Working at church seems like it would be so easy, doesn’t it? I mean, staff members get to hang out together all day, think about Jesus all the time, and work with church members who are precious. It’s like a party everyday up there!
If we’re honest, that’s what we think a lot of the time.
From first-hand experience, I will tell you this view of church staffs cannot be more wrong.
There are a million things to do. All the time. There are a ton of details that people don’t see that go into making church happen. Bulletins to create and print. Websites to manage. Meetings to plan for and attend. Services, programs, and activities to handle. Volunteers to recruit, schedule, train, and unleash into their ministries. Elders/deacons to manage. Phone calls to take. Distractions galore. Sermons to prepare. Air conditioners to fix. Never-ending building concerns. Vendors to connect with and make sure work gets done. Tons of emails to be sent. Curriculum to be planned. Visions to be casted and executed well. Budgets to be balanced. Etc.
Not to mention shepherding to be done…to us precious church folk who don’t act all that precious a lot of the time. And ministers have to be on call around the clock for when we need them.
Working at a church is both absolutely amazing, fun, and rewarding…and extremely hard!
Now that I’m not working on a church staff anymore, I feel a great need to support, encourage and shepherd my church staff…and any church staff members from other churches that I come into contact with.
Here are 12 ways we can support our church staffs:
- Pray for them. Every church staff member no matter their role.
- Let them know you are praying. They need to know! I knew the handful of people who were praying for me and my family daily, and it was HUGE to me!
- Encourage them. Be known for looking for their successes! So many times, they only hear negative things. Too many times, “No news is good news”is the norm. We can do much better than that!
- Invite them to breakfast, lunch, dinner or coffee. Who doesn’t like to eat? 🙂
- Take interest in them and their families. Get to know them. We expect them to get to know us and connect with everyone. We need to make a point to connect with them.
- Send them notes of encouragement and possibly small gifts of appreciation. When you write a note, be specific! Don’t just say thanks. Tell them what you are proud of them for, the ways they have been rocking their job lately, how you see them being Jesus to others. Get creative! Specific notes mean a whole lot more than generic ones!
- Praise them to others. Be known for being their biggest fan!
- Take food to the church office. They will love you forever!
- Ask how you can help…and then help!
- Find ways to be their shepherd. They need shepherds too!
- Encourage them to get out of the office some during the work day. Help them find ways to get out in the community. Cheer them on in doing continuing ed. Expect them to use all of their vacation days.
- Lower your expectations a notch. They can’t do everything and be everything to everyone! Church isn’t about how we can be served. It’s not about our “needs” or wants. It’s about having a place to find community. To be with each other. Support each other. A place to get some fuel so that you can be launched into your daily lives to minister to those around you.
Our church staffs need our support. They need to feel loved, supported, and appreciated so they can continue leading and pointing us to Jesus in new and creative ways. I hope you’ll join me in trying to find ways to let them know that we are their biggest fans!
What other ideas do you have for ways we can support church staffs?