Who Does What? 5 Observations on Clarifying Leadership Roles

Here’s what is on my whiteboard right now. I’ve been processing this because my sense is that there’s a lack of clarity about roles within the church. When that happens, it can lead to complexity and confusion for all involved. And, as you might guess, it’s one of the key reasons I see churches getting stuck.

Church Leadership Roles

Here are some specific observations I’ve had in working with churches through the years:

  1. Roles will overlap. Every team will at times need to take on the other roles listed. The problems develop, though, when a team spends the majority of their team assuming a role that belongs to another team.
  2. Leadership vacuums develop when a team doesn’t embrace their role. Organizations get out of whack when a team abdicates its responsibility and no one carries out that function. When that happens, people will try to fill the vacuum and it oftentimes pulls the church in an unhealthy direction.
  3. Every team is naturally pulled to execution. The comfortable place to live is in “doing” the work. It’s what we know. God’s design for the church is that those of us in leadership would equip God’s people to do the work of God. (See Ephesians 4:12) When we don’t follow God’s design, we won’t experience God’s fruit.
  4. The role that’s most commonly neglected is the strategy function.Senior leadership teams get bogged down in the urgent details of day-to-day ministry. They don’t invest enough time in strategic conversations to determine “How will we accomplish the vision?” Because of that, there’s a gap that leaves people guessing what needs to happen next.
  5. We tend to invest time and attention in the “task” roles but not the “care” roles. There needs to be a balance of both. We prioritize time and systems to complete the tasks. We also need to prioritize the time and systems to care for people with whom we have influence. This is where discipleship and leadership development happens.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tony Morgan

Tony Morgan

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of TonyMorganLive.com. He’s a consultant, leadership coach and writer who helps churches get unstuck and have a bigger impact. More important, he has a passion for people. He’s all about helping people meet Jesus and take steps in their faith. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). With Tim Stevens, Tony has co-authored Simply Strategic Stuff, Simply Strategic Volunteers and Simply Strategic Growth – each of which offers valuable, practical solutions for different aspects of church ministry. His book, Killing Cockroaches (B&H Publishing) challenges leaders to focus on the priorities in life and ministry. His most recent books on leadership and ministry strategy are available on Kindle. Tony has also written several articles on staffing, technology, strategic planning and leadership published by organizations like Outreach Magazine, Catalyst and Pastors.com. Tony and his wife, Emily, live near Atlanta, Georgia with their four children — Kayla, Jacob, Abby and Brooke.

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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 

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