How does a church keep staff leadership connected to elected church leadership?
August 11, 2010
Updated December 20, 2011
1 comment 36 views
I posted this in the "Church Administration" forum, but would also like input from pastors. I'm sorry if this is redundant for some of you. My question is... For those of you with a sizable staff, I'm wondering how you keep staff leadership connected to elected church leadership. Specifically, do you have staff members present at any of the church leadership meetings (council, elders, deacons)? If so, are they present for the whole meeting or just a part? Thanks!
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Thanks, Tony, for putting this query on the Pastors Network too. It fits both places in Church Administration and here.
I'm not sure what qualifies as a "sizable" staff, but I'll respond from my perspective of a pastor of a church with two full-time ministry staff persons--lead pastor and youth ministry director--and a 15-20 hour a week music in worship coordinator. We also have a full-time treasurer-administrative assistant and a 25 (plus or minus) hour a week custodian. All five of us meet weekly for an hour to hour and a half for updates, prayer, coffee.
As lead pastor I attend our monthly leadership council, as does our youth ministry director. Neither of us votes there, but we contribute to and sometimes lead parts of discussions. The music in worship coordinator and I attend worship monthly committee meetings and take part in sub-committees regularly for planning specific worship services. That responsibility is also shared by other worship committee members who tap into resources and gifts from others in the congregation who are not always members of worship commitee. Ex officio I am also part of our consistory (elders), who meet monthly. For three years I was chair of elders, but was happy after that period not to let my name stand for another year. I don't vote at elders or full council meetings either--with the council meeting four times a year regularly with very occasional special and brief meetings.
Ministry staff members attend the complete meetings, except in instances where confidential personnel issues are dealt with. Our administrative assistant and custodian do not attend leadership meetings, though the admin assistant-treasurer serves on finance committee ex officio. Each staff member has a liaison from our personnel committee; that liaison is to meet monthly with her or his staff person, though that does not always happen. The efficiacy of those relationships often depends on personal chemistry and the membership and leadership of the committee. In other words, sometime we limp; sometimes we stride purposefully along!
This gives a fairly complete overview of our congregation's former staffing structure and relationship to leadership bodies. I believe there is a right amount of involvementand interplay which at its best keeps staff and elected volunteer leadership in generally good communication. Others might differ, but this is my story and I'm stickin' to it.
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