This is part two of a series on an effective staff member. You can read the first article here. The big question we’re answering is simply this: What qualities make an effective staff member? What characteristics produce winning teams? If God has placed you “in the middle” of the organization chart somewhere—welcome! Many of us are called of God to serve on a team.
In the first post we discussed commitment—an effective staff member fully commits to the Lord and to the team. Let’s move on to a second quality (and these are in no particular order):
An effective staff member grows!
One of the saddest places to be in your Christian life is the place where your spirit ceases to be teachable—the place where you have stopped longing for growth. Weariness, depletion, arrogance, experience, disillusionment, and even suffering—these things can cause us to stop thinking, to stop moving forward and growing in God’s grace.
The moment you stop growing—the moment you begin to believe you know it all and understand it all, is the moment you begin to become increasingly less effective. The longer I serve the Lord, the more keenly aware I become of how little I really know, and how much more there is to learn. I knew a lot more when I was younger!
In our quest to be effective staff team members, I believe a quest for growth and a healthy dissatisfaction with “status quo” is key. Here are a few areas an effective staff member is always seeking to grow:
Grow in Spiritual Life—nothing is more valuable than your understanding of biblical truth and your ability to transfer it and apply it to the lives of others. When you hit a “growth plateau” this is where to go first—renew your passion to grow in God’s grace and spend more time in His Word. But be ready—some times the tools God uses to create growth are painful. Some times they involve trials. Spiritual growth is often painful and uncomfortable. Do you want spiritual growth enough to endure the pain that might be involved?
Grow in Skill and Competence—this is about growing in your understanding of your role and the skills involved in fulfilling your job description. David Gibbs once said to our staff, “Nobody’s competence is static. You are always either becoming less competent or more competent.” What have you done recently to increase your practical skills for ministry? I have found that every hour I give to growing in competence—learning new software, developing a new administrative system, reading a book, attending training—every hour gives me back multiplied hours in the months to follow!
Grow in Gracious Leadership and People Skills—good staff members love people and love to help other people to grow and succeed. Therefore, an effective staff member will seek to grow in leadership—learning to compassionately nurture people. The ministry is no place for abrasive personality, harsh spirit, or caustic leadership. Leaders after God’s heart seek to be shepherds—to lovingly nurture people and to constantly express abundant grace toward them as God’s heritage.
I appreciate serving with a pastor and ministry team that has allowed me the opportunity to grow. As much and as often as I have failed, I’m thankful that every failure produced growth, and continues to do so.
Are you growing? Are you walking with God consistently? Are you reading, studying, and expanding your knowledge-base and skills? Are you seeking to become a more Christ-like individual in working with people?
Here’s the test: What intentional steps have you taken in the last thirty days to grow personally?
An effective staff member keeps growing. Stay tuned for part three.