5 Things You Should Expect From Church Leadership

5 Things You Should Expect From Church Leadership

In our last post we talked about 5 Things Church Leadership Should Expect From You. Today we want to turn that around and look at what we (meaning children’s & family ministry leaders) should reasonably expect from our church leadership.

5 Things You Should Expect From Church Leadership

1. A commitment to personal holiness & God’s Word.

It goes both ways (meaning we should be committed to this also), but this is where leadership should start in the church. Leading a church is one of the most difficult “jobs” around, but no church or church staff can be adequately led if there is compromise in this area. At the same time, don’t expect perfection. Church leaders are men & women growing in their faith just as we are.

2. A clearly articulated vision for the church (which ultimately defines the vision for each department).

If I were to ask you what does a ‘win’ look like in your church?” would you be able to tell me? Understanding what’s important is all about vision clarity and communication. The direction – and successful pursuit of that direction – comes directly from the team understanding the defined vision of the church, and that is established by church leadership.

3. A minimal level of engagement & understanding with what you do.

No, I’m not saying your pastor should be seen in the kids’ area every Sunday (although that would be great!). And I’m not saying he should be part of planning or implementing children’s ministry.

What I am saying is that church leadership should at least understand what you do. In working with hundreds of churches across the country, my observation is that most don’t understand (or haven’t thought about) the reality that children’s ministry:

  • is one of the most, if not the most, complex departments in the church;
  • presents leadership challenges unlike any other in the church because of the numbers involved, the ratios required, and the developmental range of those involved;
  • includes the greatest risks in any department in the church (physical, emotional & spiritual)
  • requires the greatest amount of resources, from curriculum to supplies to equipment to program needs to volunteer assimilation & development, and more;
  • can significantly impact the pursuit of the overall vision since virtually everyone in the church is connected with children’s ministry in some way or another.

4. Open lines of communication.

When I served under John Maxwell, I could make an appointment & see him virtually anytime. He would occasionally stop by my office just to check in. I traveled with him at least once a year primarily for the purpose of connecting. Communication freely flowed both ways.

In another church, I had exactly 4 personal, individual conversations about my area (children’s ministry) with my pastor in 4 years. We had no executive pastor (so there was no one else to communicate with or through) and it took at least 6 – 8 weeks for each of those appointments to happen (all of which I initiated). Many other times I simply gave up trying to connect & just sent an email (which was rarely replied to).

Communication is vital. I’m not advocating an open door policy (in my opinion, lead & executive pastors’ roles are way too demanding to expect that), but there should at least be availability. The lack of communication “communicates” a lack of value for you and your ministry.

5. A sincere interest in your personal well-being.

Let me start by making this clear: church leadership is not responsible for your physical or spiritual health, wealth or happiness…you are. 🙂 They should, however, be genuinely concerned about you as an individual. In my opinion, this is reflected in:

  • fair compensation, in line with other staff leading comparable areas;
  • adequate opportunity for time off (vacation, sick leave, etc.);
  • expressed expectations for personal growth & spiritual health;
  • regular & reasonable “check-ins” to see how you are (in ministry, family, personally, etc.);

What else do you expect from your church leaders? 

(please share in comments below)

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Greg Baird
Founder of Children's Ministry Leader & Vice President of Global Resources at David C Cook
The most important thing to know about me is that I am blessed beyond measure to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, to have married way over my head to my wife, Michele, and that I have two incredible grown sons named Taylor and Garret.

I serve as the Vice President of Global Resources in the Global Mission department at David C. Cook.

I love what I do as it is the outflow of 25 years of ministry experience as Children’s, Family & Administrative Pastor, consultant, trainer, speaker and short-term missions leader.

2 Responses to 5 Things You Should Expect From Church Leadership

  1. Hi, Greg
    My name is Alphonso, and I was called to Ministry 20 years ago. However, the Spirit would not let me start the work just yet. His word to me is that I am saving you for something I am starting towards the end of this church age. So I attend Church, do no visible ministry work, and work on preparing myself for the work He will give me in a short time. What He do have me doing is working on a discipleship series of 11 teachings. These 11 subjects, I believe or the subjects that I expect a Church leader to focus on; if they don’t pay attention to these 11 subjects, I look at them as being lacking in doing their duty.
    I agree with you on your 5 things we should expect from Church Leadership, however, I believe those 4 of those 5 things are second to these 11 things. They should focus on their own salvation, then they should focus on discipleship of the followers. Here is a list of those 11 subjects:

    Immanuel Discipleship Studies
    Scripture And Verse Outline

    1. John 1:17 Truth And Grace Together Is The Gospel
    17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

    2. Luke 7:27 Whose Messenger Are You
    27 This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

    3. Luke 17:5-10 The Duties Of The Faith-filled Believer
    5 And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” 6 So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. 7 And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? 8 But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. 10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ ”

    4. 1 Timothy 4:11-13 To Be Or Not To Be A Perfect Example
    11 These things command and teach.
    12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

    5. Hosea 4:6 My People Are Destroyed For Lack Of Knowledge
    6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
    Because you have rejected knowledge,
    I also will reject you from being priest for Me;
    Because you have forgotten the law of your God,
    I also will forget your children.

    6. 2 Timothy 2:15 Study To Show Yourself Approved
    15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

    7. James 5:15-18 The Effectual Fervent Prayers Of A Righteous Man Availeth Much

    15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

    8. Ezekiel 33:1-9 Watchman, What Do You Perceive
    1 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, 3 when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, 4 then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’
    7 “So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. 8 When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 9 Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.

    9. Matthew 28:18-20 Discipleship Leaders And Followers
    And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

    10. John 15:26, 27 Witness When Perfect Opportunity Exist
    26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

    11. I Corinthians 12:4-11 Spiritual Gifts
    Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

Please share your thoughts ~

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