|Courtesy of hang_in_there/Creative Commons License|
Recently I’ve been acquiring more managerial roles regarding church staff. At first I thought it would be easy because I’ve been successful at managing volunteers for 8 years. It was not.
There is a huge difference when it comes to managing volunteers versus paid staff. First, when it comes to volunteers there aren’t as many areas to cover such as time off and budgetary needs. Secondly, you don’t see your volunteers on a daily basis like you do coworkers. Therefore, your volunteers don’t your flaws on a frequent basis and they get a little break from you as each week passes by. Nonetheless, whether you manage paid staff or volunteers it’s important to know the best way to organize, coordinate and lead your team. In order to do this you need to act like a TOP NOTCH MANAGER.
A top notch manager is someone who not only leads and inspires the team; but makes sure every person and component of the ministry works well together. A manager is like a musical conductor coordinating each piece so that everything comes and flows together like a beautiful song. In order to make that happen and produce fruit in your ministry you need to manage with these FOUR PERSONALITY TRAITS:
- TRUST – If there is no trust then you can’t expect people to follow your lead. They’ll question it and even fight it in an unjust matter. If your team doesn’t trust you, you need to ask yourself, “What am I doing to earn their trust?” To build trust you need to communicate and be willing to own up to a few flaws. You might feel vulnerable; however, the payoff it brings is worth it.
- COMPASSION – If you can’t manage with compassion then your team will be left unsupported. A manager with compassion is someone who cares how their team is feeling, not just what they are doing. Feeling compassion towards your team comes from getting to know them. Make sure you spend time asking them, “How are you doing?” and not so much, “What are you doing?” If they know you are looking out for them it will build up loyalty.
- FLEXIBILITY – Being a manager can be a little bit of a power trip, which can lead to a few control issues. As a manager you need to recognize that your team is going to make mistakes and need margin in their lives. Your job is to make sure that they are not overworked and feeling trapped. The key to being flexible is by getting to know them, trusting them and consistently communicating with them what it is they need to succeed.
- FIRMNESS – While you want to be flexible it’s also important to set the guidelines. A manager isn’t always going to be everyone’s friends. A manager is someone who is give the extra push, raise the bar and return the team to focus on the vision. This means knowing when to say, “No.” (Why you need to say, “No”; click here) When you are firm it’s important to be strong; yet, not to abandon the compassion.
Managing isn’t always easy, in fact you’ll receive criticism. Some of the push back will be just while others of it will be completely unnecessary. Your job is to make sure people work together and to their full potential. While the systems and structures of your ministry are important, managing a team mainly means caring about who is serving alongside of you.
What are some other qualities of a top notch manager?