Do you want staff in the next five years? Begin right now to create the structures that would support a staff member if in fact God blessed you with one.

Everyone thinks that their problems would be solved if they just had a staff person. And in some ways, that could be true. An extra person or two to assist and support you might seem like a dream come true. The question, however, is would you know what to do with a staff person if one were provided? Ponder that. If you went to work on Monday morning and found out that the church was providing you with a 40-hour a week Children’s Ministry Associate, would you know what to do? After your initial elation at this news, it would probably sink in very quickly that “I have to find something for this person to do”. It’s harder than it looks. It’s not as simple as adding staff. It comes down to having a structure to support, manage, and facilitate that staff. The majority of leaders that I know would think that they could get so much done if they had someone to co-labor with them. Sadly, this is rarely the case. Many leaders squander an opportunity of a part-time or full-time staff person because they themselves did not know how to manage someone and did not have the structures in place.  Adding staff is an art form. Don’t waste the precious commodity of an additional staff member.

Staff for the next five yearsI had a leader under my charge, years ago, who was consistently begging for additional staff support. He felt he was unable to accomplish and conquer things because he needed staff. The budget didn’t allow for it, but over time, as I continued to listen to his pleas I made a consolation and leveraged some of my chips and budget to provide a 40 hour a week summer intern. One day, my associate came into my office with a facial expression of exacerbation and exhaustion, and said to me, “if this guy asks me one more time what he should do next, I think I’m going to freak out”. This was the staff person he had been begging for! I began to explain to my leader that quite possibly the reason God had not provided an opportunity for us to add a staff member under him, is that he was unprepared for a staff member. He expected this intern to know what to do and not to bother him. That is not leadership. That is not how you handle having staff under you.

GET THE FREE E-BOOK - "How to Build a Staff with NO Budget"

As a leader who had seven employees under them in Children’s Ministry, I had to learn how to leverage my time in order to effectively lead, manage, and work with “long arms”. I was achieving things through an extension of myself with these seven employees. I had to learn a brand-new set of rules for myself. I’m a person who wants to achieve and get something done, but my agenda for the day need to be reallocated to understand that part of my job was to keep seven employees on track and moving in the same direction. The role of a leader is to lead, but the role of a doer is simply to do.

My suggestion, if you desire to have staff in five years, would be to begin creating the structures that would support such a blessing, right now. Do you have an impeccable meeting structure or are you unorganized? Do you have a process to do job reviews? If you don’t, that is something that you would need in order to effectively manage another person. Create for yourself right now a process to conduct quarterly or annual reviews with your top tier volunteers. This will do nothing but set you up for success in the event that God provides you with a staff member. It is crazy to think that just adding a staff member will take care of all of your woes. It will, quite possibly compound your woes if you don’t have a structure to deal with the addition of a staff member.

Do you want staff in the next five years? Begin right now to create the structures that would support a staff member if in fact God blessed you with one.