How to Encourage Your Church to Invite Others to Online Services

How to Encourage Your Church to Invite Others to Online Services

 

For many churches, the numbers are down across the board—giving, online service attendance, and participation.

But don’t let that get you down.

We’re still in the middle of a remarkable opportunity to reach people online. And while getting people to invite others to church is already a challenge, encouraging your church to invite people to an online service seems even trickier.

To give your church the tips and tools to invite someone to an online service, try these practical ideas.

#1 – Make it easy

The easier you make something, the more likely people are to do it.

Providing your church with templates for inviting people to watch church online not only takes away the “I don’t know how” grounds, but helps them feel more confident and equipped when they extend an invitation.

Create graphics (with messages such as “you’re invited” or “join me online”) for people to download and post on social media or attach to text messages. Write example text messages and social media captions for people, too. Since people are so unique, invitations will be too, so make fun, formal, and informal graphics and message options.

Put all of this on one page on your website (yourchurch.com/invite is an easy link to remember). 

#2 – Equip people

It’s not enough to tell people to invite someone to online service; you have to show them how.

Don’t assume that everyone knows what to do. Record a video or write an email that explains why it’s so important to connect people with the church, even if it’s virtually right now. Tell your congregation where to find pre-written and ready-made tools that make it easier (see above).

And teach them what to do—how to share posts and how to listen for the right time to extend an invitation (these “clues” from Andy Stanley are helpful).

#3 – Reach out

Few methods are more effective than a direct ask.

When you reach out to church members to find out how they’re doing or chat casually, ask them if they’ll commit to inviting someone to the church’s next online service.

Send a quick text message to a few of the most active, engaged people in your congregation an hour before service starts and ask them to post an invitation on their social media, share a specific post from the church’s social media, or text someone inviting them to watch.

And when they do invite people to watch an online service, reach out again and thank them. Consider adding a “Who invited you?” question to your digital connection card so you can do this.

#4 – Create a guest-friendly online service

Imagine this: you invite a new friend to have dinner with your extended family, but your family barely acknowledges them and tells inside jokes the entire time. Would you want to invite that friend back to an environment where they weren’t made to feel welcome?

People are more likely to invite others to watch an online service that won’t make them feel like a complete outsider.

Welcome guests who are watching your livestream or video service the same way you would in an in-person service. Take a little time to explain what certain parts of the service mean. This helps create a culture of guest-friendliness online.

Hospitality looks different in this season. But with a little direction and a lot of intentionally, you can witness the power of a personal invitation and watch your church grow in the process—yes, even online.

Seven Causes of Low Morale on Church Staff

Seven Causes of Low Morale on Church Staff

There's nothing like being on a team that's excited, focused, and winning.

But for too many church teams, low morale is just a way of life.   Though deep down we should be excited, energized, and driven by our calling, we’re just…tired.

We’re tired because we’re doing more than ever.

We’re tired because we’re doing things that are outside our comfort zone.

We’re tired because we’re figuring out new challenges and we don’t know what’s working.

And for many churches, the current situation has just exacerbated the issues.  Morale was trending down for some time and this has just accelerated the decline.

Morale is confidence, enthusiasm, and the discipline of a team at a specific time.  It speaks to a sense of purpose and confidence in the future.

If you’ve got it, it’s great.  You’ll probably have to keep fighting to keep it.

If you don’t have it, things might seem dire.  But you can recognize the causes and take practical steps to build it.

Leaders can make things better or worse.

Ignore the signs, and your team will go from tired to burned out to gone.  But jump in with practical solutions and you can build team morale, team momentum, and lead your church into the next season of ministry with a new sense of purpose.

Let’s talk about the seven causes of low morale and what to do about them.

#1 Poor Communication

 

One of the quickest ways to kill morale on your team is poor communication.

If successes aren’t shared, challenges aren’t discussed, and ideas aren’t heard, people will feel like they are working alone.

During normal times, most team members admit communication is not where it needs to be. In times of rapid change or confusion, this is even more important.

Average communication feels like bad communication during times of confusion.

Because communication is one of the biggest challenges on most teams, it means improving your communication processes is one of the quickest ways to build team morale.

At one of our monthly meetings, our Church Fuel team recently had a conversation about how to improve communication.  We’re a small, remote team and we work really well together.  Communication is honestly pretty good.

But with some new people and new projects in the works, I felt like we needed a tune-up.  I found this document from Basecamp and shared it with our team, We talked through it and re-committed to the idea of communication and implemented a few tactical changes.

Here were some of the principles that stood out:

  • You can't not communicate. Not discussing the elephant in the room is communicating. Few things are as important to study, practice, and perfect as clear communication.
  • Substantial decisions start and end with an exchange of complete thoughts, not one-line-at-a-time jousts. If it's important, critical, or fundamental, write it up, don't chat it down.
  • Poor communication creates more work.
  • Ask if things are clear. Ask what you left out. Ask if there was anything someone was expecting that you didn't cover. Address the gaps before they widen with time.

Since things tend to go from a state of order to disorder when left alone, it’s important to revisit your communication principles and practices and tools from time to time.  Talk through what needs to be communicated and talk through HOW things need to be communicated.

Honestly, many of the leadership tools we have for members at Church Fuel get right at this issue of communication.

  • The RACI Spreadsheet helps church teams clarify who is responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed on everyday tasks.
  • The Ministry Action Plan helps each ministry clarify how ministry-specific goals, plans, and programs roll up to the broader church mission.

#2 – Unclear Expectations

 

The second thing that kills team morale is unclear expectations.

Most people on teams want to do a great job and excel at the things that are on their plate.  But problems arise when expectations are not clear.

If you’re a team leader, your people cannot meet expectations that are not communicated to them.  You might be holding to a standard that exists only in your mind.

If you’re on a team, you might feel like the expectations placed on you are not clear.  That means you have the opportunity to go and seek clarity.  While it could have (and probably should have) been communicated clearly, it’s now up to you to dig in and get clear on those expectations.

The solution is actually quite simple:  Write down your expectations.  If you want to get on the same page, create an actual page.

Team leaders, write down your expectations clearly.  Whether it’s for a role, a project, or a task, make sure you don’t have uncommunicated expectations that will turn you into a passive-aggressive leader.

Team members, get used to saying the phrase “just to be clear” and then repeat back what you head.  Push for clarity.

#3 – Changing Goals

 

Imagine scoring a touchdown in a big game and the referee throws a flag, consults the other refs, and decides the end zone was actually 10 yards away.

Over the last few months, churches were forced to change programming, strategy, budgets, processes, and significant parts of their ministry.

Change is a normal part of ministry.

Thinking there won’t be changes is a recipe for disappointment.

But when things change constantly, that’s a recipe for burnout.

Constant change will drain a team’s energy and remove any sense of morale.  Maybe you’re on a team and feeling this way now.

Maybe your team has a leader that continually comes down from the mountain with a new vision, a new direction, and a new “drop everything and let’s do this” message.

Maybe you’re that kind of leader.

If you’re constantly changing the goals on your team, not only will they lose trust (“did you mishear God the last time?”), they will struggle to give their full energy to the next new idea.

Goals are a good thing, but if they change too often, the ensuing whiplash will demotivate more than the and your fresh vision will never be able to compensate. 

#4 – Team Members Have No Voice

 

“I don’t really care if we actually do what I’m suggesting here, I just want to be heard.”

That’s what we heard from a team member who was struggling to find her place on the team.  She had ideas, and those ideas weren’t being honored.

Most people on teams want their ideas to be heard.  In fact, the number one reason people don’t speak up is that they have spoken up in the past and nothing happened.

In teams with a few loud voices, morale might be really low.  Usually, the loud voices don’t realize it, because they are too busy talking over everyone.  And sometimes, this is a long-term effect of poor communication culture.

If someone is valuable enough to be on the team, their ideas are valuable enough to be heard.  If someone has a seat at the table, make sure they have a voice in the room.

One thing we hear from pastors is they don’t have people around them that speak up.  They tell us they desire to have great leaders around them with ideas and drive, but they just don’t.

if you don’t’ have people around you with opinions, ideas, and leadership experience, that’s a leadership development issues.  That’s not other people’s fault…that’s on you. Leaders create the culture where voices are valued.

If you’re on a team and don’t feel like you can share your opinion, speak up about the culture that makes you feel that way.

 

#5 – A Lack of Collective Progress

 

Even if you have a clear goal, continual work and toil toward an outcome without feeling like you’re making progress can kill morale.

It’s like constant fighting with little advancement.  It’s tiresome work with little visible results.

There are a lot of churches that have been pushing for change, trying to build the right culture, and working hard to accomplish a mission.  But there’s little progress.  There’s not much to celebrate yet.

And that can really take a toll.

Honestly, it’s the same feeling caregivers can feel when exerting mental and emotional energy taking care of someone who isn’t getting better.  Even though the task is important and there’s a deep sense of love, it can feel draining.  And then the guilt that comes from feeling that way takes a second toll.

Many leaders feel that the key to getting momentum is having a big win.  They want to turn the tide so they swing for the fences.  Maybe it’s a big initiative or a new ministry or a big new plan.

Going big feels right.

But momentum isn’t jumpstarted by big wins.  Instead, it’s created by a series of small, connected wins pointing in the right direction.

Momentum (and team morale) happens with little win followed by little win followed by little win.  String enough of these little positive movements together and you have momentum.

One of my favorite ways to structure goals and see progress comes from book The Four Disciplines of Execution.  We profiled that book in the The Pastor’s Book Club.  That’s where you can get the breakdown containing notes, big ideas, and key quotes and a ministry insight video where we specifically call out applications to church.  The Pastor’s Book Club is included for all Church Fuel members or you could purchase it separately here.

The authors say the best format for goals is: “From X to Y by When.”

That’s a brilliant way to structure church goals.  You need to know where you are now.  You need to clearly identify where you’re going.  And you need a deadline.

The only thing I would add is that these goals may not need to feel big, audacious, or eternally significant.  They might need to be small and timely, so you can begin to generate momentum.

For teams to feel a strong sense of morale, they need to experience a simple sense of accomplishment.

 

#6 – A Lack of Coaching

 

I know “coaching” sounds ethereal and hard to understand.  It’s not a task like writing a sermon or leading a meeting, so while we know it’s important, we struggle to actually execute.

Coaching our team remains in the important but not urgent box on your Eisenhower Decision Matrix.

There are three specific things team members need from their leaders in this category of coaching.

Development.  Team members need intentional development from you.  Being on your team should help them be a better person.  Your team needs you to teach them what you know and what you’re learning.  They need you to help them grow as leaders not just just get better at the tasks of their job.

Most of the time, this doesn’t happen because it’s not scheduled.  That’s why we created a Team Training resource and recommend pastors use one of the lessons once a month at a regularly scheduled team meeting.

If your leader isn’t taking a developmental interest in you, take it upon yourself. Use our free Personal Growth Plan resource to build your own personal growth plan.  Share your plan with your leaders, and even if they don’t support you, execute your plan.  But a more likely outcome is your leader will see your effort and begin to invest more into your growth.

Evaluation.  Team members need to know how their doing.  They need to know what’s working, what’s not working, and what could be changed.  Teams with healthy cultures build this into their rhythm and it’s never weird to talk about performance.  If this is new to you, just recognize that it’s going to feel weird at first but as it becomes normal, it becomes better.

If you’re a team leader, conduct official evaluations at regular intervals.  If you’re on a team where this doesn’t happen, ask for it.  If you still can’t get it, do it for yourself and send the results up the food chain.

If you’re a Church Fuel member, you’ll find tons of evaluation forms in the Resource Library.  These can help you have honest and fruitful conversations about job performance.

Feedback.  Feedback is similar to evaluation, but it’s less formal.  It’s immediate.  It’s real-time.  When you give feedback, be careful not to say phrases like “I didn’t like…”. Because great leadership isn’t about imparting your preferences.  It’s about helping people be the most effective.

Ed Catmull, President of Pixar, wrote this in Creativity, Inc.: “Candor isn’t cruel. It does not destroy. On the contrary, any successful feedback system is built on empathy, on the idea that we are all in this together, that we understand your pain because we’ve experienced it ourselves.”

At Church Fuel, we often assign people a task to “make it better.”  Whether it’s an article or a webpage or a campaign, someone who is usually not highly involved is asked to provide “make it better” feedback.  It helps us produce collectively good work.

 

#7 – Micromanagement

 

Most people don’t like to be closely watched and tightly controlled.  They want to do their job with freedom.

Nearly every business article, book, and podcast warn against the dangers of micromanagement.

  • It’s annoying.
  • It’s not scalable.
  • It damages trust.
  • It leads to burnout.
  • It kills morale.

While some will chalk it to a personality trait or a leadership style (“he’s just a micromanager” or “she’s just a micromanager”), micromanagement is usually a sign of a dysfunctional culture.

It’s what leaders resort to when there’s poor communication, changing goals, poor development, and no clear outcome…all the things we’ve been talking about in this article.

Still, if you’re struggling to overcome this and want to make progress, there are things leaders and team members can do.

If you’re a leader, clarify outcomes and expectations on the front end.  If you’re a team member, push for even more clarity until you have NO questions about what is expected.

If you’re a leader, focus on developing, not managing.  If you can’t do it across the board, do it during certain time periods or with specific projects.

If you’re a team member, it’s time to over-communicate.  Tell your leader what you’re going to do, what you did do, and what happened as a result.  Do this before you’re asked.  It’s hard to micromanage someone who overcommunicates.

All parties should learn to write things down. It’s the old “plan the work then work the plan” principle. Processes, flow charts, checklists, and written project briefs really do make the difference.

Take the Next Step

Church teams are working harder than ever: serving, leading, pivoting, and trying to keep the church going. All this hard work makes people tired, and if you’re not careful and intentional, burnout comes next. You don’t want to come back with a jaded team with low morale.

The Tired Team: A Toolkit to Improve Staff Morale gives you and your team the coaching you need and the resources to make things better.

How to Survey Your Congregation as You Build Your Reopening Plan

How to Survey Your Congregation as You Build Your Reopening Plan

Earlier this year, we completed work on a course called Data Fueled Church. We’ll release the course later this year.

The big idea is that pastors should use data, information, and numbers in their decision-making process. The goal is not to be driven by those numbers, but simply to let facts inform our decisions.

We think that’s good stewardship.

During confusing times, when opinions are plenty and feelings are high, it’s really important to gather real information from your congregation.

A survey is a great way to do this.

Ask your people when they would feel safe to return, their attitude towards volunteering and family ministry, and what precautions they would want to see in place. Ask easy to answer questions and open-ended questions. Get the pulse of our people.

As you consider when and how to reopen, it’s smart to get real information from your people. Not anecdotal stories or one voice magnified by a factor of ten. You need to get real input.

It’s knowing the condition of your flocks. It’s being a good steward of the information available to you. To borrow from a story Jesus told, it’s considering the cost before starting construction.

Many of our Church Fuel members have been gathering data from congregational surveys and I wanted to share some of our favorites.

The Ridge Church

Long Hollow Baptist Church

Access Church

Your survey doesn’t have to be a long, complicated, or overly technical. In fact, you could just ask a few questions. Here are five questions I recommend you ask right now.

  • When is the soonest you would consider coming back to the church building?
  • What would you want to see happen before you would comfortably return to church?
  • If we opened next week, would you volunteer in your same spot?
  • If we opened next week, would you send your children to our children’s programming?
  • What do you miss most about church?

You can use tools like Typeform, Survey Monkey, or Google Forms to set up your survey.  You could take it to the next level and use a tool like Gloo to run periodic congregational check-ins. It’s a fantastic tool to help you get the pulse of your people with a free account and template.

Surveying your congregation is something you should consider as you wrestle through when and how to reopen the church.

For more about surveying your congregation plus practical advice and ideas to help you make a thoughtful, strategic decision and plan about reopening your church, download our free guide, The Senior Pastor’s Guide to Reopening.

Free Download

The Senior Pastor's Guide to Reopening
 

Five Keys to Effective Follow Up

Five Keys to Effective Follow Up

Following up is one of the biggest missed opportunities in churches. Without a clear follow-up strategy and process, first-time guests don’t feel welcome or get connected, new givers don’t know the impact their donation has and might not feel compelled to give again, and new believers don’t get a clear path for growth.

Just like you don’t communicate with your 14-year-old nephew and your 80-year-old grandmother the same way, you’ll use many different methods to follow up with different groups in your church. But there are a few defining characteristics of a great follow-up process that are important for every follow up process you have.

#1 – Punctuality

Imagine if you met someone new and sent them a text message two months later saying, “It was so nice meeting you!” They might not believe you. Timeliness in following up with guests is critical. Research has shown that your guest retention rate is highest when you follow up within 48 hours.

In 1987, statistics from Herb Miller reported how many guests will return depending on how quickly someone from the church visits their home.

  • 85% of guests return if visited in 36 hours
  • 60% of guests return if visited in 72 hours
  • 15% of guests return if visited in 7 days

We can replace “visited” with “called,” “emailed,” “texted,” etc. in today’s follow-up strategies, but the point remains strong: following up quickly makes your guests feel seen and valued, which makes them more likely to visit your church again.

 

#2 – Personalization

Many churches have a follow-up process that includes one automated email with a generic message about coming back soon and listing the service times. If that’s your church, you have a big opportunity to improve your process by personalizing it.

Emails are still effective, but make them more personal with an introduction letter from the pastor and their family, answering frequently asked questions, linking to previous sermons they might find helpful, or a list of ways they and their children can get involved.

The follow-up process is also a great way to involve volunteers. Volunteers can write handwritten notes to first-time guests and givers, make phone calls, or send texts. There’s a place for automation (and, as we mentioned above, a way to make automation feel less automated), but there’s nothing like a personal touch.

 

#3 – Intentionality

It’s time to get serious about following up. A follow-up process that makes guests feel cared for and helps them get connected in your church doesn’t happen by accident. Those you’re following up with can tell when your efforts are rushed and uncoordinated, so it’s worth taking the time to focus on how your church can intentionally follow up with people.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. Start simple by putting a system in place to follow up within 48 hours. Assign parts of the process to different members of your team and ask them to report on how many follow-up postcards, emails, etc. were sent each week.

Download our free Follow-Up Checklist to start evaluating the most important parts of your follow-up processes and establish clarity in ownership, effectiveness, and more.

#4 – Clarity

Your follow-up process should answer the “Now What?” question. It’s up to you and your team to define what the next steps are so you can clearly communicate them when you follow up.

  • “Thank you for giving to our church. Please pray about our upcoming opportunity to reach our community, which your donation will allow us to do in the following ways.”
  • “We’re so glad you accepted Andrea’s invitation to visit our church. We saw that you live in the Fulton County area, and Jennifer leads an awesome group of women there. I’d love to connect you two.”
  • “It’s awesome to see you building your new relationship with Jesus. I’d recommend starting with this Study Bible and devotional.”

Clear and simple next steps give a purpose to your process and give people a path to follow. Once you’ve defined that process, that brings us to the next important part of it…

 

#5 – Documentation

Don’t assume that everyone on your team knows how to follow up, that guests know what’s next, or that givers know how much you appreciate their giving.

Write it down. Put it on the calendar. Present it to your staff. Documentation takes the guess-work out of what’s next when someone takes an action at your church (visiting, joining a small group, becoming a believer, etc.). It’s hard to follow a process you can’t see, but when your process is documented, your church has an official plan for following up—one of the most important actions a church can take.

To make sure you have everything you need to implement your follow-up process, we created the Follow-Up Checklist to help you get started. This free resource will help you…

  • Evaluate the key pieces of your follow-up process
  • Ask the right who, what, and how questions
  • Establish clarity in ownership, effectiveness, and more

Download it for free below to start improving your church’s follow-up process today.

 

 
5 Tips for Effective Church Staff Evaluations

5 Tips for Effective Church Staff Evaluations

Your church staff needs to be made up of more than warm bodies. 

As a church leader, if you hire someone to do a job, then you need to not only hold that person accountable, but you should aim to serve that person to become the best he or she can be. 

But how do you know if someone is doing a great job? 

Is it their promptness? 

Do they have a jovial personality? 

Is there a way you can know if their work is furthering the mission of your church? 

In short, yes, you can know how well someone is performing and if his or her work is supporting your church’s mission and vision. Before digging into how this is possible. Let’s take a moment to talk about why you must conduct staff evaluations. 

3 reasons you should conduct staff evaluations

There’s way more to conducting church staff evaluations than adding another to-do on your checklist. 

Providing evaluations is one big way you can create a healthy church culture

Before we dig into the details, let’s take a look at 3 reasons why you must conduct staff evaluations. 

#1 – Feedback is a part of servant leadership 

Are you in a position of leadership? 

Do people report to you (staff) or do people look to you for direction (volunteers)? 

If you answered yes to either one of these questions, then you are called (by God) to serve those you lead. This is exactly what Jesus was getting at when he said: 

“The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves” (Luke 22:25–26).

This doesn’t mean that you’re always washing someone’s feet or letting your staff or volunteers get by with whatever they choose. Far from it. 

As a servant leader, your goal is to help your staff members live and love like Jesus and to do everything for the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31), which means your church staff will need feedback. 

I know this sounds like a tall order. 

But hear me out:

God calls you to serve your staff. 

Your church staff needs you. 

They are in a position to receive the vision God is giving your church.

They desire to do the best they possibly can. 

They need you to lead them to fulfill God’s call upon their life. 

Heed God’s call in your position by providing your staff with helpful feedback. 

#2 – The science of practicality is on your side 

Not only are you called by God to serve your staff. 

According to research, providing your staff with clear expectations and opportunities to learn and grow are essential to leading your team well. 

We will dig into this a bit more below. But when you hire someone, be sure to provide him or her with a clear job description and well-defined expectations. 

Why?

Simple.

When your staff knows what’s expected and they have the tools and training they need to get the job done, then they are much more likely to perform well in their position.

Know what else?

When you provide a clear job description, you’ll make your job a whole lot easier when it comes to evaluations. 

Think about it. 

If your staff members don’t clearly know what they need to do, and you start evaluations, then they’re going to be really nervous because they won’t know if they’re hitting their performance goals or not. 

More on this in a bit. 

#3 – Feedback builds leaders

Feedback is essential for any type of work. 

It’s the one thing that can help anyone improve in anything. 

This is true for most things, including:

  • Preaching
  • Education
  • Sports
  • Parenting
  • Management
  • Work
  • Exercise
  • Graphic Design
  • Website Development
  • Communication
  • Nutrition
  • And more … 

Regardless of the work your church staff is performing, feedback is critical to helping them know if they’re doing well or if there’s room for improvement. 

By not providing any feedback, you’re leaving your staff guessing and stressing. They won’t know if they’re on the right track, performing well in their work, or what in the world you think about them, which can cause a tremendous amount of anxiety. 

Don’t let your team walk around blindly in the dark. 

Instead, provide them with the feedback they need to progress in their work. 

Rabbit Trail:

Below, we’re going to dig into church staff evaluations. But at this point, it’s important to highlight the importance of providing ongoing feedback. 

As a church leader, you can serve your staff well by setting them up for success and providing consistent support. 

Here are two big ways you can accomplish this goal:

  1. Integrate staff goals into the church’s goals
  2. Conduct one-on-one meetings

The first thing you want to do is integrate church staff goals into your church’s goals. The easiest way to do this is to ensure that the work of the person who’s on your team is woven into the very fabric of your church’s vision and mission. 

For example, the work of your staff needs to be tied directly into the work of the church. Sure, there will be miscellaneous tasks and projects that don’t necessarily “move the ball down the field” for your church’s mission. But, overall, the work your staff does should directly support the work of your church’s mission. 

What is more, you need to be prepared to conduct one-on-one meetings

Depending on your church’s context, these meetings can take place weekly or bi-monthly. During these meetings, the goal is to connect on a personal level with each staff member, see how his or her work is progressing, and to ask how you can help him or her accomplish his or her goals. 

Now, I understand it’s difficult to have these types of meetings during busy seasons (e.g., Christmas and Easter). However, the influence these meetings will have on the life of your staff is well worth the time investment from your schedule.

A short guide to conducting staff evaluations

Convinced you need to evaluate your staff?

Great. 

Here are 5 steps you should take. 

#1 – Create clear job descriptions 

You know what’s impossible to do? 

Provide an honest, objective, or helpful evaluation without a clear job description. 

Here’s why:

Without clear metrics to measure, it can be a Herculean task to provide a helpful evaluation. 

Think about it. 

Without a specific task, responsibilities, or goals established, what are you going to evaluate? Whether or not they were on time every day? How many days they took off? Whether or not they looked busy?

When you’ve clarified your staffs’ roles and responsibilities, you’ll be in a much better position to know how well they are (or are not) performing. 

Know what else? 

Clear job descriptions are also uber helpful for your staff too. 

As I mentioned above, job descriptions provide clear marching orders for your church staff. It gives them clarity in their work, helping them to determine what they need to do daily and how best to prioritize their work.

#2 – Clarify your values 

Have you nailed down your church’s values?

Are you clear on your church’s mission and vision? 

If so, then you must evaluate your staff based on these core pieces of your church. 

If you haven’t clarified this part of the life of your church, then check out these resources before moving forward:

Alright, moving on. 

After you’ve clarified your church’s values, you’ll need to be prepared to evaluate your staff based on these values. As you live out these values and hold your staff accountable to do the same, you will move your church staff and entire church family toward living out these values. In a big way, as you and your team exemplify these values, you’ll influence the rest of your church to do the same. 

Let me show you how this works. 

Let’s say one of your values is to “live and love like Jesus.” 

To see how your staff lives out this value among your team and with your entire church, you could ask these two questions:

  • “What is one way you’ve expressed your love for Christ in the way you serve your colleagues?”
  • “How have you lived and loved like Jesus among our church family? What’s one example that comes to mind?”

When you ask questions pertaining to your values, it’s also a good idea to be prepared to provide your own observations. In sharing these observations, tell your staff ways you’ve seen them living out your church’s values and perhaps ways you can see them better reflect your church’s values. 

By helping your staff live out your church’s values, you will—in time—create a healthy church culture, which is the foundation to fulfilling God’s call upon your church. 

#3 – Set specific goals

For your staff, you must provide goals. 

There are two types of goals you want to help them set:

  1. Job goals
  2. Personal growth goals

Let’s take a look at job goals first. 

When you provide annual and quarterly objectives,, you create tremendous clarity for your staff by helping them to prioritize their work around the goals you agree upon. 

Now, the ministry goals you set shouldn't be excessive. For instance, you don’t want to set a dozen goals for your staff to accomplish at once. Instead, you want to provide focus for your team by limiting the number of big goals they need to accomplish within specific periods of time. 

When it comes to staff evaluations, provide your team with 1–3 goals they should aim to accomplish before their next evaluation. The goals you set together will serve as the guiding force for your staff members—to help them determine their priorities. 

When it comes time to talk about goals, here are some questions you can ask:

  • Are you happy with the progress you made toward your goals? 
  • Do you have everything you need to accomplish your goals?
  • Are there any hurdles within the church (e.g., culture, staff, or resources) that inhibit you from accomplishing your goals? 
  • What can I do to help you accomplish your goals in the next quarter? 

As you end your evaluation, it’s essential to discuss and agree on goals with your staff. This way, as you check in with them, you can get regular updates, see how they’re progressing, and ask how you can help them accomplish their goals. 

Regarding personal goals, you can challenge your staff to set a personal growth plan

These personal goals should be aimed toward professional development. These goals will need to either help your staff members improve in their current position or help them train to take on new roles or responsibilities. For example, when helping someone on your staff to improve in a specific area, agree upon resources he or she should digest. 

Practically speaking, here’s what you need to do: 

  • Identify 1–3 personal growth goals
  • Pick educational resources
  • Identify a mentor or coach

For these goals, the level of accountability you offer is different from job goals. The point of these goals is to help your team members improve—not to discourage them from growing at any level

To help you create a personal growth plan for yourself and your staff, click here to download a free guide

#4 – Be consistent

It’s easy to get excited about conducting church staff evaluations. 

You want to help your team improve. 

You’re working toward creating a healthy church culture. 

You want to make strides toward reaching your community for Christ. 

In your excitement, it’s easy to double-check your job descriptions, conduct one evaluation, and forget to have another one—again. 

Well, that’s not too helpful. ? 

When it comes to church staff evaluations, it’s best to do the following:

  • Set an annual evaluation
  • Schedule a semi-annual evaluation
  • Host regular check-in meetings

At a minimum, you want to conduct an annual and semi-annual evaluation. 

Only providing one annual evaluation is too infrequent. It’s way too easy for anyone to get derailed from their goals and get stuck in the proverbial rut. Semi-annual goals tend to work best for most church calendars. This is just enough time to set a six-month goal, have regular check-ins, and reconnect for an official review halfway through the year. 

#5 – Get peer feedback

Your church staff members are not robots. 

Their work influences more than whatever they’re working on.

Like you, your staff is a member of the body of Christ—a team member, manager, or employee. In other words, their life and work directly influences the people all around them. 

During your church staff evaluations, it’s also important to consider inviting peer reviews. These reviews can be anonymous, and they’ll provide a more robust evaluation of the staff member you’re evaluating. 

Peer feedback is especially important for larger staffs or if you have a decentralized leadership team. If you lack regular contact with your team, it’ll be difficult for you to get an accurate assessment on whomever you’re evaluating.

Evaluating your staff

Evaluating your staff can feel daunting—especially if you’re just getting started. 

If you feel overwhelmed, start with placing evaluations on your calendar. Once you make a commitment to evaluate your staff, you’ll be in a much better position to prepare yourself and your team.  

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