In order to most effectively serve the Lord and His church, a church staff must have certain qualities. The following are ten characteristics I emphasize to our staff so that we may continue to grow in the work of the Lord:
The Right Spirit
The prophet Daniel was preferred because he had an excellent spirit. The spirit of a team member can either advance or stall the mission of the church. What each team member needs is the spirit of Jonathan’s armorbearer who said, “Do all that is in thine heart: turn thee; behold, I am with thee according to thy heart” (1 Samuel 14:7). A person with this spirit is not easily offended, and a pastor will listen to his suggestions and questions because they are asked in the right spirit.
Whenever staff members’ giftedness surpasses their character, it eventually creates cynicism among those they work with. Because leadership begins with who we are, it is vital that we demonstrate integrity in morality and finances.
When the Holy Spirit directed Philip, he ran to meet the chariot (Acts 8:30). He had a passion to reach the lost and obey the Lord. Others can tell when we have passion in our work. It shows in our teaching and preaching. It requires character to be passionate about every part of our ministry, because, let’s be honest, we don’t get to do what we love to do every hour of the day. But our church deserves to have leaders who have passion.
Compassion has been described as “your hurt in my heart.” When Jesus saw the multitudes, He had compassion on them (Matthew 9:36). Can the same be said of us when we see those in our community who are spiritually lost? If we lose compassion for the lost, we have lost the heartbeat of our Saviour.
Members of great teams, regardless of their field of work, display loyalty. For servants in a local church, our loyalty is to the Saviour, the work of the Lord, and our local church. God shed His own blood for the church and gave pastors to oversee the flock. As a staff member, learn the heart of your pastor. He is accountable to the Lord for the care of the church. Sometimes ask yourself, “How is what I am doing right now helping Pastor?”
I often tell our church and staff that a growing church is always in transition. Processes that worked three years ago may now have bottlenecks and need to be improved. The position a staff member was hired for may completely change over time. Flexibility, a spirit willing to get out of a comfort zone, is essential to making these transitions work.
There is a difference between activity and productivity. The ministry is no place for a man whose life is a continual confusion of unaccomplished plans and unorganized activities. Make a plan for whatever area of ministry you serve, and execute that plan with passion.
It’s nearly impossible to over-communicate with your pastor and your team, and a lack of communication can hinder a staff’s ability to minister to the congregation. Team members should always communicate when they will be out of the office, late for a meeting, or any other change in the regular schedule. Good communication ensures that there will be someone in place to meet the needs of the church family.
Our effectiveness in the classroom or pulpit is directly tied to our preparation. If a program is successful, it is because of the unseen hours of work invested beforehand. God tells us in church ministry, “Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40).
A team accomplishing work for the Lord will have one heart for the Lord. If a person has a heart for God, most of the other qualities will be there. Add to this a heart for your local church. It’s fine to have hobbies and other interests, but do not let them overshadow your main purpose. Stay focused in your service in the local church. Remember that when you begin to dream about another ministry, you will become less engaged and less productive where you are now. Have a heart for God and the people whom God has given you to serve.