When a church’s leadership decides to create a new position on staff, sometimes it’s a result of healthy, normal growth. The church is in a position to welcome a new role to the team to expand or begin a ministry—such as adding a College Pastor after the youth program is running smoothly.
But sometimes, establishing and hiring for a new role is the result of critical gaps in responsibilities or an overworked church staff that’s close to burnout. Adding a new position on staff can be the flag that keeps the ship sailing.
With either reason, it’s crucial to carefully plan for any new role you’re considering adding to your church staff. Without this careful consideration, leaders can make mistakes like creating a full-time role that only has enough duties to be part-time or adding a role that the rest of the staff isn’t equipped to support.
You want to set a new staff member up for success—especially if they’re in a newly created role. That’s why pastors and church leaders should consider the following areas when creating a new position.
#1 – Title and Description
Choosing the new role’s title isn’t the first step.
The first step is to write a clear description of what the role does. Outline the key responsibilities the person will hold and what skillset, education, personality, etc. is required for the role. Unclear expectations too often result in underperforming or underutilized staff. But this can easily be prevented with a clear, detailed role description.
Next, determine a title that accurately represents the role and fits seamlessly into your church’s organizational chart. Ask: On which level does this position belong in our org chart? Which title option best fits their experience and degree of responsibility?
You don’t have to start from scratch. There are over 50 job descriptions in the Church Fuel Resource Library that members can use as-is or as a customizable template.
#2 – Relationships and Responsibilities
When it comes to creating and onboarding a new position, churches have more relationships to consider than a typical business or other organization.
There are the usual questions about who the role reports to and which team members they manage. But on church teams, it’s also important to think about the volunteers that the role will lead, support, or help manage.
And church staff members often have a responsibility to help guide people spiritually. As you plan for a new role on staff, make sure that there’s clarity around volunteer responsibilities and what, if any, spiritual leadership is required.
#3 – Future Growth
As people who ultimately seek to further the kingdom of God and equip people for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:12), church leaders shouldn’t only add a new role to the staff because of the work the person can do today. We should always have the person’s spiritual growth in mind and consider how the new role can expand in its ministry capacity.
What would a promotion look like for this new role? How can you ensure that the role has space to grow in responsibility? When someone fills the role, they should feel confident that they have a future with the ministry and that, as they develop their skills, the church has a plan for their advancement.
A recent study by CareerAddict.com found that 82% of people would leave their jobs over a lack of progression. The church isn’t excluded from this. Before you add a new church staff role, conceive of every possible growth opportunity available for the team member in it.
Take the Next Step
If you’re not sure where to start with creating a new church staff role, we’re here for you. We created a checklist with 13 areas to cover when establishing a new role. This resource also includes the right questions to ask every step of the way.
Click here to download the free New Role Checklist.