Jul 8, 2009

What If I Have People On Staff That Don’t Like The Church?

Last week I posted, “Seven Questions Leadership Teams Should Wrestle With,” and got the following question via Twitter…

“Pastor P, what if I have a staff member who answered “no” to the question, ‘Would we even attend this church if we were not on staff?’”

In my opinion this is a pretty serious problem…if a staff member would not attend the church where he is working if he were not on staff…then how in the heck can they be fully entrusted with the vision?  BUT…the automatic “go to” answer is NOT, “fire them!”  (It’s the easy answer…but not the right one!)  If this were the case with a staff member at NewSpring Church then I would ask several questions…

#1 - WHO is this staff member? Are they a recent hire…or have they been around a long time?  The longer a person has been on staff the more serious this becomes.

#2 - WHAT is going on in this staff members life? Pastors—remember, we are called to lead people—NOT DRIVE THEM!  And quite often hurting people hurt people.  One of the things I’ve discovered is that sometimes people say things they don’t mean when their lives are seemingly hitting rock bottom.  MAYBE it isn’t a church issue…MAYBE it’s a personal issue that is spilling over into this area in their lives.

#3 - WHY is the staff member feeling this way? The only way you can answer this question is through a conversation.  If a person claims they would not attend the church if not on staff then they have GOT to have a reason (or reasons) why.  SO…ask them!  Sometimes leaders will avoid this because they fear controversy…or maybe because they might hear what they don’t want to hear…but…if we truly value the contribution the staff member is making to the team then we should pay attention to their concern.

#4 - Is the staff member being divisive? If the answer is “yes” then the issue must be dealt with as quickly as possible.  I have often told church leaders, “satan is way more passionate about dividing your staff rather than your church!”  Staff unity MUST be protected…ALWAYS!  PLEASE note I did not say, “Staff Uniformity,” people can have different opinions…but Jesus said something about a Kingdom divided against itself will surely fall!!!

#5 - Can the issue be resolved? Vision can NEVER be compromised…so…if I had a staff member that hated the fact we were seeing people meet Jesus, thus causing the church to get larger…then I would have to go NSYNC on them!  (“Bye Bye Bye!”  NOW that song is in your head—thank you!)  BUT…maybe, just maybe the staff member doesn’t have a problem with VISION…but rather the methods in which the vision is being carried out.  If that is the case then it is possible for the issue to be resolved…and…it is definitely worth a conversation.  BUT…if the staff member refuses to get on board then they have to be released to go elsewhere and be a part of something they believe in!

If you want to have a church that is on fire…then a staff FULL of Jesus, FULL of vision and FULL of love for HIS church is a MUST!  The church is too important to have people who merely perform for a paycheck but are not absolutely 100% sold out to the vision and direction the church is headed.

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