Being on a church staff can be one of the most exciting things or one of the most frustrating things in the world. Although there are many factors that go into developing a healthy church staff, planning and communication are indispensable to the process.
Staff Planning Retreat
At the end of September every year, Heather and I spend 2 days with our staff at Camp Ironwood. We have several things we must accomplish before walking away from that retreat.
#1 – Casting Vision
It is in the first session that I share with our staff the theme and 10 goals for the coming year. I express to them what the Lord has been doing in my life and where I believe the Lord is leading our church. We then take time to discuss ministry flowcharts and weekly schedules, making certain that every single staff member is on page and understands their personal responsibilities.
#2 – Calendar Planning
Over the years, our church calendar has become less and less crowed with minor events and more focused on major events such as Easter, Anniversary Service and Next Step Sunday. We not only schedule these events, but also spend time developing actionable steps that we can take to move us to succeeding in these events. One of our favorite sessions is our Sermon Series Brainstorming session. It is during this time that our senior staff helps me fully develop our 7-8 Sunday morning sermon series for the coming year. It works something like this: I come to them with a topic and schedule such as “I feel led to preach a series on Bible Doctrine; there is a 9 week slot in the summer.” Then the staff begins to brainstorm. We develop the name of the series, the names of the sermons, the graphics for the series, and promotional ideas to help draw people to the series.
#3 – System Evaluation
We ask ourselves this question: How are we really doing? We have 8 systems we look at from assimilation to discipleship from leadership training to worship services and honestly evaluate these systems from a scale of 1 to 10. Once we give our personal opinion we have to back up our assessment with reason and ideas to make better. This has helped our church to not grow stagnate and stuck in our unprofitable routines.
#4 – Budget and Staff Goals Presented
Pastor Fred Murray will have the annual budget for the coming year prepared and will present it to the staff for evaluation and approval. This essential step prepares us for the Deacon Meeting that will occur during our Men’s Leadership Retreat in November. Our staff also has opportunity to present me with their goals for their specific ministries for the coming year. This allows me the opportunity to see the hearts of our most trusted ministers and help direct them back on path if they are headed a wrong direction.
#5 – Testimonial & Devotional Time
One of the greatest things about this time is that it gives me an opportunity to pastor the pastoral staff. Too often as a Lead Pastor, I can look at the men and ladies of God that are around me as merely a means to an end. Tools that can be used to minister to others. This is the time when I am reminded that these are people too, and they also need a pastor to love them, pray with them, and cry with them. We open the Bible and study together at the feet of Jesus. We share our fears, goals, and testimonies with each other and spend time praying for one another. These simple spiritual exercises help us remember what we are really doing there and that is to merely be servants of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Next Blog I will take you into our Men’s Leadership Retreat to allow you to see my 3rd step in Annual Planning. What do you think? Is there a better way of planning for a church? Is there something that you would do differently?
Please comment below.