We continue the “Ten Best Ways to Ruin Your Church Staff” to avoid for those pastoral leaders who want to keep and develop quality staff ministry colleagues, (For those pastors who want to get rid of troubling church staff, then this is the way to do it!). Today, no. 5: Do not do worship planning together.
5. Do not do worship planning together. There is no better way to isolate and fail to develop a shared staff culture than to fail to do weekly worship planning together. I remain amazed at the number of pastoral leaders who do worship planning in isolation, or, assign it as a task to a specialist staff member.
There are few ways as meaningful and effective for developing a strong staff than to plan the weekly worship service together. Here are some of the benefits of doing so:
- It provides an opportunity for staff members to spend time together
- It cultivates a shared corporate theology of church and worship
- It provides opportunity for the spiritual disciplines of prayer, theological reflection, and confession
- It provides ownership in the single most important corporate act of the church: corporate worship
- It taps into the talent and expertise that each staff member can contribute in shaping the central activity of the congregation
- It helps foster the development of a staff culture, with shared values, perspectives, and practices.
Here are two additional insights:
1. The staff member’s participation in leading worship validates their ministry in the eyes of the congregation. Most program staff persons work in the background. Which means that most congregational members have little idea about what their church staff do on a daily basis, or, how their ministry contributes to the church’s life and work. Giving opportunity to staff members for providing “pastoral leadership” through corporate worship goes a long way in validating their ministry for those members outside their sphere of influence. Staff worship leadership is received as no small recognition by the church members that the pastor affirms the staff’s ministry.
2. The amount of time, thought, and attention you give to worship planning is evident to your church members. We can tell the difference between a theologically-informed worship service and something put together out of routine and habit. After moving into a new town our family was looking for a church to join. At the conclusion of a Sunday worship service at one church my youngest son, then a teenager, commented, “I guess they didn’t have time to do worship planning this week.” That just to say that even a teenager can discern how much effort and thought goes into worship planning. Needless to say, we never returned to that congregation.
From, Perspectives on Congregational Leadership: Applying Systems Theory for Effective Leadership, by Israel Galindo. See the new Perspectives on Congregational Leadership blog site.
Date posted: Friday, September 25th, 2009 12:33 am | Under category: congregational life, leadership, personal growth, second chair, worship
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