1. Answer the question “What are you currently working on that excites you?”
There are aspects of any job that aren’t fun. Do the things you have to, but don’t get sidetracked. Think about and dream about the things that really get you fired up. Be ready to answer the question, “What are you excited about in your church?" Always think of the bright spot and talk about it more than the things that may drag you down. The words we say are very important – to those who listen and to ourselves.
2. Never get to the point that you feel the church owes you something.
One damaging angle with which to serve in ministry is that the church owes you something. When we are working in this context, it’s a no-win situation. Don’t get to the point that you feel this way. If there is a legitimate, concrete issue, then resolve it immediately so that you are free to work out of obligation to Jesus and the abundant life he promises. We are given the privilege to serve the church in this way.
3. Don’t get involved in others' business – you have enough to work on.
Church staff members have the unique advantage of seeing ministry roles – both success and failures – play out in front of an audience on a weekly basis. Because of this, it’s easy to worry about what your teammates are doing or not doing well. There are times when we need to sharpen each other – and those times, though they hurt, benefit the kingdom ministry. But, as far as the basics of your teammate's role on the church staff here’s a rule of thumb: You are free to worry about their job when your job is perfectly done, with monumental growth and success, and there are no mistakes or issues for more than six months (*sarcasm). However you are always free to pray for your team members and their roles. You are also free to seek the advice / counsel of those on your team. It’s a good practice to get a fresh perspective from others.
4. Think of something you can improve – that doesn’t cost a penny.
The church is paying you to help develop the congregation for ministry in the community. It’s a good discipline to think of how you can use your gifts without any other necessary funds (outside of your salary) to improve or add value to the church and ministry. What will that be today?
5. Be interested in your team around you.
You are with this church staff team for many hours of your day and week. Learn about them. Listen to them. Enjoy the opportunity and the relationships. Reflect on the gifts in your colleagues that brought them to this point. What were the circumstances around which they got hired for this role in the first place? Pray for your church staff team. The Lord has given you this moment in history to move your tiny little corner of the magnificent Church forward. Take the mission seriously, but don’t leave out the personal relationship factor. Your relationship with your church staff is a model for other relationships in the church.
Tim Price serves as the Director of Harvest Ministry Teams, a midwest resource based in Troy, IL.
[CC Image • tim caynes on Flickr]