5 Ways You Can Influence Your Church’s Staff Culture

Most effective church leaders know that creating a healthy culture is important. Most of their efforts, though, are usually focused on the congregation. 

But what about the culture of the church staff? That’s important, too, right? Absolutely. 

Loyal staff members are the people who make the church tick. They’re the ones who make all the behind-the-scenes magic happen—the stuff very few people in the congregation ever see. 

So what are some ways you can stay on top of your staff culture, making sure you’re doing everything you can to keep them healthy and happy? We have some ideas.

1. Build the foundation

There’s an old saying that: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” It’s the idea that team and staff culture are one of the most important elements to a team’s success. 

That’s true. But it’s also true that strategy and vision are your base. 

Without a strong vision for your team and organization, your culture can only carry you so far. Be intentional about where you want to go with the team while you’ are building a culture that takes you there.

2. Communicate

This should go without saying, but while many leaders will acknowledge the importance of healthy communication, how many actually put it into practice? 

  • Healthy communication establishes trust because people aren’t scared to ask you questions. 
  • It establishes authority because they’ll come to you, as the leader, when there’s an issue. 
  • And it establishes a system. These days, it’s easy to use tools like internal messaging, Slack, Skype, and all our other technology to build a culture of communication

3. Give ownership

In other words, make your team feel like they have buy in. They should feel like they’ are in on something big—that what they’re doing actually has purpose. And it does! 

That’s why your job as the leader is so important. Don’t let your team feel like they’re overlooked or unimportant. And the best way to do that is to give them a sense of purpose and responsibility as a key player in the context of the whole team. Like Clay Scroggins says, they should feel like leaders even when they’re not in charge. 

4. Build influencers

People recognize influence, not titles. There will be certain people on your team who are natural leaders, even when they might not be in a leadership role. 

Pay attention to those team members and begin investing in them every chance you get. The rest of the team will naturally be drawn to them, so they can have a great effect on morale and the cultural climate.

5. Ask for feedback

You don’t know what you don’t know. You may think you’ve built a decent culture, but have you asked your team? Whether you’re a new leader or you’ve been leading for years, it’s vital to ask your team members for honest feedback about your culture

And, most importantly, be prepared to act on whatever they tell you—good or bad. Your team will appreciate feeling like their opinions count, which will only help you as you continue building a healthy culture of trust. 

Leadership is filled with peaks and valleys. You inevitably will go through seasons of growth and excitement, and seasons of frustration. 

Your culture, though, is the element that will carry you through all of the ups and downs. So be intentional about investing in your team. Have a plan to build a healthy culture and continue focusing on it as you move into new seasons of your ministry.

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