Adding a second paid person to a church staff is a momentous occasion. You have grown! You can afford to hire someone! But who should a solo pastor or church planter should add to the “staff” team? A worship leader? A children’s ministry director? A youth pastor? The answer to this somewhat depends on your context. (See How to build the perfect church staff... and Three church staffing mistakes to avoid)
But stay with me for a moment and consider this crazy suggestion:
Perhaps the second staff position that the church should add is a paid assistant.
Seriously? An assistant? Before any other position? But what about our youth ministry? What about all of those little kids in our children’s ministry? What about our off-key worship music? Should we really hire a paid assistant before any of these other roles?
Here are six reasons to consider an assistant as the second staff person at a church:
1. Most ministry roles in a smaller church can be carried out by non-paid volunteers.
For example, I would argue that a youth ministry with 50 kids can be led and carried out well with volunteers.
2. A pastor who spends 10-15 hours per week on admin work is giving up precious hours that he could invest in pastoral work.
Is it really worth paying your pastor to make copies, order supplies, book events, do research online, or run to Staples? A pastor should invest as much time as possible in preparing sermons, developing leaders, working on where the church needs to go, being in the community, etc.
3. Most pastors are paid too much to justify doing admin work.
An assistant could do admin for much less than a pastor often earns. One way to measure this is to take the pastor’s rate of pay and figure out what it breaks down to in a 40-hour work week. Is it still worth it for a pastor to make copies?
4. For a few hundred dollars per month, you could free up 60 hours of pastoral time by having someone else do the admin.
Interested in a new pastor? Free yours by hiring someone to take all of the admin off of his plate!
5. Someone loves and is gifted to do the admin stuff that is drudgery for you.
You might be keeping someone else from what they love to do while you spend pastoral hours doing admin work.
6. Larger churches should not pay their pastors to spend time out of their areas of giftedness.
A pastor in a larger church should spend as much time in his areas of strength and giftedness as possible. Everything else should be delegated.
Perhaps you feel like your church will collapse if you don’t hire another pastor. I doubt it.