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5 tips for the first 30 days with a new staff member.

Tis’ the season for ministry transitions!  This week we’re talking about dealing with ministry staff transitions.  We’ll be looking at how to make the most of these points of change within your ministry.

You finally were able to hire that new staff member.  You wrestled the budget to find the money . . . you sifted through all those applicants . . . you processed this candidate through the maze of conversations needed to bring them on.  Now this person is about to get started . . . how can you set them up for a win in that first month?  Here are five things that we’re trying to live out at Liquid Church as new staff comes on.  (Dave Brooks has done an amazing job leading this process!)

  • Set The Table // Do they have all the tools they need to get the job done?  Make sure their technology and office space is all ready to receive them.  Nothing says “you’re not welcome” more than not being ready for them to arrive.  (A friend of mine has had business cards printed for new staff members and brings them to the “job offer” interview when the conversation changes to asking them to join.) 
  • Schedule Their Time // They won’t know how to spend their first few days . . . so schedule that out for them.  Set the meetings with the people they need to be talking to.  Make sure those people are ready to lead the new staff member in what ever conversations they need to be having.
  • Foster Friendships // Point them in the direction of people that you’d like them to build friendships with.  At Liquid, we assign every new staff member a “mentor” . . . someone who isn’t a supervisor but a peer in the organization (not necessarily from the same area) who we think that new staff could benefit from friendship with.  
  • Communicate Culture // Chances are the new staff member was able to parrot back enough about the culture of the church to get hired . . . but don’t assume that they know about the “why” and “how” of your ministry.  Give them key messages to listen to.  Hand out a few books for them to consume.
  • Consider Their Family // The first few months on your team will be effected by how their spouse is feeling about the new role.  Somewhere in your process you need to check in with the spouse to make sure that they are transitioning in this change.  Even if the person is a long time member of the church . . . it’s a huge change joining the ministry staff.
What would you have loved in the first month of your staff role?  [I’d love to hear your thoughts in our comments section!]

1 Comment

  1. oh how i wish my first staff position would have been like that!! i was coming in from being a member of the congregation for a long time. i was in city government and got the keys to the church thrown at me with a passing “go do ministry” charge. i swore that when i could hire staff, i would never do that to anyone. good stuff and even better when churches put it into practice.

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