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A Subjective View of Staff Your Church for Spiritual Growth

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A Subjective View of Staff Your Church for Spiritual Growth

The title of the first chapter of this book is No Longer the Lone Ranger. I remember watching the Lone Ranger on television when I was younger with my father. The Lone Ranger was a fictional cowboy that alone fought the bad people and rid towns of illegal activity. Traditionally, the pastor in many cases was the solo leader of the church. He had mountains of responsibilities during those times, but he was able to handle most of the responsibilities on his own. The church of today needs multiple staff members to work along side the Pastor. The book on pages 12-16 gives reasons why there should be multiple staff members in the church.

The reasons listed for the need of multiple staff members are as follows: no one has all of the gifts, the loss of volunteers, the changing roles of the pastors from generalist to specialist, the increasing numbers of large churches, the expectations and needs of people, the loss of church loyalty, and because team ministry is biblical. I would briefly like at this point to comment on some of the listed reasons.

Indeed, no one has all of the spiritual gifts although various people according to the book believe that the Pastor should. Jesus is the only person who possessed all of the spiritual gifts. Those people that believe that the Pastor should possess all of the spiritual gifts have to realize that the pastor is only human, and he is, therefore, limited. As humans, we are limited physically, but unlimited spiritually. The loss of volunteers means just what it states. Increased costs of living and cultural and lifestyle variations in the changing world has cut down on the ability of people to volunteer.

Additionally, due to changing times, the rises in problems that people have that did not exist in the past, and a change in church demographics, the Pastor's role has shifted from being a generalist to a specialist. In terms of a medical doctor, the generalist handles the overall scope of the patients' health. A specialist is needed to treat a various aspect of the person's health. Because of the changing roles, the church needs other staff members that are specialists in various areas to work together to meet the needs of the church. Moreover, the idea of team ministry is biblical. Two examples given in the book are according to Acts 14:23-24 Paul ordained elders in every church and Peter addressed the elders (I Peter 5:1).

Chapter two focuses on Staffing for Growth. The opening quote from Titus Chapter 1 verse five and is as follows:

For this reason, I left you in Crete, that you might set in order what remains, and appoint elders in every city as I directed you.

This quote was a message from Paul to Titus. Titus was a person who Paul won to Christ. He became a person Paul sent to the churches to represent him because this was around the time Paul was in prison. Paul's message to Titus was to spread the Gospel to the people of Crete and appoint elders in every city. Therefore, his task was to equip people (elders) for team ministry.

This book gives a method for hiring church staff. I find the method presented as useful, but it would take a Pastor to really be able to provide more insights into this method. This method however seems very reputable. The first thing the book mentions in developing a new church should be to focus on finding people. There cannot be a church without people. Once the people are found, the next goal should be keeping people. That makes sense and seems self-explanatory. The next task should be celebrating with the people. This means the development of an appropriate worship service and appropriate church activities.

The next goal according to the book is educating people through the development of Sunday school, youth and women's ministries. I disagree with educating people as being the fourth goal. I think that should be number one or at least coupled to number one. The next task listed is overseeing people. The various ministries need to be organized and thus needs an overseer or much oversight. The final task should be caring for the people by hospital visits, doing weddings, baptisms, funerals, and providing counseling.

The book recommends that the three priorities in early years should be finding people, keeping people, and celebrating with people. The Priorities in later years according to the book should be educating people, overseeing people, and caring for people. The book says that priorities in early year tasks create growth while priority in later years create decline as shown by the chart at the top of page 25 of the text. I am not sure if I totally agree. I believe that these tasks should not be ordered as so but should overlap to some extent. The book defines the tasks of finding people, keeping people, celebrating with people, educating people, overseeing people, and caring for people are Nomothetic Roles. If the Senior Pastor does not posses al of these qualities he should hire an associate pastors to balance out the qualities he does not have.

In addition to those nomothetic roles, there should be idiographic roles according to the book. Idiographic roles focus more on the individual while nomothetic roles focus more on the group as a whole. Three things that the idiographic roles focus on are adult ministry, youth ministry, and children's ministry. The Adult ministry should focus on seniors, singles, mid-life, college, and career. Youth ministry should focus on high school, junior high, Middle school, and pre-adolescence. Children's ministry should focus on elementary, kindergarten, pre-kindergarten, children ages two to three, toddlers, and nursery age children. It is recommended that the senior pastor and the first associate staff person hired should fulfill the nomothetic roles, while the third person should fulfill the idiographic roles. The next people to be hired should then alternate between the various nomothetic roles and idiographic roles.

I have heard the church be described as the body of Christ. We all make up that body. The body is the sum of its parts. We each represent a part of that body. The body cannot function effectively without all of its parts. So for growth in the church each leader and person must fulfill his or her role or part.

The title of Chapter three is Adding Team Members. This chapter focuses on the addition of full time staff members. The book gives several questions to ask to determine if full time staff members are needed. Some of those things are is there more to do than the pastor can handle, is the church becoming more complex, are



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