It is advantageous for there to be a climate of safety on a team where members are free to say things openly and honestly. Unfortunately,  this is not always the case. Chuck Lawless shares with us today 12 things staff members want to say to their pastors, but at times don’t feel free to say for a variety of reasons.

Originally posted by Chuck Lawless

When I do church consultations, I always interview the church staff. In those interviews, I often hear from staff members who’ve never felt comfortable telling their pastor all they’d like to say. Of course, they do need to talk to their pastor – but nevertheless, here are some of the things they’d like to say:

  1. Pray with me individually. It’s great that you pray with us as a staff, but I need to hear you praying for me. I want you to ask about my personal concerns.
  2. Involve me in determining the church’s vision. You’re the leader, but I want to be part of the team. If you just hand me the vision, you’re asking me to implement a plan I’ve not helped develop.
  3. Don’t micromanage me. You hired me to do a job based on my training and expertise. Walk alongside me, but trust me.
  4. Watch my back. I won’t do everything perfectly. Somebody will get upset with me and come to you before talking to me. Please stand by me. 
  5. Know the names of my family. I realize our families may not spend much time together, but it means a lot to me if you know the names of my spouse and children.
  6. Ask me once in a while, “How can I help you be the person God wants you to be?” Sometimes I need you to be my shepherd rather than my boss.
  7. Require me to take my time off. I may not always take my scheduled time off. You can help me by holding me accountable for rest.
  8. Go to bat for me regarding salaries and benefits. I’m not usually in the meetings where folks make such decisions. Help me by speaking up on my behalf.
  9. Tell me where I need to improve, and then help me get there. I can’t grow unless I know my weaknesses. Point them out to me – but do it in a way that helps me improve.
  10. Allow me to get more training. Help me continue to grow by leading the church to give me time (and maybe even tuition) for further education.  
  11. Stop by my office occasionally. I’m happy to come to your office when you need me, but it’s nice when you just drop in my office.  
  12. I don’t say it enough, but I really appreciate you. I truly am grateful for you.  

What things would you add to this list?