Ministry is messy and sometimes breaks through job descriptions. A youth pastor shared with me how the part-time Director of Children’s Ministry in the church he served was an exceptional mentor of high school women. This male youth director, recognizing the gifts of this female leader, offered to help out with some of her children’s ministry responsibilities to free up some of her time to be with the youth. When the church’s employee supervising committee discovered the arrangement, they shut it down. The Children’s Director was to stay with the children, and the youth director with the youth. Otherwise, the committee said, it would be too confusing. Bad call. The church should use all the gifts at their disposal.
Some staff members have gifts and abilities that don’t fit into their job descriptions. Use them anyway. Like anyone else, we like to do what we are passionate about and to use our giftedness. Don’t let a job description stifle ministry.
Your staff members need room to grow. Tightly confined to the parameters of their job description, they may outgrow their position and begin to look elsewhere for places to use all of their gifts to their fullest.
I shared in another post, how blessed I have been to have lead pastors who have given me opportunities to grow. Not only was that good for me, that was also good for the congregations. One saw my love for creating events that youth and their parents enjoyed, and encouraged me to launch a family ministry program. Another saw me leading worship for the youth group and asked if I would consider working toward the birth of a modern-style worship service. Another saw my passion for reaching beyond the walls of the church and asked if I would be the staff representative to the congregation’s program ministries. Each of those opportunities gave me room to grow in my ministry, and benefited the congregations greatly.
Making us of the gifts and abilities of your staff is a great way to grow your ministry. You may not need to go through the long, expensive process of hiring another staff member. You may have the gifts needed in one of the people already on the staff. Look around. Ask for interest. Mentor that staff member in their expanded responsibilities. Give them permission to delegate some of their primary responsibilities to committees and volunteers to make room for the effort needed to launch this new venture.
Don’t take advantage of your staff. Compensate accordingly the staff member willing to take on more, but use the gifts that you have before you.