Elevating Excellence

The pastor needs a team with the talent, experience, and expertise to manage the organization.

The problem is that as many pastors start building their staffs, they make the understandable mistake of only focusing on the ministry side of the organization and only hiring people who look, think, and act like they do. Most good pastors are generally creative extroverts who need to talk to and guide and lead people—and that is great. However, the result of hiring a group of people who meet the pastoral requirement is a team of “pastors” who will be looking for their own ministry group to lead, oversee, and inspire (correctly so—they want a group of people to pastor). At the end of the day, you end up with one “pastor,” who leads the overall organization, supported by a staff of people who all perceive themselves as ministry leaders who will oversee their individual area where they get the individual satisfaction that they need to be fulfilled as a minister.

That gets you halfway to the finish line. It doesn’t get you to the finish line.

With the right ministry staff, you will have a group of inspired ministries under the aegis of a group of fulfilled leaders. The problem is that it leaves no one to focus on the details of running the business side of an organization. There is no one who focuses on making the organization the best it can be.

The second mistake that all too many leaders make then compounds the first when they assign one of their ministry leaders to take the role of executive pastor or administrator. The problem here is that you have someone who has a great heart for ministry but no business skills, (or worse yet, perceived business skills), running the business side of the organization.

To solve the problem, the pastor, at the same time that he or she is building out the pastoral staff, needs to be giving even greater focus toward building a team with disparate talents and disparate callings to lead the business of the organization.

One key to success in any organization, but certainly with a church or ministry, is for the leader to build a team where everyone involved in leadership understands his or her respective gifts and talents, weaknesses, and roles within the organization. It is our responsibility to use those gifts and talents. With an understanding of each person’s talents, the team can be organized in a way where people are in the right role.

Remember, the most talented person in the world cannot fully succeed in the wrong role—it will only lead to frustration on all sides.

In the church today, one of the hardest things to find, and one of the most valuable, is people who embrace the fact that their calling and talent is best suited for a role that supports and makes the pastor or leader more effective.

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