March 24, 2021 Tony Morgan

3 Keys to Structure Your Team for Future Ministry Impact – Episode 185 | The Unstuck Church Podcast

The Answers to 3 Essential Questions Pastors are Asking Right Now

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How can you maximize your ministry impact? Your team plays a big role. Over the last six months we’ve heard the same questions again and again from church leaders in churches of all different shapes and sizes:

  • What new roles do we need?
  • Are we over-staffed and if so, what’s our next step?
  • Is our team focused on what’s important?

So we wanted to sit down to answer those questions and equip you to lead your team strategically and effectively. A healthy, focused, aligned team is critical to a healthy ministry.

Organizations do what they are structured to do. So, if we want our churches to thrive in the new normal and well into the future, we need to structure your team accordingly.

Amy Anderson and Michael Moore, the Executive Pastor of Faith Chapel, join me to talk through practical strategies to address:

  • What new roles you need on your team
  • How to know if you’re over-staffed and what strategic next steps to take
  • How to create alignment on your team and focus on what’s most important
Until you know where you’re going, you don’t know what type of team to build. #unstuckchurch [episode 185]Click to Tweet When you have too much good going on, you don’t have a lot of great going on. #unstuckchurch [episode 185]Click To Tweet As a leader, you cannot manage what you cannot see. #unstuckchurch [episode 185]Click To Tweet

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We use #unstuckchurch on Twitter, and we start a real-time conversation each Wednesday morning when the episode drops. We’d really love to hear from you during this time:

  1. How can we be praying for your church and for you as you lead?
  2. What stories can you share of ways churches are responding well during this crisis and focusing on opportunities instead of loss?

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Transcript 

Sean (00:03):

Welcome to The Unstuck Church Podcast, where each week we’re exploring what it means to be an unstuck church. Recently, our team hosted a webinar on three keys for structuring your staff team for future impact. Over 900 leaders joined us for the conversation on what new roles we need on our teams, how we can tackle the challenge of overstaffing and how you can optimize productivity on your team. Today, we revisit that conversation as Amy and Tony are joined by another Unstuck team member, Michael Moore, executive pastor of Faith Chapel in Birmingham, Alabama. If you want to maximize your podcast experience today, make sure you stop and subscribe to get the show notes in your email. When you do, you’re going to get resources to go along with each week’s episode, including our leader conversation guide, access to our podcast resource archive and bonus resources that you won’t find anywhere else. Just go to theunstuckgroup.com/podcast and subscribe. Now let’s join today’s conversation and hear the team’s response to some of the common new roles that are needed on church teams.

Tony (01:05):

Amy, I’d like to begin with you by just asking you, I mean, what are you hearing? What are you seeing as you engage with churches, and what are the new roles that are kind of elevating in those conversations?

Amy (01:17):

Yeah, this might sound familiar to those of you who listen to our podcast or have taken some of our masterclasses. This has been a huge conversation for the last six months for us. And of course, Tony, one of the big roles that is a new role that is needed, especially in the hybrid church world where we’re not going to have in-person gatherings and we’re going to have digital strategies to do our ministry, is that digital strategist. And it has different titles, but I just want to talk about it a little bit. I say digital strategist because it is a strategy role. It’s a leader role, a conductor role, someone who’s going to understand what it is you’re trying to accomplish in that digital space and build the systems and build the processes and lead the people who are going to be executing your digital products. So it’s not an online campus pastor, if I can say it that way. It’s not someone who’s creating all of your digital content. Your content is actually coming from the Michael Moore’s of your church, you know, or the lead pastors of your church or the discipleship leaders or the kids or family ministry leaders. They are the ones who are your content experts, but this digital strategist is going to work with the ministry leaders to understand what is it we’re trying to do in this space and develop the systems and lead the team that’s actually going to execute there. So I say that because I don’t have the top seven roles you need to hire right now. We’re still in the early adoption phases of getting a true digital strategy out there, not just putting our weekend service out there, but I’m sure we’re going to continue to learn. But some other roles on that team that really stand out for me are content marketing people, people who know how to market digital content, that nurture relationships and draw people towards you, and, Tony, I like the example you often give us. You know, we’ve been a digital content ministry forever. And so maybe pastors, as you think about this, how did you eventually engage with The Unstuck Group? You know, if you brought us in for consulting, what was that process like? You didn’t read one article Tony wrote and said hire that team, right? We have digital content strategies that hopefully…

Tony (03:26):

I don’t know, my writing’s pretty good, Amy,

Amy (03:32):

It is, it is. But there’s things that you did that slowly, through that digital space, you got a little bit closer. Maybe today, some of you took this first step to engage in a webinar that you’ve never done before. For us, that’s a step in the digital space moving towards us. So you need to think about those people not connected to your church, or maybe it’s people who are new believers, what digital content do you have to put out there that’s going to nurture them taking steps towards your church and towards Jesus? One other thing, and I won’t go on too long, but this headline, I got the language from Carey Nieuwhof, but we need more spiritual entrepreneurs. We need people who are thinking, what are the new ways that we can fish in this digital world? What are the new ways that we have to do our ministry as culture continues to shift and change? We tend to be overstaffed on the shepherding side of the gifts in our church. And those are great gifts, by the way. I’m just saying we’ve over hired in that area. And we haven’t brought in people who are really wired to go, what can we try next? And when they fail, when it doesn’t work, it doesn’t bother them. They move on. They go again. They’re failing forward. So those are some headlines in that space. I will say one more thing. These digital roles, while I said the strategist is kind of the leader conductor, we’re looking at specialists. These are not multiplying leaders kind of roles. They are usually they have a niche in that space. And so we have to be really careful in the staffing side when we are in the shepherding space or we are in the you know, groups and serving, that we’re really hiring high-level equipping leaders to engage the body because we’re going to have to invest in some more specialists, especially as we begin to learn how to thrive in this area.

Tony (05:13):

That’s good, Amy. The spiritual entrepreneurs that jumped out to me because, it’s interesting, one of the challenging conversations that we’re having with churches is thinking forward. Where are we going into the future? And I think one of the reasons why that’s a particularly challenging conversation is we haven’t tended to hire those spiritual entrepreneurs onto our team. And so I love that perspective. Michael, as you’re thinking about new roles specifically for Faith Chapel, what comes to mind?

Michael (05:47):

Yeah, so I would co-sign everything that Amy said. Specifically, she talked about spiritual entrepreneurs and shepherds. My feedback to the ministry leaders wouldn’t necessarily be focused on a particular role to hire as much as when you’re building your teams, when you’re onboarding staff, ask yourself are we missing any key strengths? So as Amy mentioned, one of the things that I’ve seen on our team and just in other ministries in teams that they’re not intentional can get out of balance when it comes to being diverse in the strengths that are on the team. And so one of the tools that we use here at Faith Chapel to get visibility into that is the same tool that we use at The Unstuck Group. It’s called leading from your strengths. It’s just an assessment that you can have staff or potential staff to take. But in that assessment, it: One, tells you how people are wired, but then, Two, toward the back, it uses a strengths wheel so that you can begin to see, okay, where do this person’s strengths lie? What are their skillsets? And then how are we wired as a team currently? And are we missing any key strengths? So one of the things that we often say here at Faith Chapel. No, it’s not good grammar, but I think the people that get the point. One of the -isms that we say is, “Me is not enough to be successful.” Me is not enough to be successful. And so what we mean by that as a leader, I can step back and I can ask the question, okay, when I look at the team, when I look at the strengths, the skill sets of the team, does the entire team look like me? Does the entire team think like me? Are their strengths like me? And if the answer to that is yes, then I can begin to take it a step further and ask the questions. What strengths are we missing that if added to the team would make our team stronger? And Tony, I think this analogy will land on with the people. You’re into baseball. And so…

Tony (07:45):

I love baseball. You’re speaking my love language, Michael.

Michael (07:49):

You’re into baseball. And so, if we’re going to build a championship baseball team, it helps to have really good pitching. But most pitchers, while their strengths are to throw strikes, their weakness is hitting. But if the entire team is strong at pitching and no one else on the team is strong at hitting, no one else on the team is strong at outfield defense, then we’re not gonna win a lot of games if we can’t hit the ball. We’re not gonna win a lot of games if we can’t play defense in the outfield. We understand that as ministry leaders very well when it comes to sports, that a sports team would never win a championship if they don’t have that diversity of strengths. We have to keep that same mindset as well when we’re building our ministry teams and remember that great teams, championship teams, not only have a diversity of strengths, but they intentionally capitalize on those diversities of strengths.

Tony (08:44):

I love that. Great analogy, Michael and good wisdom there, too. And let me just double down, too. Michael’s talking about adding diversity of giftedness. I would like you to also think about the more obvious places where diversity, I think, are critical to the new roles that we’re thinking about going forward, because it’s going to help us reach a culture that looks very different than the culture that many of us started with when we started in ministry decades ago. And so thinking about ethnic diversity, thinking about generational diversity. It’s interesting when we engage with church leaders, I get worried because many times I’m with teams and everybody’s my age or older. And I think we need to be thinking about how we’re, as we’re thinking about new roles, bringing the younger leaders up in our ministry and especially in some of these key leadership roles that we’re talking about. And then the other area too, is it’s just gender diversity. And from early on in my ministry, I just recognize strong women leaders bring a perspective that I don’t have. And that’s why I’m so grateful for Amy and Tiffany and Ellery and others on our team. They bring their leadership strength and it comes with a bit different perspective than I view life. And that’s a good thing for us as we’re trying to engage the mission that God’s called us to as well. So what I’ve learned is when you add people to your team that reflect the diversity of God’s kingdom, not only will they help you accomplish the things that you thought you needed to accomplish, because of the perspective that they bring, they’re going to redefine these roles and in a whole new way. And that’s going to be a good thing for you as you’re trying to accomplish the ministry God has for you. So that’s the first question. That’s about the new roles that we’re seeing churches lean into in the season. Let’s jump ahead to the question: Are we overstaffed? And if so, what our next move might need to look like? And Michael, I know that we’ve actually helped you and your team look at your staffing and structure through the years at Faith Chapel, but as you’ve even looked at this opportunity, I’m going to say it’s an opportunity rather than a challenge in this current season. What are you seeing? And how do you know if you’re over or understaffed?

Michael (11:09):

Yes. So at Faith Chapel, we quickly found ourselves overstaffed in the 2000’s. We experienced, in our church, some attendance decline. And so we had a staff at a certain level but experienced those declines. And how we were able to determine that we were overstaffed was just through metrics. So at The Unstuck Group, we have something called a vital sign survey that we issue to churches. We took that survey ourselves as a church. And so it began to just show us that we were overstaffed. We did a couple of things to get at the problem. One, we quit adding to the problem. So we quit digging the hole with making those strategic hires. That was really important. Just kind of hit the pause button. But secondly, and you alluded to this, Tony, we chose to bring in an outsider perspective to help us to not only assess where we were the church right now, but more importantly, to help us to clarify where we were wanting to go. And that clarity of where we were headed was really, really important for us because it began to inform what types of staff, what types of roles we needed to add on the team. So if as a church, where we were headed to where we wanted to go was to build an iPhone, then we would want people on the team who are innovative, creative, people who think out of the box. We’ve never tried this before. Let’s go forth. However, if where we were going, or our goal as a church, was to climb Mount Everest, I don’t want innovative. I don’t want, you know, thinking out of the box. I don’t want, we’ve never tried to go up the mountain this way before. That type of thinking to get us killed if our goal is to go up Mount Everest. And so you really don’t know what type of team to build until you first have clarity on what is it that you’re trying to do? Where are you headed? We chose to, even though I’m a team member on The Unstuck Group, I thought that it was really important to get an outsider’s perspective. And I would really encourage the churches, the church leaders who are watching this, to bring in an outside perspective. Tony, we brought you in Amy, we brought you in to help us evaluate our staff. And for me, even as a team member, that was incredibly valuable to hear someone outside of the organization give us some hard truth, and being over time, we began to align both new and existing staff to that future direction that we had clarified.

Tony (13:33):

That’s good. Michael, your analogies always convict me. They convict me and they make me think, why didn’t I think of that? But, thank you. That’s great. Amy, just give your perspective if a church finds themselves overstaffed, what should their next move look like?

Amy (13:53):

I’ll just build off of what Michael shared. That was a great foundation. I think if you find yourself overstaffed, when I find churches overstaffed, it’s one of two things, or maybe both. I was just having this conversation with a leadership team a few weeks ago. Either you have too many doers on your team, meaning instead of hiring those high conducting leaders that are engaging the body and ministry, we’ve hired too many people to just do the ministry. Or we have too much ministry going on. Okay. So instead of that focus, I love how you talked about that, Michael, and a great analogy, until you know where you’re going, you don’t know what type of team to build. And if you don’t define where you’re going, then you’re going everywhere. And so you’re scattering all of your resources. You’re not keeping them moving forward in an aligned way. And by the way, it’s so easy for churches to have too much ministry going on because really almost everything I see churches doing is good. And so we never want to stop doing something good, but we, when we have too much good going on, we don’t have a lot of great going on. So the other way would be that they are both doing too much, and they have too many doers. So you have to figure, I can get clarity, like Michael said, with where you’re going. What’s our core ministry actions? And then staff to that plan. I encourage leaders to reread “Necessary Endings” because really a lot of the churches we work with are overstaffed. I rarely find an understaffed church. In fact, probably only one or two in the whole time I’ve worked with Unstuck. Usually people are trying to get that metric down, but rereading “Necessary Endings,” I just revisited it, it just helps you get into that mindset of why we sometimes have to do some pruning, whether it’s people or whether it’s ministry programming, and it gives you the confidence to do it. The last idea I’d have if you’re overstaffed is try to reach some more people. It’s probably more fun to reach new people and, you know, let your staffing fit that new reach then to pull back. But that’s why we’ve probably had so much passion lately over just the front door. We need to make sure churches are still reaching new people. And then we can have the staff we have, right?

Tony (16:03):

Yeah, that’s right. I was going to share actually on the topic of staff stats, I was going to share a bunch of them right here, but for the sake of time, let me just share this key stat that we have found. I actually confirmed this again last year when I was doing the analysis, looking at the key differences between healthy, growing, thriving churches, and then the churches that are plateaued or stuck or they’re in decline, and one of the key differences, and this may shock you, but it’s the number of staff that churches have. And what we found, and this has been confirmed time after time. But again, last year when I did the analysis found that declining, stuck churches have 35% more staff than healthy, thriving churches. And so you might think, gosh, the reason why we’re stuck is we don’t add the staffing resources, we don’t have the finances to be able to add more people. And my initial reaction to that is that’s a good thing. That’s a good thing because now you have an opportunity to take a next step and experience what it is to really be a healthy, thriving church. And many times it’s not the number of staff you have, it’s the type of staff you have. And that’s why I loved some of what Michael and Amy are sharing. Well, let’s jump ahead to the third question. And it’s this. Is the staff team focused on what’s most important? And I’ll be honest, my suspicion is this is coming primarily from the senior pastors and the executive pastors that we’ve been in conversation with because they’re always wondering, not only is my team healthy, are they healthy spiritually? Are they healthy with their families and so on? They’re paying attention to that, but they also realize God’s called us to a big mission. And so we want to make sure we’re getting the most out of our staff team as well. So Michael, as the executive pastor at a larger church like Faith Chapel, how do you make sure that your team is staying focused on what’s most important?

Michael (18:12):

Yeah, that’s a good question. As an exec pastor, that’s a huge question. That’s one that we’re swimming in in this type of role every single week. I would encourage leaders one, to get visibility into what your staff is working on. And that visibility may look different ways for different churches, but you have to get some visibility into what your staff is working on because you cannot manage what you can’t see. For us at Faith Chapel, that comes in the form of staff goals. We align what our staff is working on through their goals. Anything outside of that, we’re really trying to mitigate through our budgeting process, trying to cut off funding for anything that’s rogue or we try to mitigate it through our calendaring process. And we really focus our staff, we’ve kind of streamlined it over time, on two things. One, an organizational goal. We try to align as many of our staff employees behind the big thing that the church is doing to help us to get where we’re headed. We use a book called “The Four Disciplines of Execution” to help us to organize how we execute that. And then we allow each staff person to set a development goal. So the organizational goal helps us to help the church to get better, but that staff development goal is really intended to help the individual employee get better. And we’re really trying to center what they work on around those two focuses.

Tony (19:33):

That’s good. That’s good. Amy, it seems that one-on-one meetings should be pretty important here. Do you agree? So it’s not just kind of the organizational direction and making sure that ministry teams are aligned, but also taking this to the individual level.

Amy (19:48):

Yeah. And just assumed in this is that we have a manageable span of care, by the way. This is why when I see org charts where someone’s got nine direct reports, that’s a red flag for me. I think every leader has to kind of assess how many people can I actually lead well, so that I’m not just checking a box, but I can have invested conversations with them. You know, Tony, when I saw this question for the webinar, I was thinking of Lance Witt. Lance Witt is the author of, “High-Impact Teams,” the author of, “Replenish.” And so these are his ideas, but it always makes me smile. I think we sometimes, as leaders get enamored with the whole idea of being leaders, not managers, but management really matters. In fact, I pulled this from Lance’s book. He said, “Here’s some of the popular quotes about management. So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.” That was Peter Drucker. Another one, “Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things. Managers light a fire under people, leaders light a fire in people’s hearts.” Or Warren Bennis, “The manager maintains. The leader develops.” And I’m just like, no wonder management gets such a bad rap, but I am very pro-management. I think we need to manage our team members. You know, management is really about having the ability to move the ball down the field and get organizational traction on things. So as I think about one-on-one meetings, here’s why. When you have great one-on-one meetings, like Michael said, we’re clearly defining the target or the goal where we’re aiming to do. You know, you’re painting a picture of success with your team member on what success looks like. So they have clarity. I mean, when I used to do one-on-one interviews with people, and I would say, what does success look like in your position? The most common answer was they’d lean back and they’d go, that’s a great question. Like the simple, what does a win look like? So you may think they’ve got clarity. I’d ask them. Ask your team. What does success look like for your role? See if they can name it. When you regularly meet with team members, you’re talking about priorities, you’re talking about roadblocks that are in their way. And also, when you meet with them, I have a phrase, I say, “What gets noticed gets repeated.” And then, “You get what you tolerate” as a manager, as a leader, right? And so these are opportunities to notice what they’ve been doing well. To praise them. You don’t have to wait for the meeting to do it, but that’s a great place to call it out and then just assess yourself. If performance isn’t there, or if something wasn’t done the way it should have been done, or you won’t hoped it would be done. I always use that phrase, “You get what you tolerate,” because as the leader, you can hold people accountable. And those, when you have a regularly scheduled one-on-one time, I think that needs to be long enough that you can sit and slow your spirit down to connect with your team members, but it doesn’t have to be every week. I’ve said this before. If you have to meet with your employee every week, you probably have the wrong team member. In the church world, it’s always Sunday. It’s a fast paced week, and I get it if you do it. We just met with the church yesterday. And it’s really intentional from a just relational perspective to have a 15 to 30 minute touch base each week. But 15 to 30 minutes isn’t the one-on-one that I’m talking about. You know, it’s a 60 minute or it’s a 90 minute. And by the way, that gives you time to regularly talk about how things going in life, to pray for them, you know, know their family members. So yeah, I’m a big fan. Monthly one-on-ones are great. Team four by fours is one thing that I really like on the visibility side, Michael, where teams get together. Let’s say it’s the, you know, the student ministry team or it’s a leadership team. Here’s the four most important things I need to do in the next four weeks. It brings visibility. I often coach bring a post-it. Put post-its on the wall. Share it with your peer group. Let people ask questions. Challenge it because you leave that meeting. Everyone knows what everyone’s doing, and everyone agrees with what the priorities are, and it kind of fits with, you know, we talk about smart goals over time. We’re at fast goals now for me. It’s frequently discussed. It’s ambitious, it’s specific and it’s transparent. So that brings visibility for me.

Tony (23:53):

That’s great. I like the ambitious part of that the most. Let’s let’s test this out. As the director of consulting at The Unstuck Group, Amy, what would you say the win is for your role?

Amy (24:06):

The win for my role is that regardless of what consultant goes and engages with a church, you have the same excellent experience. So we’ve got the systems and the processes that regardless of who you get, you’ve have a great Unstuck experience. The Unstuck way.

Tony (24:20):

That’s good. Cause that’s what I pay you to do. I’m glad that you said that. Let me just say a word about span of care here. And I don’t know, it’s probably one of those famous people that you just mentioned that talked about management that introduced the concept of a flat organization. I doubt it though. I’m not sure who introduced that concept. I don’t find it works. I don’t find that very flat organizations work, but I see a lot of senior pastors, in particular, that are trying to embrace this flat organization. And I’m not sure what’s driving that. There are probably a lot of reasons. My suspicion is control might have something to do with it, that we feel like we have to be directly connected to a lot of people in our ministries so that we’re kind of controlling what’s happening. But it’s not healthy. It’s not healthy for you. It’s not healthy for your team because they’re vying with a number of other people to get your time and attention. And it doesn’t really allow you the time that you need to be really investing in those key leaders that are around you. So, Amy, I mean, you just kind of said it in passing when it came to span and care, anything that you want to add to that?

Amy (25:40):

I will just say one thing I see when I see weird structures like that. You gave one possible reason. I sometimes find that leaders and managers are more clear on who they don’t want to be than who they do want to be. So sometimes that flatness is due to maybe some other leader that was bad and got too hierarchical. And so they swung the whole other way cause I don’t want to be that way, but there are certainly so many best practices out there. And span of care is a piece of that, right? That we need to focus as leaders on who do we want to be as a leader versus who don’t we want to be.

Tony (26:13):

That’s good. That’s good. All right. Yeah. So, those were the three questions that we promised, but I thought my goodness, I have Amy here. I have Michael here. I want to ask them this question. What question should we be asking? So Amy, I want to start with you. Are there any other questions related to staffing and structure that we should be asking?

Amy (26:33):

Yeah. I think we have to ask if we are really aligning our people with the work, and I’m kind of looping back Michael, to where you went. So this is our strategic alignment and you know, down here, we call this the foundational level. What do we believe? Why do we exist? And who do we want people to becoming when they look like Jesus? And then we emphasize this often, especially recently, when we get to this level in here, we’re really talking about direction now. And it’s those questions like you said, are we climbing Mount Everest? Are we making an iPhone? Again, a great illustration, Michael. But where are we going? And I’m just going to start at this level. What does success look like for the organization? This is a question you have to have answered if you’re going to have a team that’s aligned to the work that that the ministry is doing. Okay, what does it look like? Then we ask the how question, right? Tony, once we know what the targets are, what do we think success looks like for our organization? How are we going to accomplish that? And then we align to the ministry priorities and personal, and this is the connection that I want to talk about. When we have those results clear, we need to break these results. We need to help ministries understand what part of those goals they own. That keeps their priorities clear. Everyone should be able to answer what are the results we should be achieving? And then what are the best strategies to achieve those results? And then here, which leader in your organization owns what parts of that? Okay. So in the digital strategy world, for example, your digital strategist, whether it’s a high level of volunteer or it’s a staff team member, they need to know what success looks like now for their ministry, because it’s how they’re contributing to these overall goals. So I think that alignment piece is what you have to really step back and ask, are we doing this directional level well so that our team members know how they contribute to that? That’s what’s going to keep us all pulling in the same direction. The second question would just be, back to the pruning and I say it all the time. It’s so biblical, and us as churches, we’re just the worst at it.

Tony (28:44):

We are the worst at it. I’ll use that. We are the worst step pruning. We really are.

Amy (28:51):

I know, because we love our people and people love our ministry. We love our ministries and we, I mean, I plant beets every spring. Okay. And then they pop up and then I’m supposed to thin them to an inch apart. And I’m just like, it’s so painful because I just want every one of those little beets to thrive. But the truth is if I don’t prune them back, I’m not going to have any beets. So we all understand pruning, but I just wrote down, what have you stopped doing lately because it’s not effective, because it’s not producing the results that you’d want it to produce, or what new things have you tried lately? And if you haven’t stopped anything and you haven’t tried anything lately, that should be a red flag for you because we have to continuously reinvent our methods to reach a culture.

Tony (29:40):

That’s good, Amy. All right. Michael, same question for you. What question should we be asking?

Michael (29:46):

Yeah, that’s a great question. I would say, as a church leadership team, what do we need to change? What do we need to shift to lean into shifting our staff, shifting our employees, as Amy mentioned, more from doing the work of the ministry to equipping the saints, equipping the people in the congregation to do the work of the ministry. How do we lean more into Ephesians 4:12? It’s a mindset shift. It’ll take time. I think as leaders, you have to define what that looks like for your staff. What does it mean? What does it look like to empower volunteers? I think you have to teach it. I think as leaders, you have to model it, you have to reward employees when they do it. But how do we begin to shift from thinking my role as an employee is to do the work more so than my role is to equip and coach those who do. I think even beyond that, the second question that I would encourage leaders to think about what habits do we need to begin to develop or embrace to spend more time developing people than tasks? So as leaders, it’s very tempting to lean into tasks, spend more of your time into tasks. But if we can develop habits and develop rhythms where we’re pouring into people, staff people, volunteer leaders, it’ll help with the overstaffing issue, longer term. But it’ll also create some margin for us as senior leaders to begin to have some time and margin to think, okay, where are we headed and to spend more time in the future, but in order to do that and create that margin, you have to develop a habit and rhythm of investing in people even more than you do your tasks. And so talking through what does that rhythm look like for us as leaders?

Tony (31:32):

That’s good. That’s good. So I thought about this, too. I think the question should be why did we get to this point? Why did we get to this point where we’re asking questions about, do we have the right people? Are we running after the right things? Are we actually efficient and effective in what we’re doing as an organization? I think we should be asking, why did we get to this place that we’re asking those questions? And my suspicion is, if we’re honest about this, if we don’t intentionally step back periodically and have these types of conversations, thinking about direction for the future and then the right structure to support that direction, we just start, we naturally drift back to what we’ve always done. And the problem for us in ministry is Sunday’s always coming. Ministry never stops. I mean, we’re in the people business. And with that comes all kinds of opportunities and all kinds of ministry challenges, too. And that just doesn’t stop. And if we’re not careful, we can slip into complacency that if we let that go for too long, ends up being neglect, and we are then really, we are feeling the pain and really, you know, are kind of grasping for answers to these critical questions. So my encouragement is even when you think things are going well, put that time on your calendar six months from now, 12 months from now to consider again, what are we about? Where is God calling us to go into the future? What are we going to do to get that done? And then are we structured the right way? Do we have the right team and the right roles to be able to accomplish what God has for our church?

Sean (33:18):

Well, thanks for joining us on this week’s podcast. If you’re sensing you may need some help realigning your staff team for the next season of ministry, let’s start a conversation. You can do that by visiting us at theunstuckgroup.com/start. Next week, we’re back with another brand new podcast episode. So until then, we hope you have a great week.

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Tony Morgan

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group, theunstuckgroup.com. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com.
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