What It Means to Be On Staff

I sent this to all of our lead team staff about a month ago as a reminder…

What does it mean to be on the Lead Team?

1. Preparation. If I send you something (or any of us send each other something) for a meeting, then you need to read it and come with some thoughts. If I send you a message to discuss, print it out, read it and make some notes. This will keep our meeting productive. As the Lead Team, we set the tone for the rest of our staff in this area.
a. Send discussion items to Anthony – this is advance planning on your part.
b. Bring information to the meeting. If we’re talking about small group leadership development, bring the rough draft of the training document. That’s being prepared.
c. Think about what people will ask in advance before they ask it. Especially me! If you think about it, you can probably provide information that will answer the questions in advance. There’s too much waiting around for people to ask or inspect, and not enough proactive.

2. Active participation. I’ve noticed something troubling in our meetings. All of us, myself included, tune out a little bit when the discussion moves away from our core area. We don’t need to clam up when talking about something that isn’t our deal. In our Tuesday program meeting, I need everyone actively engaged in making the message better, not sending e-mails or acting like we’ve taken you away from something important. The reason that I asked you into that meeting is because Sunday’s service is VITALLY important to everything we do. We need to actively participate and focus on what’s before us. As a Lead Team, we are responsible for spotting potential problems down the road, evaluating from 30,000 feet, and leading this church. This is not only hard work, it’s mentally tough work. I need you to dial in. We have two meetings each week, both of which are vitally important to our success as a church: The Lead Team Meeting and The Production Meeting. We don’t have a staff of 50, so most of you guys are also counted on for opinions for the Production Meeting too. You should be honored to be a part of that process, by the way. I don’t know a lot of pastors that regularly ask their staff what should be cut or added from messages. It’s time to tune in and dial it up.

3. Follow Thru. You’ve all been in situations where things are talked about but never done, right? I don’t want our meetings to be that way. If we decide something and make someone responsible for something, then it’s your responsibility to follow thru with it. If it’s hard, time consuming, or isn’t your favorite task in the world, that’s irrelevant to me. I will not sit around and discuss something for 30 minutes, only to have the ball dropped later. Dropping the ball is really retroactively wasting time – four people spending 30 minutes talking about something that never actually happens is a collective waste of 2 hours. You should be taking notes during meetings and then reporting on the progress you’ve made on your action list.

4. Debating. I don’t think we’re having enough healthy debate, and I’m going to do a better job to try and foster that. I want you guys to speak up and have an opinion. I want you to feel strongly about things, not have a whatever attitude about topics. If you don’t agree with a policy or a decision, then it’s okay to debate it (with the appropriate attitude and in the appropriate time). Arguing and discussing is not bad for a team…it’s actually good. Nobody is going to get fired for expressing their opinion.

5. Hard Work. I expect more from you guys than I do the rest of our staff. That’s just the bottom line. I expect you guys to abide by the financial procedures, the procedures for putting dates on the calendar. I don’t like filling out purchase orders, but I do it anyway. And out of all of us, I’m probably one that could get the free pass. But I’m trying to set an example and play by the same rules. Ministry isn’t a 9-5 job, and stuff just has to get done. Choose to cheat all you want, but that is no excuse not to be excellent. You have to figure out how to be a good dad, good husband and good employee. That’s why you’re on the Lead Team and not a part time youth pastor or worship at a 100-person church. The bar is higher for you, and it’s probably going to keep going higher. And by the way, there will never come a day when the schedule isn’t hectic or things slow down.

If it sounds like I’m being a little tough on you, it’s because I am. I don’t think we’re clicking on all cylinders when it comes to leadership. I’m hearing too much whining about the things to do and not enough vision.

We talk about connecting the dots for our people…making sure they know why they are doing what they are doing…making sure they understand the purpose and the vision and the importance of their task. The same goes for us. On Tuesday, nothing is more important that day than our production meeting – the time when we plan out services, that will be experienced by 600+ people. That’s the time when we want God to speak to people. That’s a big dot that needs to be connected. On Monday, nothing, and I mean nothing, is more important than preparing for and participating in our lead team meeting. That’s the time when the men who are called by God get together to discuss the operation of God’s church. That’s an important task that we all need to take seriously.

This church is not a youth group. It’s not a hobby. It’s part of the Kingdom of God, and as the Lead Team, I’m trusting you to carry that torch.

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2 comments so far

  1. alex mclean on

    my sentiments, exactly… I especially love the part about not being a part timer at a 100 person church, and the that this church is not a youth group, hobby. I don’t think it’s an accident that churches grow, and continue to grow.

  2. Matthew on

    What exactly do you mean by this church is not part of the youth group?

    Doesn’t the youth group pursue excellence as well? or am I just missing something?


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