The Most Important Staffing Question You’ll Ever Ask

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 7:50:00 AM Categories: Leadership
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My associate pastor recently became a daddy. Ah, I remember those days. The foggy expression due to sleep deprivation. The feelings of exhaustion that still lingered even right after taking a nap. The desire to put my face on my desk at work and sleeeeeep……  And all of those things were worth it because we had a new baby in the house!

Why am I mentioning all this? Because I’ve been telling my associate pastor to stay home from work quite a bit lately. I’ve been telling him that because I want him to love working for our church. I want him to sense 100% support from me and from other staff. I want him to believe that his family is more important to me than his job.

Why am I doing that? Don’t we have a lot to do at church this fall? Don’t we have pressing issues that need his attention? Don’t I care if his job performance suffers? Don’t others have to take up the slack when he’s not around? Of course we’re busy. Of course there are things he needs to attend to. Of course I want him to do his job. Of course the rest of us have to fill in the gap while he’s out.

I encourage him to take time off because it’s what’s best for him. If I truly want what’s best for him, he will want to do his best for our church. If I genuinely care about his wellbeing and the wellbeing of his family, he will care about the wellbeing of our ministry.

Would I like him to be in the office more? Sure. But when I’m tempted to wonder, “Where is that guy?”  I remind myself of the most important staffing question I can ever ask: Do I want him here today or do I want him here in 5 years?

Lord, help me always err on the side of treating the human resources on my team more like humans and less like resources.  May I be the kind of boss who trusts my team, empowers my team, believes in my team, proves genuine love to my team, and draws the best out of them! Amen

Alan Danielson is the Senior Pastor of New Life Bible Church in Norman, Oklahoma. Previously he served as Central Team Leader for LifeGroups at in Edmond, OK, where he led over a thousand small groups on LifeChurch’s thirteen campuses in six different states. He then founded to help leaders master three essential leadership skills: vision-casting, creating strategy and fostering relationships. Alan is a popular conference speaker and consults regularly with ministries and leaders on topics relating to small groups and leadership. Learn more from Alan at