Church Staffing for Health and Expansion
Staffing needs in churches are as varied as churches themselves. In most churches, the largest percentage of the operating budget goes to personnel costs. Spending those dollars wisely is one of the highest priorities for a healthy church to address. Staffing to mission, rather than adapting your church’s mission and plans to fit the skills or preferences of individual staff members is also at the heart of a healthy staffing model. As the American religious culture continues to shift, new and adaptive models of staffing are emerging that value stewardship of resources and recognize the need to think creatively about roles and assignments. Thoughtful churches are proactively seeking out new models and ways of staffing for the future.
In smaller churches, staffing and developing job descriptions is more a question of who volunteers and how much time they have than who’s right for the job. Bringing coherence and strategic thinking to this model is essential for congregational health. An unstructured approach to staffing and structuring your organizational chart can lead to inefficiencies and redundancies that hinder the growth of your church in the long term.
The Center for Healthy Churches can help you structure, right-size, restructure or reimagine your staff in a way that accomplishes your church’s vision and long-term goals. When you start staffing for healthy growth instead of just to fill a need, you are positioning your ministry team to perform at a higher level.
The CHC Staffing and Organization Chart Consultation Process
The first thing we’ll do when we conduct an organizational chart consultation is sit down with your leadership team and make sure they are all aligned on your church’s mission, vision, and goals. These are the cornerstones for building a strong foundation for growth in your church.
Once the leadership team is aligned, it’s time to think about each staff member of the church, their job description, and how they fit into the organizational chart. We will also identify key priorities of the church that are not addressed in the current staffing structure. This can feel overwhelming, especially for larger churches with a more complex organizational chart, but your CHC consultant will be with you every step of the way to answer questions and guide you through the process.
While the exact process will be unique to every church’s individual setup and needs, all staffing for growth consultations include:
Clarification of Congregational Vision, Goals and Desired Outcomes
You want to be sure your staffing model actually corresponds to your congregation’s highest priorities.That alignment is essential and is at the heart of a healthy congregational approach to staffing.
Assessing Individual/Team Strengths and Group Dynamics
You want to ensure that the right people are in the right seats. Assess each of your staff members’ individual strengths, giftings, and callings. Could they be more effective in a different position? Are they qualified to manage the position they are currently in?
Then you’ll want to look at how well each ministry area functions as a group. Are some areas struggling while others excel? If so, why? Is it an issue of clarity or are the group dynamics off? How can you accommodate those needs?
What needs and opportunities might be better met by volunteers rather than paid staff? Many churches are realizing that a shared laity-clergy staffing model is more and more a financial necessity. What would it look like to move toward a shared approach to staffing?
Your CHC consultant will help you answer those questions and find solutions for each member of the staff.
Clarify Decision Rights
While we’re all for democracy, there is a reason that churches have leadership teams and hierarchical structures. When there is no clear decision-maker, decisions tend not to be made. Clarifying your organizational chart so that every staff member knows who their direct report is will help clear bottlenecks and streamline all of your processes. Organizational charts also assign accountability for certain projects and decisions, should someone need to be held responsible.
Assess Staff Leadership Capacity and Potential
Your CHC consultant will help you assess the effectiveness of your leadership team and point out opportunities for improvement. This doesn’t mean anyone is doing a bad job or that they will lose their position. It just means that if anyone is struggling to fulfill their duties or they are being overburdened by their job description, we can now find ways to better support them and ensure that no one is asked to handle more than they can bear.
This is also a great time to consider establishing a succession plan and identifying those on your staff who would make good leaders in the case of retirement or vacancy.
Plan and Execute the Restructure and Evaluate Impact
Once you have a handle on your current situation, CHC will provide you with the guidance and know-how you need to plan out any changes and restructuring to your organizational chart that need to occur.
From rolling out the plan to staff to helping implement the changes step-by-step, your consultant is here to answer questions and help you navigate the process. And once the restructuring is complete, we’ll help you evaluate how successful it was and how impactful it’s been on your processes and overall team motivation.
You’ll find that once you start structuring and staffing for growth, your church will become capable of greater things under God than you could have believed possible.