When you have a strong and dedicated staff of people helping your ministry achieve its goals, everything becomes much easier. While it would be nice to think that all ministries have a group of people who are there in times of need, that's not always the case. According to AnthonyCoppedge.com, a church consultancy group, staffing is one of the biggest issues many ministries face. As a ministry leader, you often have many things to do, and managing a staff that needs a lot of guidance probably isn't high on your list of priorities. Until there is a quality, trustworthy staff in place though, there isn't much else you can do. Here are some tips to help you build a productive and tight knit team.
Think about the purpose not the position
It can often be easy to just try to fill a position, but it's smarter to find someone who's role has a specific purpose. According to the Enrichment Journal, ministry leaders need to ask the question "why?" when they are recruiting candidates. Why are you hiring this person in the first place? Why is this job important to the ministry? If you can answer this question and you have a person who can fulfill the purpose of the position, then you may have found who you were looking for.
Utilize dedicated volunteers
When most people think staff, they usually think of only people who are being paid, but at a ministry your staff extends to all the people who volunteer. In many ways these people are the backbone of the ministry, they do the good work that needs done because it is the right thing to do. To help ensure your volunteers stick with you, make sure they know how much they are appreciated. Throw a party where you highlight people's achievements and thank them for their service to the ministry. This is a way of paying them for their time that doesn't have to do with money.
Place natural leaders in the right roles
Some people are better suited for leadership than others, and it would be a waste if they were not given a role that let them shine. Don't be afraid to have several people leading. Let each of them lead a different project. Remember, "Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory," Proverbs 11:14. Just make sure the people in leadership roles are working together to complete tasks. If there is any trouble, consider appointing one person to oversee everyone else.
Use ministry software to help manage everything
Volunteers and other staff members can be easily managed with ministry software. There are solutions for event management, donations, fundraisers, media, etc. The software is specifically designed to help ministries manage all of their programs and activities. The use of standard calendar applications and spreadsheets can only help so much. At some point having a good staff and volunteer management system is a smart move for any ministry.
Utilize people strengths
The people we think we know well can often surprise us. Many have hidden skills and strengths that can be very helpful to the ministry. For this reason it can be a good idea to meet with each individual staff member periodically to discuss what they would like to be a part of. When you sit down to talk with your staff members make sure you ask them about their skills, hobbies, goals and aspirations. Find out if they would be interested in learning new things or if they have an affinity or interest in a certain area of the ministry. According to Churchleaders, you don't want to pigeonhole people. These questions will help ensure that you're placing people where they can be best utilized.
Not everyone on your staff is going to know exactly how to complete the tasks they are given. When this happens you should provide them with training. Have them work with someone who has previously completed the tasks or something similar. This can be especially important when it comes to events and fundraisers. Having multiple people know how to use the event management software can help ensure that everything goes to plan. Consider hosting some training sessions a few times a week to ensure that everyone involved at least knows some of the basic functions of the system so that you don't have to have one highly-skilled person trying to help everyone the day of the event.