At Grace Community Church we feel like a chain of command is important to have on staff just like most other churches and businesses feel . . . to have a structure that informs each person on the team who they report to and who they lead. What I love about GCC though is how “higher ups” on the chain lead . . . it’s not about focusing on and holding on to the authority of the position . . . but instead the focus is on the responsibility of dissecting our authority and then passing it on to the right team member and empowering him/her to own it. From there, “higher ups” focus on casting vision, following up with staff, partnering with staff to be a resource, and investing in the staff in order to help develop personal, spiritual, and professional growth.
Having a staff structure is not a bad thing . . . a structure in and of itself is nothing more than what we make of it. The key to allowing a staff structure become a blessing and not a curse is to CAREFULLY select the folks at the top based on more than simply being qualified . . . but to also process how secure they are as a leader to not allow their position of authority to become a crutch held onto for power’s sake instead of a responsibility to share among talented folks.
When the right people are selected at “the top” then what you’ll see with your staffing structure is a “leveling out” of the playing field where every player has a voice and is taken seriously. It will not matter if you are at the “bottom” of the chain of command . . . your voice will carry just as much weight and will deserve as much consideration as the executive. The only difference is that the executive has the right to make the final call after allowing his or her team to speak into the process.
There is nothing wrong with having supervisors in a structure . . . you need someone on the team not “in the trenches” so to speak who can examine a ministry from a 30,000 ft view . . . someone to monitor the health of a ministry . . . to follow up with team members . . . to cast the vision. But a structure that supports a few “leaders” who hold on to power, hold on to information, and do not strive to level the playing field . . . well, that’s a church or a business that may look successful on the outside, but within . . . a failure.
So how would you describe your staff structure? If positive . . . never forget how lucky you are. If negative, what could you do to maybe change things for the better? As for me . . . I thank God I’m at Grace! WOO-HOO!