Church staffing has changed in many ways over the past 50 years. New positions and titles have appeared to meet real or perceived needs. In recent years, however, changing demographics and declining budgets have required congregations to reassess positions, add or delete some roles, and rewrite position descriptions.
In a recent blog, John Wimberly addressed this trend and provided some suggestions about where congregations should place their staffing emphasis. His observations are interesting but let me suggest some additional positions to consider.
First, most churches would benefit from employing either full-time or part-time a Minister of Missional Engagement. This person would help the church identify and establish partnerships with organizations who are impacting the community through service or social entrepreneurship programs. This staff person would connect congregants to these ministries and might also lead the church to provide grants for new projects.
Second, a Minister of Arts would enrich the life of the congregation by encouraging spiritual formation through arts and media. In addition to helping congregants to express their faith experiences though visual or performing arts, this staff person would provide resources to enhance worship and could provide a link to artists and performers in the community.
Third, although churches have employed Ministers of Christian Education for years and some have adapted this to Minister of Spiritual Formation, perhaps the more focused title would be Minister of Disciple Development. This person would pursue his or her role as an equipper of equippers, using not only educational methodologies, but people development processes such as mentoring, coaching, and spiritual direction.
A common thread running through all of these positions is the role of challenging and equipping people for personal growth and ministry. Each of these persons would not only be talented in their areas of responsibility, but also committed to engaging congregants. They would help to multiply the ministry of those in the church.
People are one of the church’s most important resources. Programs come and go but what we invest in people will endure.