Church Staff Ideas

Church staff people are valuable. (I know, ’cause I was one at one time.) Therefore, I have always said that if I was ever in a place where I got to make decisions regarding church staff, there are some things I’d like to offer them. Below are some of my ideas. What do you guys think??

Church Staff Benefits/Requirements

Our goal is to make this the best job you’ve ever had. We hope you find a place where you can feel supported, encouraged, and equipped to become all that God has called you to and want to lay a groundwork/foundation so this is possible. At any moment, we’d welcome any suggestions you might have for your own position or for one of your co-workers. We hope to treat each person as an individual and therefore your benefits may differ from your co-workers. We are not as interested in “equal” as we are in “what is right” for a particular situation/individual. We want to be as flexible as possible and believe that we have hired the right people and so we will choose to trust you with these benefits.

1. Must take 3 weeks vacation each year. This is extended to 4 weeks after serving for 5 yrs and to 5 weeks after 10 years of service. You will also get regular holidays where no one works.

2. Must take a 3 month sabbatical (paid) after 5 years of service. The number of vacation days you will receive will be reduced for this particular year.

3. Health/Dental Insurance for you and your family.

4. A month of sick leave each year – if needed. If there is a major event, more will be offered.

5. In the event of a pregnancy/birth, one month will be given to a husband for helping his family settle into the home – 3 months for a mother. All pre-natal doctor visits are excused for both mom and dad. For a parent, the family takes priority over the church. A staff person can only be healthy and effective professionally if his/her home life is healthy. We also believe that healthy homes among our staff people will serve as good examples to the congregation of what it means to live out our calling as parents.

6. One normal “work day” a month must be spent away from the office for the specific purpose of seeking God.

7. At least 2 normal “work days” a month (and as many as 1 day a week) must be spent serving in the community. The church will not just pay “lip service” & cash to the support of outside ministries. We realize that it may take you a little while to find a ministry niche that works for you and so we have also arranged a “local tour of ministries” for new staff people. Over the course of a couple months you’ll work in multiple ministries and meet the leaders of them. If your heart beats for something else, we’d also consider allowing/equipping/helping you to create a new outside ministry to be involved in regularly. However, this would be allowed sparingly. Church staff people generally do not need another thing to lead. They need places to serve and connect with people outside the church.

8. Parents will be excused from normal “work” to attend their children’s events.

9. You should plan to be away from each of your weekly/normal programs at least once a month. (This forces others to step into the leadership roles and encourages you to equip them rather than just doing it all yourself.) This also allows you to use this time to volunteer or visit another ministry within the church or even at another church to help you get new ideas and stay “fresh.”

10. Staff people will only work 5 days/week except in special occasions like church camp, mission trips, etc. For a regular week, we insist on you actually taking 2 days off.

11. Funeral leave.

12. Although we do not believe in retirement and cannot find it in Scripture, we do believe in fiscal responsibility and will offer a pension plan. You may set aside up to 3% of your salary and the church will match 1.5% of it.

PS – I realize that some of this may not be very practical and maybe even a bit over-the-top but I think I’d rather err on the side of generosity.

What are your thoughts??

Benefits of the Unemployment Experience

A an ex-church staff person I’m not eligible to receive any unemployment compensation, but the unemployment experience has still afforded me some new things. I don’t want to miss the blessings God has for me in the midst of what most would consider a bad situation. Maybe I should think of this as more of a “forced sabbatical.”

Anyway, here’s a list of the things the unemployment experience has afforded me:

1. Family time. We spend many hours playing together in the afternoons now. We go on bike rides, treasure hunts (geocaching), and walks. We go to the park and hang out with our neighbors. We’ll never get this time with our kids back so we’d better enjoy it now.

2. New friends. Our neighbors have been getting together for years and we just wave at them from our car on our way to the church. Now, we’re friends. We spend most afternoons with their kids hanging out together and sharing popsicles, conversations, and laughs – sharing life.

3. Financial freedom. Not really – we’re struggling financially, but we’ve also learned new ways to live and developed new habits. When I get a job, we’ll continue to live this lifestyle and should be able to save more and give more to the things we choose.

4. A happier bride. When she gets home from work now, I usually have the house picked up and vacuumed and dishes done. I really love seeing that smile on her face when she gets to come home and relax instead of gearing up to get a few more things done.

5. A new direction. I took some classes and am now eligible to begin a new career as a public school teacher. This will allow me to work with students again, to provide for my family, to be on a schedule similar to my extended family (they’re all teachers too), to attend church as a family and to choose how we want to be involved.

6. Time to think, study, reflect, and exercise.

7. I’m sure there is more, but this seems like a good stopping place for now. Maybe I’ll add some other things later.



Photo by: jmilles

I confess. I’m guilty. Guilty of twitter abuse. I’ve read a few articles (Twitter:What’s it doing to us?) lately about the effects of twitter on people. Here’s another: Does Twitter Kill Compassion?

The main idea is two-fold:

1. With constant bits of information, we rarely take time to think or feel deeply. Humans can sort information quickly, but complex emotions like compassion or admiration take longer to process. (from Twitter:What’s it doing to us?)

2. Tweeting about ourselves all the time can eventually make us into narcissists. (an “it’s all about me”-attitude)

OK – so what am I gonna do about it? I don’t want to become that kind of guy, but I do enjoy the twitter experience and I actually read the tweets (status updates on facebook) of my friends ’cause I do care about what’s going on with them too. Anyway, here’s my idea:

I think I’ll try a little experiment.

If twitter has a tendency to make us inward/narcissists then, I’ll try to use it the opposite way. Today, all my tweets will be for the benefit of others. Today my tweets will be “in the key of Encouragement.” Tomorrow, maybe I’ll use them to offer advise or share Scripture. Any other ideas?

PS – I will probably still share a few of the things I’m doing throughout the day or if something funny happens, but I will seek to truly think about my tweet before I send it. I’m praying that God would help me to make your day better with my 140 characters.