Hospital visits, counseling sessions, and prayer requests—these are just some of the responsibilities you may have on your shoulders as a leader of your church family. When you add studying and preparing for weekly messages while trying to keep the church afloat financially, things can get overwhelming pretty quickly, and it becomes even more difficult to figure out how to grow your church…
Leading a flock of people with compassion and the desire to change lives is a worthwhile calling, but it’s no easy feat.
So, while we applaud you for fulfilling the call of God and His purpose, we also realize the weight of your calling. This can sometimes (or always) feel like a huge burden, which can unfortunately cause your church growth to stagnate. Stagnant growth also leads to a lack of funds, which adds more to the burden and can contribute to burnout, whether it’s experienced by you or your staff—or both.
If you’re trying to figure out how to grow your church but are feeling overwhelmed with what’s currently on your plate, we’d like to help you. In this article, we will provide a restructuring plan to help you change internally so you can build with a lighter load and focus your time on growth. How you structure your time—and your internal team—is integral to setting up your church foundation for seamless growth in the future.
How Do You Know It’s Time to Restructure Internally?
If you start to see any of the below manifest, it may be time to restructure:
- You and/or your staff members are overworked and overwhelmed.
- Your church has experienced recent growth without any addition of staff.
- Your current staff is unable to help carry your church to a different future.
- Stagnation in decision-making is cramping growth and forward momentum.
- Staff roles have become irreplaceable—to the point at which losing someone would seriously cripple church growth. People who have become indispensable are typically facing burnout.
If any of the above resonates with you, read on and learn how to start a successful restructuring process.
Restructuring Internal Staff (Hiring and Letting Go)
When determining how to grow your church, you may find that it feels like an insurmountable task. The truth is that it is insurmountable, and it’s okay for you to feel that way. This is why you need other people to support you.
Restructuring your internal staff encompasses many different practices, and which one applies to your church will depend on your unique situation. Having said that, at some point you will face each of the scenarios below, so it’s good to understand exactly what restructuring will require if you want to focus on consistent church growth.
Are You Ready to Delegate?
It’s not uncommon for some church leaders to feel uncomfortable giving away the care of their flock to staff. People’s lives are at stake, and we understand it can be difficult to trust others with this high responsibility.
If you’re trying to figure out how to grow your church, it’s important to delegate at some point so you can focus on growth instead of being overloaded with day-to-day responsibilities. By training these new team members, you will get them acclimated to your ministry and help them get aligned with your brand so you can feel comfortable with them managing church dealings.
Supporting church growth is all about freeing yourself to stay focused on vision instead of getting overwhelmed with responsibilities that could be delegated to caring, competent staff.
This is why a thorough vetting of new staff members is so important—the more you know and trust people, the easier it will be to delegate.
Hiring Like-Minded Staff
Creating a church culture ripe for growth requires hiring new staff members who resonate with your mission and can help to meet the needs of your church and community as you expand.
Whether it’s one new elder or a team of leaders, the key is to hire people you can feel comfortable delegating important church responsibilities to. This will free you up to focus on your weekly messages and your future vision for where your church is going, contributing to a solid foundation upon which to grow.
As you know, hiring new church employees is not as simple as putting out a job ad, especially when you are looking for new elders. Your church is united by the hearts and minds of the people who grace your pews, and their lives are in the hands of your leaders. These are important positions, so let’s go over what to focus on as you restructure and hire new staff.
New staff members should align with your church brand and resonate with your vision. Chances are that most will already share your desire to love and help people if they want to join forces with you, but above that, look for alignment of vision and values.
Here are some questions to consider:
- Do they agree with your future vision for the church and where you see it in 5-10 years?
- Do they align with your goals for church growth and your desire for attracting your community and helping them?
- Do they understand that change will require a shifting of ideas over time, and are they flexible enough to roll with this?
Now, we aren’t suggesting that your new team members must agree with everything you say or do, as getting feedback from valued staff is healthy and necessary to stimulate growth. One-way thinking can stifle growth, as God has graced many with different gifts and talents, which can all be used to promote your message and expand your church.
But the core of who you are and what you stand for—this is where your employees should be aligned.
Is it time to hire?
You may be asking, “What if I am not currently seeing enough growth to justify adding new staff members?”
Restructuring and hiring new staff stimulates growth and prepares you for incoming members. It’s better to prepare now than to scramble in response to growth when the time comes. Preparation is key when it comes to how to grow your church.
Creating an Internal Environment for Change – It Starts with This One Thing
Whether training new staff or current team members, restructuring for continued growth will always involve a refocus on commitment and responsibility.
- Is everyone pulling their weight?
- Are staff members committed to evolving with the church while staying true to core values?
- Are team leaders willing to delegate and train new members accordingly?
When we talk about creating an environment ready for change to facilitate increased church growth, there’s one vital component—staff members must feel highly valued and trusted. Trust is the backbone on which church growth thrives because it is the cornerstone of effective ministry.
When there is a loss of trust between the senior pastor and staff or vice versa, the church foundation becomes cracked and growth will either stall or decline at some point in the future. This can also lead to staff members leaving the church and possibly even falling away from the faith, depending on the severity.
As the church leader, the responsibility must first start with you. Do you see yourself as someone who can be trusted? Is there any reason not to trust you? If this is not an issue, it may be time to reevaluate some staff members if they have a hard time trusting you or others on staff.
Here are some questions to ask when you are evaluating your current staff:
- Do they guard your mission and vision and align with your goals?
- Are they able to be a sounding board for new ideas and decisions without judgment?
- Are their conversations life giving and do they add value to your church community?
- Are they united at the core and focused on similar goals for the church?
If you can answer “no” to even one of these questions, it may be time to reevaluate and restructure internally.
Saying goodbye to church staff members can feel like a metaphorical knife in the heart, and we understand the struggle. You may have worked alongside these staff members for years, standing with them in ministry and serving the Lord together, hand in hand.
Although these staff members may no longer serve directly alongside you, know that they are still part of the mission, doing the work of the Lord. Just because they will no longer be serving in your local assembly doesn’t mean they are not your brothers and sisters.
If it’s time to restructure, it’s good to get more comfortable with the fact that your church will change and evolve over time. A restructuring of staff may be needed as you grow. This is perfectly normal, and also why it’s so important to hire people who align with your vision. When it comes time to part, there will be a mutual respect and agreement as you both move on to new ventures.
How to Grow Your Church – What You Need to Know
In this article we offered some tips on how to grow your church by restructuring internally. We focused on the dangers of stretching yourself too thin and how that contributes to stagnant or declining church growth, and eventually burnout.
We discussed when it is time to restructure internally and how to do it, such as how to hire staff members, delegate responsibilities, say goodbye to current staff, and create an environment that fosters future growth.
If you are unsure if you are ready for restructuring, ask yourself if you have a solid church brand, goals, and a vision for the future. Nailing these principles will be key to a successful restructuring, as this provides the foundation upon which growth occurs. If you need some assistance getting clear on your branding and goals, read this article here and let us know if we can help. We offer free consultations, no strings attached.