The blessing of team

Meet my staff team.  Actually, it’s not my team – it’s God’s team.  He put it together and then He was kind enough to bless me with them.

Ministry in the local church is hard work.  There are sermons to prepare, services to plan and organize, people to visit and problems that need sorting out.  Hardly a week goes by that doesn’t present one challenge or another.  There is no way that one individual (even full-time) can address all these needs.  And the bigger the church, the more complex and difficult the job becomes.

In the past I have simply taken on another full-time pastor.  “Two can do a better job than one,” as the saying goes.   And an extra pair of hands certainly makes a difference.  But you’re not likely to find that kind of person in your congregation, which means you have to hire from the outside.  And hiring from the outside requires a very lengthy search process and a certain element of risk: the individual might not be a good fit.

This time I’ve taken a different path.  Instead of hiring one person full-time, I’ve hired several people part-time.  Instead of one pair of extra hands, I have seven.  And they all come from within our church.  So they’ve already been tested.  And they are committed to the church’s mission and vision.  I know them, and I trust them.  And they know and trust me.

Of course it’s important when hiring new staff, that the individuals are competent and have the necessary skills.  But that’s why this team is such a blessing.  Each one of these beautiful people are skilled and competent in their area of ministry.  They not only make my job easier.  They do things that I could never possibly do.

So let me introduce each one of them to you:

This is Rochelle, our administrator.  She is the front door of our church.  It’s her smile and her face people see and her voice they hear when they come into our office.  And she can do more than answer phones and sign for courier parcels.  She teaches bible, disciples young women, writes curriculum, and helps keep our website up to date and looking good.

This is Sean, our Youth Pastor.  He does that 20 hours a week. The other 20 hours he is working on his MDiv so he can be in full-time ministry.  Sean is an ex-cop, so we have any trouble around the place he’s the go-to man.  Sean has a wonderful blend of seriousness and wit, which helps us all take what we do seriously but not take ourselves too seriously.  We love Sean and the Youth Ministry is flourishing under his leadership.

This is Annette.  Annette takes care of the bookings for the Headingly Centre.  She is the interface between our church and the community.  She welcomes groups into our building, provides what they need and then follows up by asking how it all went and what we could have done better.  Annette has a key role because we want outsiders to feel like they are valued and served.

This is Francelle.  Francelle is our Children’s Ministry Director.  Francelle is great with kids and loves to making the big truths of God real to young hearts.  She is also an equipper and wants to train and equip others to do what she does.  It’s a big job ministering to 30 plus kids.  It takes a team to do it well.  Francelle also has a wonderful ministry to the women of our church, teaching them how to study the Word.

This is Linda.  Linda is our Finance and Accounts manager.  She used to do Rochelle’s job and this job at the same time.  Nobody quite figured out how she managed it.  Now that her role has been scaled back, Linda can put more time into the Pinnacle House ministry which she has a real passion for.  Linda would be the most seasoned person on our team so brings a lot of wisdom and experience.

This is Leanne.  Leanne is our new Outreach Influence Team Leader.  Notice the word influence.  Her job is to encourage, stimulate, and inspire all of us to be more intentional in gospel outreach, starting with the people God has already placed around us.  Leanne has a deep love for God, for his church and for the lost.  She is the perfect person for the job.

This is Jada. Jada is our Sunday Services Creative Director, which means she overseas everything that happens on a Sunday morning.  She also looks for fresh and creative ways to communicate the “big idea” of my message.  She meets with me every week and we go over the Sunday coming up as well as the three Sundays that follow.  On top of that she also keeps our church website looking fresh and up to date, as well as doing video shoots and interviews and… (the list goes on!)

My job is to encourage all these wonderful people, care for them, and ensure they don’t overwork themselves in their role.  With most part-time jobs you clock in, do your hours and then clock out and go home.  It doesn’t work that way in local-church ministry (except with the odd exception).  Your work is also your service to Jesus.  You do it for love, not money.  Your work follows you wherever you go.  It becomes part of who you are.  That’s why most part-time church staff work way beyond their allotted hours.  If the church is not careful, it could take advantage of that.

I don’t want that happening with this team. I want to look after them.  I want to make sure they feel supported and appreciated.  It’s not often a pastor gets a crack team like this.  I am truly blessed.

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