Assembling and getting the most out of your staff is one of the toughest things that a pastor deals with in leading a growing church. On top of all that has to be done from week to week, staff communication can quickly become overwhelming.
In one of my recent coaching networks, someone asked this question: “How do you deal with all the questions that staff members bring you?”
What a great question – and one that many of us don’t think to ask. I wanted to take just a moment to share a principle on this topic.
Here’s the quick hit (in case you’re running late for an appointment):
If Your Staff Has Questions, Demand Options
What I mean is that, as a leader, you should never respond to a question from a staff member (in person, by phone or email) unless they first give you two or three suggested answers.
1) Because they know better than you. The fact that they are asking tells you that they have already spent more time thinking about it than you have.
This is essential, because it only gets more true the larger your church grows. When The Journey was just getting started, I knew everything that happened in every area. Not so these days.
Let the staff member share their thoughts on the question, then you can help them build on those thoughts.
2) Your staff needs to learn to think for themselves. In leadership development, it’s vital that you are being intentional about helping your staff learn to think.
If they can just run to you and let you fix it every time they run into a problem, how are you helping them grow?
Use your staff’s questions to teach them to think.
3) Perhaps the most important reason for implementing this principle is that you get better answers when you have multiple people thinking about the solution. It’s the old “two heads are better than one” idiom.
All of us are smarter than any of us.
I hope that’s helpful!
P.S. To learn six secret skills every leader can develop, check out Leadership Skills for a Growing Church
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