Brandon Stewart Communications

Staff Sabotage

Staff sabotage is one of the great enemies of a healthy volunteer spirit in a local church.  If you are a pastor or church leader, and woke up this morning frustrated because you don’t have enough help or see too few people in your church doing too much, then read on…this is for you.

Disclaimer: When I reference “staff,” I’m not only referencing paid staff (many churches have leadership roles filled by unpaid staff members, ex: “core teams”)

Staff sabotage occurs when:

  • A staff member occupies a role or task that should be filled by a volunteer.
  • Staff is too busy, and volunteers are too few.
  • When a Pastor or department leader has a need, and automatically assumes they must hire someone to get the job done.
  • A staff member thinks they are paid to do a job, rather than lead.
Ephesians 4 talks about the role of church leadership, and says these words (verse 12): “…to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”
The role of a staff member is not TO DO… it is TO LEAD.  We consider this a basic requirement to be on staff at our church: you must be able to lead and manage volunteers.  Every person on our team leads and manages volunteers.

One of my favorite things about my church is that we have a healthy, compelling volunteer spirit.  You could walk into our doors on any weekend of the year, and you would not be able to tell staff apart from volunteers (check out this blog by my friend, Jake Sutherland, on his view of volunteering).  That’s because we have cultivated high level volunteers that are as bought-in and committed as staff.

The key with this issue is the way you think.  You must think differently if you are going to lead differently.  

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