pray for your team. I have the days of the week in the front of my Bible and I assign a day for each staff member. I make a point to pray for them on that particular day.
- Plan a date night. During the Christmas season our Pastor and the Deacons watch the staff kids for an evening of fun and relaxation for the staff. (Couples with new babies have been known to take a nap.) This is an encouragement to the staff that during one of the busiest seasons of the year they are appreciated.
- Have the crucial conversation when needed. Hold staff accountable. We have all heard the quote “People do what is inspected not what is expected.” Revisit that staff person the next day after a crucial conversation. “Stop the awkward.” Understand that it is hard to be called out but a second conversation lets them know you value that relationship.
Kasey Ewing is the Family Ministry Director at New Vision Church in Murfreesboro, TN. She is married to Brad who is the Buchanan Campus Pastor at New Vision. They have three boys: Drew, Jake (in heaven), and Jackson.