If you work (or have worked) on a multiple member staff at a local church, you know that it is very difficult to maintain unity and cohesion among the team. Much of the reason for that are some of these common mistakes made by church staff members. Browse the list and give yourself a check-up…
1) Competing with other staff members.
In staff meeting, they look for opportunities to shoot each other down. They make the mistake of thinking that to make yourself look good, you have to make them look bad. That’s not a team.
2) Using “cut-down” humor – in a public setting
Even when it’s truly a joke between staff members, cut-down humor has no place in a public setting. Those you lead are watching you. If you don’t honor each other, they won’t honor you either. Model the behavior you want them to follow.
3) Using E-mail for conflict resolution
Bad idea. E-mail doesn’t communicate emotion well (that’s why they invented those stupid emoticons). When you may have been trying to say something one way, it can come across totally differently. The best way to apologize or confront an issue is “Face to Face”; then, you can clear up a misunderstanding quickly without losing friendship
4) Assuming motives of others
Staff members should always give each other the benefit of the doubt. When someone wrongs you, assume it was an accident unless proven otherwise. If you are going to assume a motive, assume the BEST motive. When the youth pastor takes the van when you had it reserved for your event, don’t immediately assume he “didn’t care about my event or think it was important.” Assume he just forgot to check the calendar.
5) Being Defensive
Often we are not very receptive to correction or input from other staff members.
6) Seeing a weakness and not telling them
If done in the spirit of love and teamwork, it’s not “mean” to help other team members succeed by helping them see their weaknesses. It is actually CRUEL to allow them to continue to sink in leadership because of a glaring weakness you see but refuse to point out.
7) Not using the strengths of other staff members
When you are weak in an area, ask for help from a fellow staff member who is strong in that area. The worst thing you could do is try to fix it yourself simply because you are too proud to admit you need help.
8) Taking another staff member’s side against the senior pastor or other staff members
9) Over-promising and under-delivering instead of under-promising and over-delivering
It’s great to be willing to help your fellow team members, but promising to do something and not coming through is worse than not being available in the first place
10) Not taking the cues that it’s the right time to leave
It’s a tough truth, but chances are you won’t serve the church you are currently serving for the rest of your ministry life. Often one of the biggest mistakes staff members make is staying beyond the time that they should. How do you know when it is time? That’s another post altogether (find it right here).
How’d you do? Have you made some of these mistakes lately? It’s time to fix it. Are there other common mistakes that I missed? Share your thoughts in the comment section.