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Ultimate Guide To Church Leadership Roles And Responsibilities

An excellent church needs strong leadership and a dedicated congregation. Every single member of the church needs to understand the roles and responsibilities of the church’s leaders.

Different types of church leaders help your church-run, and all are equally important. When you define and understand the roles and responsibilities of each leader, your church will thrive. And a thriving church will grow from the congregation all the way up to your church board and worship team. 

You may know from my bio or the previous articles that I have worked in churches as small as fifty members up to a megachurch of over four thousand. I’ve also worked in nearly every role I’m about to mention.

Let my experience help you develop a leadership guide for your own church.

Here’s what I’ll cover:

Types Of Church Leadership Roles 

table showing different types of leadership roles in terms of ministry roles, church admin roles, and church board roles
There are a variety of church leadership roles.

You’re of course familiar with church leadership roles like the minister, pastor, bishop, and priest. But in addition to these titles, every religious organization needs a church board and an administration team to run the daily operations, ensure legal compliance, and make sure that the worship team is always communicating the church’s message. Your congregation notices when your church leadership team is on the same page.

Before continuing, let’s clarify a few terms.

  • Church Leader: The head pastor/bishop/priest. This is the person who leads the church.
  • Church Leadership: The rest of the team that follows the lead of the church leader. Sometimes, the leadership will be split into teams, like the worship team, or the youth team.

Maintaining and growing a successful church is a team effort. From the spiritual leader who preaches to the congregation to the treasurer and secretary, all successful churches must have strong leadership. The three main types of church leadership roles are ministry roles, church administration roles, and church board roles. 

As your church grows, you’ll need to increase the staff. Open job opportunities in your church can also help you increase the size of your congregation, so be sure to communicate all job openings to your community. 

Ministry Roles

Church leadership roles have evolved over the years. In the early church, for instance, some of the leadership was left to whoever owned the building that people worshipped in. But nowadays, the roles are much more complex. 

The title of your church leaders can vary by religion and denomination. For instance, a Baptist church is led by a minister, and a Catholic church’s leader is called a priest.

Pastor

The pastor is a key role in the church. Here are a few duties that every good pastor must fulfill: 

  • Lead a regular worship service
  • Serve at church events such as weddings, baptisms, and funerals 
  • Offer personal ministry to church members 
  • Communicate the church’s message to the community through words and actions 

Your church’s pastor is likely the face of your church. Each church member recognizes the pastor as a spiritual leader. So your pastor must embody the church’s message and philosophy to effectively serve your congregation.  

A good church leader takes their duties seriously and basically acts as a brand ambassador for the church.

Minister

While the minister is sometimes used interchangeably with the pastor, in some churches the roles are separate in a few ways. For instance, in the megachurch I worked in, we had many different ministries. We had one minister who was head of the hospital ministry, another who was head of the food pantry, and another who was head of the prison ministry.

The ministers never preached in the church as the pastors did, but they did preach in their respective areas and often led prayer meetings and other church functions. 

Deacon

Deacons fill many roles in the actual running of the church service. First, they can act as ushers. Later, they will collect and usually count the offering with the church treasurer. Finally, they will stand at the altar and pray with people at the end of service when the pastor is calling for prayer or for people who need salvation.

Historically, the books of 1st and 2nd Timothy were written to a deacon of a church that the Apostle Paul founded.

Lay Leader

In just about all Christian leadership, the “spokesperson” of the church is referred to as the lay leader. This person communicates directly with the congregation on a regular basis. 

The lay leader works with the church board. Every church has a lay leader in charge of ministry but serves underneath the senior pastor. These leaders communicate the church’s message to the congregation.

Worship Leader

Your worship leader is often the face of your church as much as the head pastor. So their attitude, demeanor, and dedication are important. They should caringly and enthusiastically lead worship services, be available to rehearse at any time, and minister the worship team’s needs.

The worship leader should not only have some musical talent themselves, but they must be able to see the potential in others so that your music program can grow. 

Church Administration Roles

Church administration is how the lights stay on and the restrooms stay clean. It isn’t always pretty, but the administration is what makes the world go round.

Receptionist

The first contact with your church will sometimes be the person who picks up the phone or responds to the email. A good receptionist is organized, friendly, and understands the roles of every other person working at the church so that a person in need can be sent to the proper ministry within the church.

Maintenance

Maintenance is probably the least spiritually demanding role, but without them, your building becomes a mess. Whether or not you agree that cleanliness is next to godliness, a messy building can send the wrong message to your congregation.

IT Department

IT, or Information Technology, departments are becoming more and more necessary as time goes on. Someone needs to be in charge of the church’s computers and website. While a smaller church might be able to get away with having someone volunteer for this position, larger churches will need to pay at least one person, if not more.

Security

As your church grows, you will attract more people who enjoy being disruptive. Not only that, but safety in the parking lot becomes a growing concern as well. Hiring a security firm to handle crowd control and to protect from disruptive influences becomes a necessary investment as you grow into the higher hundreds and possibly thousands of church members.

Legal

Any church can benefit from having a good relationship with a tax lawyer who can help you navigate through the maze of laws surrounding your church’s tax status on both the state and local levels. Much like IT, the larger your church grows, the more likely you will have to hire your own lawyer or put one on retainer.

Church Board Roles

The board consists of members of the congregation who handle the church’s finances, organize events, and keep the church compliant with denominational regulations and state and federal laws. The board is a crucial part of the church administration and leadership.

The church board must consist of at least 4 people, by law if it is a 501(c)(3) corporation in the U.S., so the structure will look very similar to any other corporation. You can have many more than 4 board members if you want, so consider it the minimum.

CEO

Almost invariably, in churches with a board structure, the CEO position is filled by the head pastor. This person is the leader of the corporation and helps steer it. The CEO takes the things that the board votes on and makes them happen. That is why the head pastor, as the spiritual leader, is usually the one to hold this position.

President

The president of any board ensures that the board meetings happen according to the bylaws of the church and is generally in charge of what gets onto the agenda of each meeting. Sometimes, the president is also called the chairman. Other times, the chairman of the board is an honorary title. There is no hard and fast rule to it.

Secretary

The board secretary handles any paperwork generated by the board and ensures that the board documents are properly and legally stored in case of an audit or investigation. This person usually is charged with handling the documents regarding any ordinations your church dispenses as well as baptisms, marriages, or other ceremonies.

Treasurer

The treasurer deals with money and must be present when offerings are counted. They are the ones who write the checks to pay the church’s bills. While this is the position most able to be exploited, the church bylaws can be written, or amended if they already exist, to say that the treasurer can only serve a certain amount of time, or to include a co-treasurer position on the board.

Other Positions

The aboveboard positions are only the ones required by law if you are trying to gain non-profit status in the U.S. Most likely, you will need more board members as your church grows. The other members don’t need specific titles, as not every board member in secular corporations has a title. Just remember to add each through your bylaws so you define their powers and responsibilities legally.

Wrapping Up The Roles

The church board and church administration staff work together to keep the church running behind the scenes, similar to how a board of directors and an administrative team help keep a company running. 

Your entire church governance team, the combination of spiritual, administrative, and board leaders, needs to work together for a church to succeed. The overall objectives and leadership styles need to mesh so they can appropriately serve the congregation and ensure smooth worship services. So when you consider who will fill each leadership role in your church, make sure that they’re a good fit.   

Every member of the church board—including administrators and spiritual leaders—is representative of the church.

The Importance Of Church Leadership

Church leadership is crucial to every church, whether it’s a national organization or a smaller local church. And for your church to succeed, it’s important to outline the responsibilities for church roles. 

For instance, in my megachurch experience, we put on a Passion Play with a cast and crew of over 500 people that took place on a stage that spanned just over 200 feet. The stage was divided into sections, and each person’s script told them which section to be in at which time. The play ran so smoothly that I still marvel at it sometimes.

The moral is to define your roles and responsibilities and everything just works, even when a live camel stops to do nature’s business in the middle of the market scene.

Just like running a business, a strong church needs great leaders and employees to run smoothly. Each church staff member has duties and responsibilities that they need to fulfill. And whether a particular staff member communicates directly with the congregation or works behind the scenes, every church leadership role is important. 

How To Grow Your Church’s Leadership Team 

Church growth happens when your leadership team successfully spreads your church’s message to the community and your church leadership team works together. And just like a growing business, a growing church sometimes needs to increase its staff to accommodate the increased demand. 

So how do you grow your team? How do you provide strong leadership development to sustain your growth, and what do your leaders need to be successful?

Developing Leaders Within Your Church

If you’re searching for new church leadership, it’s sometimes best to start within your church. Perhaps there’s an enthusiastic deacon who would like to expand their responsibilities. As an existing church member, they already understand and appreciate your church structure, message, mission, and goals. 

Developing a potential leader will take some time. They’ll need to learn what church leadership entails and how their daily responsibilities will change. But with some training and guidance, the right leaders can help your church grow. 

Growing With Your Community

The key to successful church growth is planning. If you’re not prepared to experience some growing pains, you’ll have a bumpy road ahead. But if you consider what church staff you’ll need to hire and how to support your church leadership, you’re setting yourself up for success. 

Adding to your team means creating roles that you didn’t previously need. For instance, you might need one dedicated staff member to coordinate weddings and another staff member that only focuses on youth ministry. You can make their lives easier with resources like a congregation database or specialized accounting software to keep track of costs. 

Growing your church is exciting. It means that you’re able to serve more of the community than you were before. Just be sure to plan for your growth so that you can keep achieving your church’s goals without missing a beat. 

Finding And Developing Church Leaders

Leadership development is challenging. You must make sure that all new additions to your church body agree with the church’s goals and message. Here are a few ways to find and develop new leaders: 

  • Write a concise mission statement that defines why your church exists.
  • Create a job description for each church staff member that clearly outlines their roles and responsibilities.
  • Look within your existing congregation for applicants, since they already understand and agree with your church’s objectives. 

In addition, you might want to ask your head pastor or minister (unless that’s you) to interview your top candidates before hiring anyone. Your existing leaders need to support your new staff, so it’s important that they agree with your hiring decision. 

Qualities Of Successful Church Leaders

A church leader’s needs can be divided into two categories: what talents and characteristics they must possess and what they need from the church to succeed. 

Successful church leaders are charismatic and enthusiastic about the church. They are excited to spread the church’s message to the congregation and the larger community. They must be good communicators and establish themselves as trustworthy advisors that church members can rely on. 

In addition to those inherent attributes, successful church leaders also need help from the church itself. The church board must support its leaders, particularly new additions to your church leadership team. 

The team members need encouragement and the board’s support so that the congregation will accept them. And if your church leader is particularly forward-thinking, they might need financial or strategic resources to make positive changes to the church and the surrounding community.    

Serve Your Congregation With Strong Church Leadership

Church leaders come in many forms. From the worship leader to the church board, every member of the leadership team plays an important role in the success of your church and the spiritual journey of your congregation. Strong leaders need care and teaching to grow.

As the head pastor, it is your responsibility to help them grow and become the best they can be. I recommend going to conferences or retreats to help your entire leadership team.

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What Is Church Leadership? Key Principles & Policies

Jesus said that we are the light of the world in Matthew 5:14, and our light shines most effectively through leadership within the church. Whether you are looking for the best church software or answers about how to disciple small group facilitators, church leadership is central to your decisions.  

Church leadership is the responsibility of every Christian, and a church’s organizational structure, policies, and practices help Christians to understand their leadership roles to successfully fulfill the Great Commission. Whether you are a senior pastor, an elder, or a local church member—all believers receive God’s call to be a part of Christian leadership.

In this article, I’ll cover:

What Is Church Leadership?

The Great Commission in Matthew 28:16–20 commands Christians to disciple the world, and that discipleship requires leadership from us, the church. So, what is church leadership? 

Church leadership is two things: the people who lead the church, and the actions that the church takes in the community. Typically, when talking about the people, we call them the church leadership team. The actions can be any kind of event that the church takes out in the community, from highway clean-up to holiday plays to food pantries.

Primarily, in this article, we will be talking about the leadership team. I will be careful to make it known when each is being talked about.

No matter how the church leadership team is structured, the church is most visible to the world through leadership actions on the local level. People within the congregation often look to the pastor or priest as the lead, and they observe other ministry leaders as models of what good Christian leadership is.

However, church leadership does not stop with the local church government, elder board, or pastor. A healthy church has leadership at all levels. As 1 Peter 2:9 says, every Christian is part of the priesthood, so Christian leadership needs to be undertaken by all believers.

At its core, church leadership means overseeing and shepherding the church, but the shape of leadership changes according to roles within the church.

Roles And Responsibilities Of Church Leadership

Here are some of the key roles in the church, along with their core responsibilities. 

  • Pastor: leads the congregation, and represents the church to the public.
  • Deacons: act as ushers and prayer leaders, as well as take offers
  • Lay Leader: in charge of coordinating between the congregation and spiritual leaders.
  • Worship Leader: directs the choir and band, picks the songs, and coordinates with the pastor for consistent messaging.
  • Administration: can act as everything from the receptionist to the maintenance crew and IT department.
  • Church Board: the group that provides accountability for the church to the government and possibly higher authorities in the denomination.

Attributes Of Church Leadership

No matter what position a person fills within your church leadership team, some attributes should be shared amongst everyone. Communication is key, and people who think alike can help avoid miscommunication. Plus, you want people who are as committed to the cause and call of your ministry as you, the head pastor, are.

Here are some key attributes to look for in potential and current church leaders:

  • Motivated: Your team needs to want your mission to be successful.
  • Cooperative: Your church should have leaders willing to work with anyone who volunteers their time and energy.
  • Independent: When you put someone in charge of a project, they should be able to complete it without having their hand held, after having had the proper training.
  • Devoted: This attribute is purely spiritual. Your team must possess a devotion to Christ.
  • Teachable: Every Christian is a disciple, and leaders should be more so.

Related Read: Church Volunteer Management Guide: Strategy, Tips, & Software

Leadership In A Healthy Church

While church leadership is clearly part of maintaining a healthy church, being leadership savvy is secondary to strong pastoring. If leadership establishes effective policies, procedures, and other leaders within the church, this allows pastors to focus on pastoring and being there for the congregation. This makes leading the church much more manageable.

Different Types Of Church Government 

Church government is often responsible for shaping church leadership within a denomination or local church body. One branch of ecclesiology (the study of churches) deals with the government, or polity, of church leadership. Church polity consists of three main types: episcopal, presbyterian, and congregational.

Episcopal Polity

In an episcopal structure, bishops hold authority in the church, providing guidance, support, orthodox theology, and even discipline when necessary. The bishop oversees (Greek episkopoi means “overseer”) a local diocese—a region of churches. In this way, local churches hold accountability to the diocese, and the diocese is accountable to the bishop who represents the diocese worldwide.

Presbyterian Polity

The Greek word for “elder,” presbuteros, is the source of the English word “priest,” but the priest or pastor is not the only authority in the church. Rather, in a presbyterian church government, the pastor is sometimes called a teaching elder. The local church, then, elects elders from the congregation to lead the local church in session, the local governing council, which is moderated by the teaching elder.

Session appoints and oversees deacons, who have local tasks in the church, such as serving communion and shepherding people within the congregation. Deacons are model servant leaders within the church.

Like the diocese in an episcopal structure, presbyterian government organizes elders within a region called a presbytery. Then, multiple presbyteries compose a synod as a larger governing council.

The fourth layer of presbyterian polity is the general assembly, a government gathering of elders from many synods that makes determinations for the church overall.

Congregational Polity

While episcopal polity places authority in an individual overseer, presbyterian government focuses on the “priesthood of all believers” by having teaching and lay elders act in a representative government. Congregational governance is still farther from a central authority within the church. In congregationalism, each church independently determines doctrine, theology, practice, and all matters of function.

Variations In Church Polity

Although these three structures are the main types of church organizational leadership, many churches practice variations. A congregational church, for instance, may elect elders, like a presbyterian model, to a board that provides governance to the local church; unlike presbyterian polity, however, the board of elders may be the final human authority over the local church.

Church Leadership Styles

Church leadership at the local level can take many forms. 

  • Autocratic leadership is where the pastor makes every decision and sets the vision for the church. 
  • Laissez-faire leadership provides minimal direction and disconnects from other leaders in the church to allow the local church to move in its own way. 
  • Democratic leaders, however, fall somewhere between autocratic and laissez-faire, where they guide and counsel the church in a democratic manner. 

No matter the leadership approach, the main objective of a pastor and other church leadership should be to facilitate spiritual growth in their community.

Key Principles Of Church Leadership 

Brian Dodd outlines many key principles of effective church administration, including the following:

  • Be organized with policies and procedures. Keeping everything in order will prevent chaos from overtaking your church.
  • Be sensible. Always be willing to shift your policies if they are making life difficult for your leaders or members.
  • Be consistent. A consistent message will draw people in and give them a guide to follow when miscommunications happen.
  • Guide others. As the head pastor, your responsibility is to be the teacher of both the leadership team and the general members. Don’t forget to give special workshops for your top leaders.
  • Appoint church leaders who provide solutions. If you follow the Attributes Of Church Leadership section above, you should have this covered.
  • Lead with others. No one person can do it all. The church is called the Body of Christ. The brain can’t work without the heart. The heart can’t pump without the lungs. Raise up people who can help.
  • Delegate to others. Similar to the previous point, give your responsibilities to those who can handle them. Sometimes, the only way to find out if someone is ready to move to the next level is by giving them a chance at something they’ve never done before.
  • Have advisors. Everyone has blindspots and biases. Let your leadership team offer advice and counsel when you don’t know what to do.
  • Study. The Bible is our greatest resource as pastors, but websites such as this one also help as we teach each other and share our experience. Never stop learning.
  • Focus on people, not process. Good people are more important than the specific processes that they follow. A good leader can fix problems as they arise, while a bad leader will fail when problems come. Build your leaders up, and the policies and procedures will become easier to fix when you find flaws.

Forging Church Leaders

As J. D. Greear claims, the church is a place where leaders are made. Current leadership within the church needs to challenge its people to be leaders, empower and equip them to be leaders, and have the courage to send those leaders beyond the local church. An effective church leader inspires church growth in depth and breadth. He strengthens the children’s ministry by challenging and encouraging its leadership team. She teaches leadership principles to her church staff.

If your church models and facilitates effective leadership to grow leaders, then get ahead of the curve and look at our guidance on church planting.

Most importantly, take a clue from the Apostle Paul’s letters. He almost always opens and closes his letters to the churches with callouts to the people who have been helpful to him in his ministry. Positive reinforcement is as old as the New Testament. Use it early and often to help create strong leaders.

Final Thoughts

I hope this article has opened your eyes to the many types and ways that churches can be led. Leaders come in all shapes and sizes, so always be ready for the next church member to step up. In the meantime, stay faithful in prayer and let the Lord Jesus help you create the environment where your leaders can thrive.

I’m Lexie, and God bless!

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Church Volunteer Management Guide: Strategy, Tips, & Software

According to a recent Gallup poll, the percentage of people who volunteer their time is at 58% in the U.S. This number includes all types of volunteering, from Habitat For Humanity to Christmas food pantries. 

Expect the number of people eager to give their time to your church to be even lower than that. Things are not all doom and gloom, though. Following this guide will have you on your way to a solid group of faithful volunteers.

This article will bring you up to speed with the latest tips in church volunteer management. I will cover various processes like background checks and identifying strengths and weaknesses, as well as software that can keep your volunteers organized.

My name is Alexandria Schmidt, and I spent twenty years in multiple churches helping coordinate everything from bake sales to full-scale youth productions of our local Passion Play. Let me help you manage your church volunteers with three simple concepts.

How To Manage Church Volunteers

Volunteering at non-profit organizations such as churches, soup kitchens, and food pantries is not a relic of bygone days. Even at the current low of 58%, which is due to many factors, especially the COVID-19 pandemic, we can see that a significant majority of people are willing to spend their time helping someone. 

How can you ensure that they spend their volunteer hours at your church? I will cover how to find and keep good volunteers in this section.

Recruiting Church Volunteers

Recruiting starts with you, the pastor. Enthusiasm and excitement for your next project go a long way towards bringing people into your church’s inner circle. People are like plants who need water and sunlight to grow. Let your encouragement and praise be that water and sunlight. A discouraged volunteer is one who will not return.

Step 1: Ask For Help

Don’t be afraid to announce the church’s needs when starting a new project or ministry. Some pastors are more willing to ask for money than time, but it is our congregation’s time that is most valuable. Also, when announcing a need for volunteers, give people at least a month to fix their schedules to help you. Asking for Wednesday’s help on Sunday morning will leave you very short-handed.

Step 2: Screen For Possible Legal Issues

Once you have announced your needs and given encouragement, what do you do? First, most churches and church events involve children in some capacity. Consult the National Sex Offender Registry in the U.S., or the equivalent for your country.

If a frequent volunteer seems to be ready to move into church leadership, you might even want to conduct a background check on them. This is typically done through your local law enforcement office. Not doing so could possibly open you or your church to legal issues, so consult with your church’s lawyer concerning your local laws about who can and cannot legally volunteer.

Step 3: Get To Know Your Volunteers

Spend some time talking to your volunteers. Even if it is just a moment or two each, you can get an idea about which parts of ministry they are passionate about. Volunteers will stop coming back if they are not in a role that they enjoy. 

Of course, not everyone can do exactly what they want every time. That’s where your encouragement and praise as their leader comes in. A person who feels as though they did a good job will be happy, even if the job was not their first choice.

Step 4: Lead From The Front

Finally, the most important thing that you can do to recruit and keep volunteers is to do the jobs yourself. I was assistant youth pastor to a head pastor at a church of over two thousand people, and we held a Passion Play every year with a cast in the hundreds. Year in, year out. Our volunteers always grew. The reason is that he was legendary for giving his all in everything he tried. Lead by example. Do the work, and the people will follow.

Training Church Volunteers

This section will examine why and how you should train your volunteers. Volunteering is for simple tasks, right? How much training does a person need to wipe down the Bibles after-service? Unless your church elders are getting paid, they count as volunteers. Unless your sound person or choir director is getting paid, they are volunteers. Volunteers frequently occupy key parts of our ministries and our church leadership.

Each church is its own entity with its own needs, so this article cannot specify what exactly to do, but this section will provide general advice. Training volunteers is a complex task. A worship leader might need to be trained on which songbooks are allowed by your denomination. A deacon or elder might need to be trained in what they are allowed to counsel a church member before sending the problem to an ordained minister. The bake sale cashier might need to be trained in the proper care and handling of the cash box or donation app. The number of ways your church members can volunteer, and the amount of training each position needs, is as different as the people themselves.

bar graph showing relative training times for deacons, elders, worship leaders, and bake sale cashiers

So, how do we train them? In my experience, the bake sale cashier only needs a few minutes of instruction. They will not be praying over someone or preaching. You, or your volunteer manager if you’ve trained one, can show them how the money handling procedures work, and then send them on their way. 

These simple tasks, which are the bulk of church volunteer opportunities, require some common sense and little supervision. This is a good thing because your leadership volunteers will require a higher investment of your time and energy.

Training your church elders is sometimes governed by denominational bylaws or other regulations, so, once again, consult with your lawyer or your higher clergy (such as a bishop) before deciding who to promote from a regular volunteer. 

Typically, elders require a great deal of experience in the church, having proven themselves through prayer meetings, church projects, and simply doing the work of keeping the church-going. I was always taught to be wary of people who want to skip the steps of simple service before reaching the point of standing before the stage and leading people to Jesus at the end of service. 

Church elders, or deacons, are just about the highest point a layperson can reach in their local church. Pray with them, study with them, and make sure they are there for the right reasons. Power-hungry elders can split a church like firewood.

In my personal experience, those people are somewhat rare but watch out. This is part of the purpose of training: to weed out the people who would use their position to do harm.

Caring For Your Volunteers

Good volunteers are a church’s most precious resource. To keep them coming back, they must be cared for. As I have said a few times before, encouragement and praise are your greatest tools in keeping volunteers happy. Still, after a long day of packing groceries for a food drive, those church members are probably going to be hungry. That sounds like a perfect time for a pizza party!

Yes, the pizza party is cliche, but it can be very cheap (depending on where you get your pizzas) and most people love it. What else can you do to make your volunteers feel special and encouraged to come back for your next project?

The Phone Blitz 

We’ll cover volunteer scheduling below, but, on your volunteer list, you should have an email or phone number. Hopefully, both. Get on the phone with your leadership team and call the volunteers to give them a personal “Thank You” from the pastor and church elders.

Church Announcements

We all have announcements on Sunday morning, usually just before or just after praise and worship. Place a general “Thank You” to all volunteers, or a specific one if a volunteer did a really great job. This can have the dual effect of bringing in more volunteers who are glad to be paid with their name being called.

Volunteer Retreat

Find a Christian leadership retreat or conference, such as these. Take your volunteers there both as a treat and for development. Bulk rates in hotel rooms can bring costs down, and churches near big cities may not even need to stay in hotel rooms for these kinds of conferences. Although, the trip is half the fun in itself.

These ideas may not work for your specific congregation, but they should get your brain moving in the right direction.

Church Volunteer Management Tips And Best Practices

In this section, I want to take you through some tips and best practices for church volunteer management. We might double back over a couple of points from above, but reinforcement is key to learning.

Establish Clear Roles

As you put on more events and develop your core volunteers, you might find that they start forming volunteer groups. Some will only show up for the bake sales. Others will only show up for food drives. Some will show up only to fold announcement papers if you even do that anymore. The point is that your volunteers will find people and jobs that they are comfortable with and attempt to stay there as much as possible.

While this is not a bad thing, per se, these small groups can develop into cliques if left unchecked. You can avoid this by establishing a very clear hierarchy from the beginning. By giving the role of gatekeeper to a person from the start, you stop everyone from trying to claim it at once. Just be sure the person in charge of each group is someone who is willing to bring new volunteers into the fold.

Establishing clear roles is also extremely helpful in figuring out where things went wrong. It’s going to happen. Some disaster will befall your event, and you will want to find out how to stop it from happening next time. By ensuring that everyone has a specific job, you can tell who messed up and might need more training. Just be prepared. That person is going to be with you a significant amount of the time. Those are the breaks of being the one in charge.

Finally, on this point, establishing clear roles allows you to identify those who are willing to step outside the lines for their own benefit. As I said earlier, these people are not common, but it only takes one to cause deep pain for many people. Your ministry leaders should be willing to do anything for the cause, but not for their own gain. Volunteer management is about protecting your church community as much as it is about helping it grow.

Define Realistic Goals

Realistic goals are all a part of that enthusiasm and praise I looked at earlier. Like all things, setting your goals is a balancing act that comes with experience. If your goals are too easy, your church leaders won’t feel a sense of accomplishment for achieving them. Meanwhile, harsh goals can suck the joy right out of any number of volunteers.

How do we find that balance? Experience, for one. For two, ask other pastors in your area how successful they have been. Maybe research your local area’s recent history for the type of event you are planning. If you have never done this type of event before, set your goals just slightly under the average. Always give yourself some wiggle room to find ways to praise people for reaching the goals you set.

On that note, not every group has to have the same goal, even within the same event. Let’s look at a 5K Fun Run. You might divide the volunteer groups into pre-race day and race day teams. Pre-race day might consist of the children’s ministry trying to collect donations for the runners and the route planners working with the city to find an appropriate day. 

Neither group would have the same goals, and their success does not depend on the other. The race day team might have a team that is in charge of getting each runner checked-in and pointed toward the start/finish line and start/finish team that would keep the time and prepares the finish line for the runners as they cross it.

All of those small groups work together to create the event even though they each strive toward different goals. What their goals should depend entirely on your church community and the number of volunteers you have to work with.

Other Best Practices For Church Volunteer Management

Here are a few other quick tips for managing your church volunteers.

  • Background checks can save your church legal trouble. When in doubt, consult an attorney.
  • Social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.) is how many people communicate with the world these days. A tech-savvy volunteer coordinator can wrangle a large number of volunteers with a couple Tweets. If you don’t know how to use social media, find someone in your volunteer pool or leadership group who does. Read this article about using YouTube in your ministry to get you started.
  • Lead from the front. Don’t ever ask your volunteers to do something you wouldn’t do. They will know that there is a double standard, and they will run.
  • Discipleship is key to great volunteer leaders. Just like the previous point, don’t promote someone who is not willing to serve. Churches have rules, and your ministry leaders need to be people who can listen. They don’t have to be robots who do exactly as you say and nothing else, but humility is one of the spiritual gifts. As someone who has stacked and folded thousands of chairs before getting a chance to preach, this one is close to my heart.
  • Speaking of spiritual gifts, don’t neglect spiritual training for your volunteer group. As you train them to assist with event check-in or whatever is at hand, don’t forget to relate back to the reason why you are all there in the first place: outreach into your neighborhood and community. Whether your focus is on soul-winning, fundraising, or just reminding people of a safe space in the community, always take a few minutes to pray with your volunteers or quote relevant scriptures about your event. This fosters solidarity and mindfulness around your larger goals.

A final point on those rare instances of a disruptive influence among your volunteer staff. Mercy and patience are always in order, but some people will not take the hint. You are the boss in your church, and you have the right and responsibility to kick someone out who is making it difficult for others to work. 

Tell them they can come back after they have cooled down if you want, but protecting your congregation will increase their respect for you and make them more likely to come back.

Church Volunteer Management Software

Church Management Software, or ChMS, is any computer program or mobile app that allows you to keep the information about your church and its members in one place. Sometimes, ChMS will also allow you to track your volunteers. I will highlight the best ChMS for churches that are trying to grow their volunteer program.

Here are the criteria I used:

  • Is it user-friendly?
  • Does it have competitive pricing?
  • Is church volunteer scheduling part of its functionality?

After careful analysis and some playing around with demos, I have to recommend ChurchCRM. ChurchCRM is free, easy-to-use, and fits the above criteria. More than just volunteer scheduling software, it has event registration, Sunday school groups, fundraising, and more. Maintain your rosters of volunteers with a few clicks or swipes. Installation can be a bit tricky, but the ChurchCRM team has a very helpful video right on the page I linked.

Church CRM Church Volunteer Management Software Screenshot
ChurchCRM’s demo page. Of note is all the different ways to organize and sort your members and volunteers.

I don’t think ChurchCRM is the end of your search for a management solution, but it is more of a beginning. You can find links to articles that will recommend more specialized and expensive software below. Think of ChurchCRM as something to help your church’s volunteer program grow to new heights. You will find different needs and solutions as you and your volunteers grow in ministry.

If ChurchCRM is a little too techy to start, Flocknote is another option that deals primarily with texts and emails for organizations. The setup is simpler, and it requires a subscription that starts at $8/month to fully unlock its features. Flocknote also requires $39/month to reach a similar level of function as ChurchCRM, although it has a simpler user interface.

Flocknote Church Volunteer Management Software Screenshot
Flocknote looks similar, but costs more than ChurchCRM.

ChMeetings is another option I would recommend. It’s the easiest to use, but it does not have the same robust support for volunteer management as the other two apps.

CHMeetings Church Volunteer Management Software Screenshot
ChMeetings has an easy-to-use interface but does not have the robust volunteer support you might be looking for.

If you want more in-depth looks at a variety of software for churches try these:

Most pastors will find that their needs outgrow or simply change from what they were in the past. These articles will give you a nice reference for when that happens.

Church Volunteer Management: What Have We Learned?

We have learned that one of the biggest obstacles is not just volunteer recruitment, but volunteer retention. I looked at ways to raise those retention rates through care and training while maintaining clear roles for our volunteers and giving them realistic goals. Finally, I took a quick look at the best software for a pastor who is looking to dip their toes into church volunteer management in the 21st century.

Comment below with questions or ideas about managing church volunteers. Look for more articles in the future about managing your church, your congregation, and the software that can help you do it.

Related Read: What Is Church Leadership? Key Principles & Policies

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10 Best Church Leadership Training Programs In 2022

Looking for the best church leadership training in 2022? Join us to explore and rate leadership training programs that will to help you and your teams build stronger church leadership strategies for your congregation. 

10 Best Church Leadership Training Programs

1. Arrow LeadershipFind clarity for an uncertain future

Arrow Leadership screenshot for Church Leadership Training Programs Screenshot
Learn to become a Jesus-centered leader with the Arrow Leadership Program.

The Arrow Leadership Program for church leaders is divided into Team Development, One-on-one Coaching, an Executive Leaders Stream, and an Emerging Leaders Stream. All these modules are structured differently to serve the unique needs of different levels of church leadership. The program offers various resources including small groups, the monthly Sharpening Leaders blog, leadership tune-ups, and free downloadable tools.

The Emerging Leaders Stream launches virtually on March 19, 2021 and runs through June 18, 2022 at $5,500, with a partner pricing option available.

The Virtual Executive Stream for senior church leaders launches on June 25, 2021, and runs through August 26, 2022 at $9,250, also with the partner pricing option available.

2. Foundations in Missional Ministry and Church Leadership CurriculumCertificate and diploma courses in church leadership

Foundations in Missional Ministry and Church Leadership Curriculum Screenshot
Certificate and diploma Christian courses courtesy of Tyndale University.

The Tyndale University church leadership program features a certificate and diploma course. Christian leaders are expected to complete four units for the certificate, and eight units for the diploma course. Students who have completed the certificate can obtain a diploma by studying four more units at the diploma level.

Some of the topics include Bible Interpretation and Survey of the Old and the New Testament.

3. Pastoral Care and Leadership – Short course for advanced pastors

Pastoral Care and Leadership Screenshot for Church Leadership Training Programs
Free online course on pastoral care and leadership.

Dr. John Johson of Western Seminary offers a free online course for advanced pastors on pastoral care and leadership focusing on preaching, leadership, and Biblical theology. A succinct 17 hours, this audio and video course equips you with the skills and knowledge required to be a good leader, nurture good leaders in the local church, grow from conflict, and relate well with the members and church staff. 

4. Mindful Leadership Training – Best customized training for an all-round, healthy church

Mindful Leadership Training for Church Leadership Training Programs Screenshot
Organization-specific training and public eLearning from the Institute for Mindful Leadership.

The Institute for Mindful Leadership has been running this training program for over 15 years with custom offerings to organizations, in-person workshops, and retreats. The program is aimed at equipping leaders with greater resiliency and more capacity for excellence.

The program currently has an online course for February, a workshop for March, and an upcoming retreat whose dates will be released soon.

5. Certificate of Biblical Leadership Course – Learn and grow in leadership for spiritual influence

Certificate of Biblical Leadership Course Screenshot
Three-part, 78-lesson Christian leadership training from Axx.

This course is best for beginner leaders starting their biblical leadership journey and looking to benefit from excellent ministry training for spiritual influence in the church and beyond. Leaders on the program have full lifetime access to the course materials and get a personalized certificate upon completion.

We love the low cost of the program as it is affordable for most leaders at only AUD 30 per month.

6. Administration and Leadership Webinars and Online Classes – Best courses for church administration

Administration and Leadership Webinars and Online Classes for Church Leadership Training Programs Screenshot
Webinars and Online Classes about Administration from Sacred Space Online Learning.

This leadership training focuses on ensuring people in the church leadership pipeline are fully equipped for church administration and religious leadership, with topics such as Nonprofit management, developing leadership styles, church fair trade stores, church websites, running small groups, and volunteer management.

The courses are offered on an on-demand basis across Canada and the U.S.

7. Emotionally Healthy Discipleship – Becoming the emotionally healthy leader your church needs

Emotionally Healthy Discipleship for Church Leadership Training Programs Screenshot
Transform into an emotionally healthy church leader for your church and the world.

Peter Scazzero shows you how to transform from an ordinary to the executive pastor your church needs by improving your emotional intelligence and well-being. You’ll be able to develop a new vision for healthy church leadership, integrate your personality with your calling, and lead the transformation of your church staff.

You’ll also draw inspiration from one of Scazzero’s bestseller leadership books – The Emotionally Healthy Leader.

8. Equipping Leaders International Leadership training – Courses for equipping leaders to transform their world

Equipping Leaders International Leadership Training Screenshot
Training on church leadership development from Equipping Leaders Inc.

Equipping Leaders International focuses on training that covers local church leadership, church rejuvenation, church planting, and administration of Christian schools. It seeks to equip pastors with formal training required for the effective running and management of the rapidly expanding churches.

The course covers the effects of hindrances such as corrupt governments, Western dependence, limited opportunities for ongoing education, and economic poverty to ensure that leaders can still bring glory to God through their service.

9. Building Church Leaders – Practical training tools for team members

Building Church Leaders Screenshot for Church Leadership Training Programs Screenshot
Best leadership training for a holistic church.

This program aims at producing a holistic church with high capacity ministry leadership across the board from pastors to lay leaders and other general church staff. The training focuses on mentoring church teams to enhance their competencies, gifting, and discipleship with a renewed passion for outreach to bring more people to God.

The training is best for leaders looking to enhance both themselves and their entire church by developing a united church as per the teachings of Ephesians 4.

10. Dallas Theological Seminary courses – Free Christian courses for podcast lovers

Dallas Theological Seminary Courses for Church Leadership Training Program Screenshot
Free podcast and email-based courses from the Dallas Theological Seminary.

The Dallas Theological Seminary offers free Christian courses on church leadership skills and other aspects through their podcast and weekly emails. Key topics include suffering, racial reconciliation, repentance, and walking with God through church leadership.

Next Steps

Finding the best church leadership training for yourself or church staff doesn’t have to be an uphill task if you consider insights from our list. There’s at least one training suitable for your every Christian leadership need! 

In fact, we’ve also compiled a list of the 10 Best Church Leadership Conferences In 2022 to make it easier for you!

If you’re simply looking for more resources to add to your library, here’s our list of the 10 Best Church Leadership Books.

Are you a church leader who wants to connect with others to share knowledge and best practices? Apply to join our exclusive community of church leaders and access to a private, moderated forum with other lead pastors.

Related Read: What Is Church Leadership? Key Principles & Policies

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10 Best Church Leadership Books

While a leader’s primary source of wisdom will always be the Bible, those who embrace other sources of knowledge have more tools and context for its interpretation, and case studies for how best to apply biblical teaching in a modern church leadership role. 

When searching for church leadership books there are a lot to choose from, but not all authors have the strong theological education and discipleship experience to provide instruction on church leadership.

So how do you find the best books for you and your leadership team without reading through the entire bookstore? The humble book review is here to help. In this list, we bring you some of the most iconic Christian leadership books that teach different approaches to the unique challenges of pastoral ministry. 

Best Church Leadership Books

1. Spiritual Leadership: Principles of Excellence For Every Believer by J. Oswald Sanders

Part of the Sanders Spiritual Growth series, this book is best read by church leaders looking to enhance their leadership in the spiritual and physical realms to lead their congregation or church community better under the strong guidance of the teachings of Jesus Christ. 

The book draws from the Scripture and has elaborate examples of charismatic servants of God like Nehemiah, Moses, Paul the apostle, and Charles Spurgeon. While Sanders recognizes that natural leadership attributes are a gift from God, they are only truly effective when used to bring glory to God. As such, church leaders keen on enhancing their leadership abilities should check out this book and draw from its teachings on topics such as:

  • The one major requirement of true leadership
  • The cost of true leadership
  • Leadership responsibility
  • Tests of leadership
  • How to reproduce good leaders
  • The attributes of quality leadership
  • The criteria of quality leadership.
  • The key principles of true leadership

2. The Emotionally Healthy Leader: How Transforming Your Inner Life Will Deeply Transform Your Church, Team, and the World by Peter Scazzero

This is part of the eight books in Scazzero’s Emotionally Healthy Spirituality series and is best for church leaders looking to enhance their inner life to make more impact in their leadership in the church and the world at large. 

The book shows church leaders how they can build a satisfying Christ-led inner life and focuses on key areas such as overcoming stress, planning, decision-making, team building, influencing other people and nurturing a healthy culture. It is geared toward helping you become a holistic individual with the proper emotional health required to lead as a Christian. 

The book focuses on some key areas such as:

  • Helpful tips on facing your shadow, leading others whether you are married or single, slowing down, and embracing new beginnings out of different endings
  • Elaborate assessments meant for leaders to gauge their leadership health
  • Practical, tried, and tested ways for equipping leaders both at local churches and internationally all over the world
  • Core issues of unique Christian leadership.

3. Who Moved My Pulpit?: Leading Change in the Church by Thom S. Rainer

This 160-page church leadership book is a good choice for ministers, pastors, lay leaders, and other key leaders in the church who are struggling with understanding and managing change in a fast-changing world. As much as change is inevitable and is beneficial for the development of a church, Christian leaders need to know how to embrace such change to ensure both they, and the entire church, remain spiritually healthy. 

This short book will cost you a few hours of your time to read or listen to but it will be a gem in your journey with church leadership, especially where changes are frequent and intensive. It will equip you with some of the following key points:

  • Knowing where change is coming from
  • Knowing why changes are happening
  • Finding out how you should deal with the changes while still following God all along
  • Being ahead of change to ensure your church remains true to its timeless calling while still serving opportunities in the new era
  • How to change approaches to reach a fast-changing culture.

You can also check out Rainer’s other bestseller, Autopsy of a Deceased Church: 12 Ways to Keep Yours Alive. 

4. Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory by Tod Bolsinger

Sometimes as a church leader, minister, or pastor you may find that the tables have turned and you are leading in a cultural context that is way different than your expectations. 

You may realize that, at such times, your training holds you back rather than carrying you along. This celebrated book by Tod Bolsinger changes such scenarios for you and illuminates your leadership path with practical insights for reimagining effective leadership.

In a fast-changing world, you will need more than just canoes to conquer the mountains of modern-day Christian ministry. I like Bolsinger’s book as it leads the reader into finding new navigational tools to be able to conquer the hardships of ministry. 

The book now has a study guide that helps you formulate ways to lead in Christianity with courage and confidence. The most important thing to do when you find yourself in a different cultural context is to adapt to new ways of leadership, and this book will help you do so drawing from Bolsinger’s extensive pastoral experience.

5. Courageous Leadership: Field-Tested Strategy for the 360° Leader by Bill Hybels

If your zeal is to do your best to effectively lead your church in spreading God’s message of hope to bring change in the world, then this is the right book for you. As a leader, you have the potential to positively change the world by bringing believers together and nurturing their spiritual gifts to help non-believers become devout followers of Jesus Christ. This book will show you the right tools to use to achieve this noble responsibility.

The one major aspect I like about the book is that it draws heavily from Hybels’ personal life experiences, through which he brings out important life principles with compelling first-hand stories. Hybels explores the challenges, tasks, and tools of your true calling. Among other things, he helps you to:

  • Discover the power of a vision and turn it into constructive action
  • Embrace change
  • Discover your leadership style
  • Walk with God and stay put in your God-given course
  • Develop other leaders; and 
  • Make the best of the spiritual gift of leadership in you.

6. Leading Change Without Losing It: Five Strategies That Can Revolutionize How You Lead Change When Facing Opposition by Carey Nieuwhof

Leading Change Without Losing It is part of Nieuwhof’s The Change Trilogy and is a good fit for the church leader who has encountered opposition while trying to bring about change. 

As a leader you try your best to bring change into an otherwise disoriented world, but this is often met by opposition and you have to equip yourself with means of navigating the change itself as well as the opposition.

Nieuwhof’s book helps you bring about change without losing it through the following five strategies:

  • Determining the people who support or are opposed to the change and why
  • Deciding where to put your undivided attention
  • Developing the questions that will inform your course of action
  • Learning to attack problems rather than the people fronting them
  • Persevering right up to the crucial breakthrough.

Other church leaders will find this book a gem as they try to navigate the uncertain waters of bringing change in the ministry and leaving a positive lasting legacy in their churches and beyond. 

7. In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership by Henri Nouwen

At only 107 pages, Henri Nouwen’s In the Name of Jesus is a short read. It’s aimed at church leaders curious about discovering Nouwen’s unique approach to Christian leadership as not just the effort of church leaders but also that of the entire church community. 

Nouwen believes that the best way to determine the success of leadership is to consider the “communal and mutual experience” rather than the ordinary consideration of the effectiveness of the leader only. This unique approach posits that leadership without the community is impossible since, as Christians, we are all collectively called by God into enjoying a common experience. 

Church leaders, pastors, and ministers will find this book a game-changer amongst the broad outlook on matters of church leadership as they now have to factor in the contribution of the congregation in shaping leadership. 

It is not enough to recognize that, as a leader, you have the responsibility to lead. It is important to know and understand the role your community plays in how effective or ineffective your leadership turns out. 

8. The Motive: Why So Many Leaders Abdicate Their Most Important Responsibilities by Patrick Lencioni

Patrick Lencioni’s approach to major leadership lessons using simple fables endears him to scores of readers across the world. The Motive is one such fable that Christian and business leaders can look to for tips on examining their true motivation for taking up leadership. 

While it calls for utmost honesty to oneself, not many leaders would be able to fully discover the true motivation behind their zeal to lead. Lencioni presents us with practical ways of examining ourselves to see what spurs us into leadership.

By following his actionable tips, as leaders we are able to avoid the loopholes that kill our church communities and eliminate the pitfalls that cause hurt to the very followers we are serving. 

Lencioni uses plot twists and dialogues to bring us to an unexpected and equally enlightening resolution, coupled with simple life lessons from the fable and practical advice drawn from his theory on leadership and life in general. 

9. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

This bestseller is part of Sinek’s Start with Why series. It explores, in depth, the idea that leaders need to determine the reasons or motives that drive people into joining a movement or service. For the leader, the Why part would include assessing oneself to determine the reason you are involved in leadership.

This is a must-read leadership book for examining the real-life motivations that guide people into different lines of action. He also draws comparisons between major world leaders who, although from different backgrounds, exhibit similarities in their manner of thinking, acting, and communicating. Sinek names this aspect The Golden Circle. 

The Golden Circle offers a system through which movements are led, organizations built, and people inspired. Sinek provokes us with several questions, such as why some people command greater loyalty from both employees and customers. The same methods can be replicated in church situations. 

10. Next Generation Leader: 5 Essentials for Those Who Will Shape the Future by Andy Stanley

Church leadership will soon become obsolete if churches fail to invest in leadership development to bring up a future disciple team from the youth ranks. In this book, Andy Stanley notes that missional mandates can be instilled in the youth to prepare them for leadership roles in the future through equipping them with the five basic characteristics: 

  • Clarity
  • Courage
  • Coachability
  • Competence; and
  • Character.

Andy Stanley shows us how the future crop of leaders can be mentored through practical advice and approaches to:

  • Leverage uncertainty
  • Maintain stable moral authority
  • Discover and tap into one’s strengths
  • Enlist the help of leadership coaches
  • Harness one’s fears.

At only 176 pages long, this is a must-read for all church leaders who realize the importance of nurturing the next generation. Just like a robust country thrives on how best the youths are trained, a healthy church calls for an equipped young generation.


Other ways to improve your ability to lead churches and congregations include church leadership training programs and attending church leadership conferences. And as we all know, leaders are always learning new things. Why not take a look at this article: 10 Top Church Technology Resources For Leaders in 2022.

Make sure to check out our membership program as well, where we connect church leaders and pastors and help each other grow.

Related Read: What Is Church Leadership? Key Principles & Policies

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How To Build And Lead A Worship Team

The time has come; you have finished bible college ready to take on a new leadership role as a worship pastor. Or maybe you have recently planted a new church or inherited a struggling worship team. Whatever it may be, you find yourself starting a new worship team. 

It’s exciting and maybe a bit overwhelming. Where does one start? In this article, we will talk through how to build and lead a worship team!

Some topics we will cover in this article are:

Back in 2011 my husband and I had just moved to a new city. We were eager to find a new church family, so for a few months we tried different churches. We had heard of a new church plant that had just started and we were eager to try it out. 

After the first Sunday morning we attended, we were hooked. We knew we had found our new church family. It was a young church with a group of about 40 people. The service was a little rough, but there was an authenticity that we loved about it. We were excited to join this new worship team in our new church. 

Fast forward 6 months and the senior pastor sat my husband and I down and asked us if we would create and lead a worship team. Whoa! Talk about pressure. I had been involved with training and leading worship teams in the past, and had attended Bible College, but was I really equipped to start from scratch with a 4 person team? 

Establishing Guidelines For Your Worship Team

The first thing I had to establish was, what culture did I want for this worship team? What was my vision for the team? And what expectations did I have for this team?

As a worship pastor, your first priority is to lead your team well, and a huge aspect of that is creating the culture of the team. The culture of the team determines the effectiveness of the team. If you create a culture of camaraderie, connectedness, and encouragement, your worship ministry will be much more effective.

The first step in creating a culture of camaraderie and connectedness is to communicate clear guidelines and expectations right at the start. 

Clear expectations are actually comforting for team members. Knowing what’s expected allows the worship team to relax. There’s nothing more frustrating for a volunteer than committing to something and then finding out they’re expected to do things that they aren’t prepared or qualified to do.

What Worship Team Guidelines Should Cover

Some topics to cover in your worship team guidelines are:

  • Your team’s mission statement
  • Your vision for the worship ministry
  • Expectations around commitment and attending rehearsals
  • Rehearsal schedules
  • Standards for musicians and worship leaders
  • Skills and responsibilities
  • Dress code 
  • Communication tools that the team will use, such as Planning Center

If you want to see some more samples or download a worship team guidelines template, check out my article on how to create worship team guidelines

Worship Team Auditions

Once I had established the guidelines and expectations for being involved in the worship team, it was time to grow the team. 

In some circles, auditioning for a worship band has been a taboo concept. There is an argument that worship bands don’t need perfectionism or professional musicians, and that it’s about our worship to God, and that we need to look at the heart, not about how skilled we are on a Sunday morning. 

But is that really true? How does God really feel about the quality of our music? Does He care about skill or talent during a worship service? Does He care if we can’t play the worship songs well?

Many don’t think He cares at all. Many people believe as long as you are singing good theological songs, nothing else matters. “Let the Holy Spirit do its thing” is what I have often heard. This argument will often arise when people are being pushed past their comfort zones and don’t want to deal with all the practice and rehearsals. I have seen this many times, as not everyone wants to put in the hard work.

Holding auditions for your team is a really easy way to understand and observe a musician’s skill level and desire to serve. It’ll help connect people’s skills to where they can best serve in the church. The end result, a growing and thriving worship team that is passionate about the presence of God, is worth it.

The most important thing to remember when you audition musicians is that it is always easier to add a member to the team than to remove them from the team. No one wants that awkward conversation—been there, done that, never want to do it again.

Take your time in adding members to the worship team. Thankfully, the Lord doesn’t expect a certain sound or instrument to be playing when we are praising him, so we shouldn’t feel any pressure to add a bass player or drummer to the worship band as soon as possible.

Finally, a worship team audition should be a fun experience. It’s important that everyone who auditions feels encouraged, no matter how well they have done or how successful they were.

For more ideas on how to audition your worship band, see my previous article here.

Worship Team Training

Now that you have created your worship team, it’s time to do some training. Wait? Training? If we have set a standard of expectations and you held auditions, why do we need to train? 

Training a worship team, whether it’s musical or nonmusical training, is an important aspect in leading your team. 

Leading worship, as you know, is not just about singing. There are a lot of balls to juggle. Just because the team has the musical ability and all the skills to sound great does not mean that the team has the skills to lead worship. The opposite is also true; if they are not the strongest musicians, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t lead worship. 

“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16v7) In the same way, worship leaders should look beyond just talent and look at the heart of their musicians. That being said, the more skillful the team is on their instruments, the more comfortable they will be on a Sunday. This will also draw the congregation into worship more effectively. 

If the musicians and vocalists are having to think too much about playing their piano or guitar, or which chords to play, then they’re not going to be able to fully worship God and lead people to Him as easily. Training and practice will assist team members in this, and if they are constantly improving on their instrument, they will be able to focus more on worshipping. 

For more on how to conduct worship team training, read my article here!

Tips For Leading Worship Teams

Here are my top three tips for leading worship teams effectively and with grace.

1. Build Relationships

Relationships are a huge aspect of your role in building a worship team. Be intentional about developing strong relationships with not only your senior pastor but any support staff as well. 

I can not emphasize this enough. Build strong relationships with your worship team. When tension and storms come to your church and ministry, which I am sorry to say will come, a strong relational connection will help weather those storms.

At my church, we would hold a team night once a month, where we would come together as a team to share food, pray together, and just have some fun. It was a great way to break through relational barriers and to get to know the team members in personal ways. 

Ask them about their families, how their jobs are going, and their hobbies. When your team feels cared for, the bonds between them will strengthen. If they are only looked at as a drummer for Sunday service and as having no value outside of that, this will cause resentment and hurt feelings.  

Although completing tasks is an important part of the worship leading process, it is secondary to relationships—first with God and secondly with each other. If we miss this, we miss everything.

2. Communication

Let’s be honest, there is nothing more annoying than a person with bad communication skills. A great way to honor your team is by practicing good and clear communication. If the idea of phone calls and emails stresses you out, take steps to move past this. 

Promptly returning emails and phone calls is such an important tool in building trust and cohesiveness with your team. Set aside time each day to check your emails, respond to worship team members, and clear your inbox. Don’t allow it to pile up. Focus on this as an utmost priority, because it is.

Stay connected by keeping your contacts organized with these tools: 10 Best Church Contact Management Software [2021]

3. Organization 

Serve your team well by being organized. Have the schedule nailed down on your communication or team management software, plan out rehearsals in advance, and have the setlist out early enough so the team can practice.

A lack of organization can be frustrating to your musicians and singers. So jump into the organization aspect with excellence. Your team will love you, and thank you for this! 

Related Read: 10 Best Church Management Software For Small Churches

Now What?

After all this, the hard work begins. Probably not what you want to hear, right?

While many musicians excel at being relaxed and carefree, the job of the music director or worship pastor can be quite stressful sometimes. There are a lot of moving parts in the worship ministry, and many people to lead and care for.

While being prepared and organized is an essential part of the role, remember that there are times when it will be necessary to relax and have fun! After all, your volunteers are there because they love music and using their talents to serve. 

You want to preserve those passions and foster a team that people are excited to be a part of. As a worship pastor, you will have many moments of exercising your patience. In times of frustration, remember why you are there and why you took the position in the first place. 

If you have any other suggestions or tips for leading a worship team, put them in the comments below, I would love to hear what has worked for other people!

Moving forward, you’re going to need help managing your growing church. Here’s our list of the 10 Best Free Church Management Software.

And as your church grows, you’re going to need the tools to manage your facilities. We came up with a list of the 10 Best Church Facility Management Software to get you started.

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Faith-Based Leadership Writer

We’re looking to build a long-term relationship with a writer experienced in faith-based leadership. Someone with a love of writing and storytelling who is also passionate about, and experienced in, leading faith-based organizations or church communities.

You’ll be pitching, researching, and writing articles on The Lead Pastor, a forward-thinking publication and community for pastors and church leaders who are driving the discussion about church communities and shaping the future of church leadership.

We’re interested in working on a per-piece contract basis (not full-time salaried position). We’re flexible to accommodate thought leaders’ busy schedules. You could write one article per month, or one every other month, for example.

Topics we cover are:

  • Church leadership: tactical advice as well as theoretical and philosophical approaches to leadership training, community building, and leadership styles
  • Church communications: how to create church communication plans and strategies, how to use and implement communication technology in churches
  • Church management: how to facilitate financial or donor management, church growth management, church administration, and more
  • Church technology: how and why to use technology in church, what presentation technology is and why to use it, the best church technologies to use 

You’re A Great Fit If You…

  • Love writing about church leadership, ranging from the philosophical to the practical side of the profession. You love sharing knowledge and want to make a name for yourself as an expert in this niche. Church leadership is actually your thing. We’re looking for thought leaders (or thought leaders “to-be”) with experience in the field.
  • Own your work—and want a platform to build an authentic relationship with a wide audience. We care deeply about our rapidly-growing audience and want to publish best-in-class content that they will absolutely love.

Must-Haves

  • Professional experience in church leadership: you’re a pastor, church leader, preacher, or similar role (3+years)
  • English writing skills and a willingness to improve
  • Adaptable voice and tone (we have a style guide to help)
  • The ability to breathe life into traditionally dry topics.

Nice-To-Haves

  • Previous writing experience, either on a personal or company blog
  • Experience writing SEO-friendly, long-form blog articles.

Contract Details

  • This is not a typical “content marketing” copywriting job. Instead, we want you to become a strategic contributor to the publication, share your articles on social media, and contribute to the voice of the brand
  • Article length: from 800 to 2,000+ words
  • Compensation: $200 USD per article (with opportunities for more qualified writers to earn more).

Benefits

  • You’ll be working in tandem with a friendly, multi-disciplinary team experienced in content production, digital marketing, community building, and SEO
  • You have the chance to work on interesting projects and have a byline on a trustworthy, reputable blog
  • Flexible workload
  • Flexible schedule
  • No weekends
  • Ongoing & long term work.

How To Apply

Sounds like your cup of tea? Excited to get writing, share your knowledge and build your brand?

Please use this form to apply

Thanks in advance for your interest!

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The Best Church Technology Conferences 2021

If you want to know the best church technology conferences to attend in 2021, you’ve come to the right place. Our specially curated list includes both in-person and virtual events that feature renowned Christian thought leaders and practitioners from across the globe. 

Church technology can help you stay connected and relate with your church members and the world more effectively. While some church leaders shun technology, these conferences will help demonstrate to you why it’s worth embracing.  

Best Church Technology Conferences List

These conferences are great for teaching you how to leverage the latest church tech trends to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ wider and farther than ever. 

1. Church Facilities Conference & Expo (CFX) 2021

Dates: September 21-22, 2021

Price: Free for the virtual events

Location: Texas

Church Facilities Conference & Expo (CFX) 2021 Screenshot
CFX is aimed at helped churches up their technology game.

The CFX event is focused on equipping churches for a changing ministry landscape by becoming more technology savvy. It cuts across the board from leadership, management and communication to event production and facilities management. It is aimed at all church leaders from pastors, executive pastors and church staff, to technical artists and operations managers.

You can also access the events through live streaming on platforms like Facebook and video calls with the exhibitors. 

2. Live Design International (LDI) Conference

Dates: November 15-21, 2021

Price: $425-$705 onsite depending on preferred sessions

Location: Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC)

Live Design International (LDI) Conference Screenshot
LDI is great for a variety of professionals, including church leaders and pastors.

LDI is a conference and trade exhibition for various live design professionals across the world. It has over 16,000 members drawn from sectors like corporate events, houses of worship, concerts, and theme parks. 

Attendees will learn about the latest technologies, interact with industry experts, and nourish their creativity. The conference is a great fit for filmmakers and innovators interested in how church tech systems work for effective and productive church communication.

3. First In Last Out (FILO) Conference

Dates: May 11-12, 2021

Price: Available upon request

Location: Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, Illinois

First In Last Out (FILO) Conference Screenshot
Anyone on your church stuff can benefit from the FILO conference.

The FILO Conference is for anyone involved in technology at their local church. It’s great for church staff working in audio or lighting, technical artists, music directors, creative directors, and worship pastors to anyone else who works with technical artists. 

The event encompasses the FILO Conference, FILO podcast, FILO Coaching, and the FILO Blog. The event will live streamed this year to accommodate those who are unable to attend due to COVID-19 restrictions.

4. SALT Conference

Dates: TBC

Price: To be communicated soon

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

SALT Conference Screenshot
SALT is a well known church conference focused on technology.

SALT is all about using technology creatively as a vehicle for God to communicate powerfully and intimately to His people. The conference is aimed at nurturing a technical and creative arts community and combines workshops on creativity with powerful talks and inspiring moments of worship. The 2020 edition of the SALT Conference was a virtual three-day event. Since plans for the 2021 edition are still underway, interested attendees can register for email updates on their sign-up page.

5. That Church Conference

Dates: 4th – 5th May, 2021

Price: Free online streaming, $97 for replay access

Location: Virtual

That Church Conference Screenshot
That Church Conference is an online conference for digital communicators within the church.

That Church Conference focuses on enabling Christian digital communicators to tell stories. Attendees will learn about church communication and practical marketing strategies, covering topics such as communications, technology, social media, marketing, and design. 

Top-notch speakers and Christian practitioners including leadership coaches, media producers, creative strategists, ministry consultants, communicators, pastors, and directors of communications will grace the event. 

Interested attendees will have the opportunity to stream the two-day virtual event for free or access a paid replay.

You can buy a Replay Pass at only $97 per year to view all the 5+ years of conference sessions.

6. Christian Leadership Alliance Outcomes Conference

Dates: June 15-17, 2021

Price: $899 for members, $1099 for non-members, $2,996 for a group of five

Location: Orlando, Florida

Christian Leadership Alliance Outcomes Conference Screenshot
Outcomes focuses on technology, people management, leadership, and more.

The Outcomes Conference has been a mainstay in the Cristian conference calendar for over 40 years. It aims to strengthen Christian leadership and impact, with a focus on:

  • Internet and Technology
  • People Management and Care
  • Financial Management
  • Executive Leadership
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Resource Development

It is a popular choice for church tech teams, church leaders, and Christian thought leaders. 

7. Thrive NorCal Conference

Dates: To be communicated soon

Price: From $199 for individuals

Location: Bayside Church, Granite Bay, California

Thrive NorCal Conference Screenshot
Thrive includes breakout sessions for churchgoers and pastors.

Thrive exists to create experiences and resources that encourage and inspire people everyone from church pastors to school students. 

The Thrive Conference features four mid and pre-conference breakouts through which attending churchgoers will gain inspiration on topics such as creative communications, preaching and speaking, worship and production, among others. Oh, they’re seriously fun too.

8. Christian Musician Summit

Dates: November 4-6, 2021

Price: $159

Location: Our Savior Lutheran Church, Tacoma, Washington

Christian Musician Summit Screenshot
The Christian Musician Summit is intended for worship leaders, teams, and other Christian musicians.

The Christian Musician Summit is for you if you are a Christian songwriter, worship leader, indie artist, church leader, gospel musician, or church technician. The summit has been running since 2003 and seeks to improve the skills and talents of musical individuals for the glory of God. 

Attendees are provided with practical sessions and resources to improve their skills and inspire talent for God’s glory. Workshops and performances are held by top industry musicians and there’s a real festival atmosphere.

Let Us Know How You Get On

Attending one or more of these conferences will provide you with plenty of knowledge and opportunities to network with other leaders in the Christian community.

Let us know how you get on and if there are any we missed off the list that you think are worthwhile to attend. 

While waiting for the conferences, here’s an article that will surely help you improve: 10 Top Church Technology Resources For Leaders in 2021.

If you’re an experienced church leader, consider joining our exclusive community to share fresh ideas and develop best practice in the local church.

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10 Top Church Technology Resources For Leaders [2021]

We live in an era where church technology resources are an essential part of any successful ministry. Statistics show that these resources can help churches and their staff members in many ways. These include enhancing worship, improving church communication, and automating administrative tasks.

Many people tend to associate technology with entertainment. Pope Francis once noted this among his congregants when they were using their phones to take photographs instead of concentrating on his sermon. Church leaders should set an example on proper usage of these resources in educating and strengthening congregations. 

In this article, I’m going to share ten church technology resources you can use to guide your adoption of church technology.

Church Technology Resources

1. Ministry Tech’s Magazine

Ministry Tech’s Magazine Screenshot
Ministry Tech Magazine has monthly publications.

Ministry Tech Magazine helps church leaders and administrative pastors solve technological challenges. 

This magazine also covers:

Ministry Tech Magazine is a free publication. Church leaders can subscribe to have monthly releases delivered in their email inboxes.

2. Resource UMC’s Communications & Marketing Blog

Resource UMC’s Communications Marketing Blog Screenshot
Get help with email communication and marketing.

Resource UMC is the ultimate church leader’s guide for all forms of communication, modern marketing, and church messaging. 

Other than being a great outreach and communication resource, Resource UMC also offers:

  • Tips on growing email audience and getting people to open your emails 
  • Church logo branding services
  • Digital ministry ideas
  • Outreach and marketing tools
  • Basics for sending urgent ministry updates via email

3. Technologies For Worship Magazine

Technologies For Worship Magazine Screenshot
Technologies for Worship homepage.

Technologies for Worship Magazine is a practical publication offering training on how worship leaders can make the best use of technology in churches.

Other benefits include:

  • Ministry Tech lessons.
  • Monthly magazines on developing technological trends.
  • Access to the best church audio App in the world-Turn It Up.

4. ChurchTechToday

Church Tech Today Screenshot
ChurchTechToday offers content on chuch management software.

ChurchTechToday is a website dedicated to helping church leaders, pastors, and church communicators gain insight into topics like:

  • Social media and worship
  • Websites
  • Software usage
  • Mobile phones

ChurchTechToday’s main aim is to shed light on empowering and positioning churches for growth through church technology. 

5. The Church Juice Blog eBook

The Church Juice Blog eBook Screenshot
ChurchJuice Technology Guide Resources for the Church.

ChurchJuice knows the importance of social media in how congregations, churches, and communities interact. 

It offers:

  • Tips and strategies on how your church can benefit from Facebook 
  • 5 things to include in your church website
  • A list of 25 best church websites and their values.

This eBook is free and church leaders can get it delivered to their email inbox once they subscribe. The resource is also downloadable from the ChurchJuice website.

6. Behind the Mixer Church Audio Artistry

Behind the Mixer Church Audio Artistry Screenshot
Church audio equipment.

Behind the Mixer is a church technology resource dedicated to teaching churches about enhancing their sound systems. 

The team of engineers will:

  • Guide you on buying the best equipment 
  • Teach you the basics of audio productions
  • Offer free question and answer sessions on church tech

Behind the Mixer has a lot of useful, free resources and church podcasts on their website.

7. Church Magazine

Church Magazine Screenshot
An example Churchmag post from 2020.

Church magazine documents all the occurrences in the church. For example, 2020 being a year of COVID-19 pandemic, reflections posts include:

  • Church life through pandemic
  • Tools used during the pandemic by leaders to take their church online
  • Church response to COVID-19 pandemic
  • Effects of the pandemic on Christian faith

This non-profit magazine may cover many topics on church activities that church leaders can use to take the ministry to the next level.

8. Discplr Children Ministry Magazine

Discplr Children Ministry Magazine Screenshot
Children Bible Story Books.

Discplr magazine contains beneficial lessons church leaders can use to train and prepare kids for ministry from a young age.

Key teachings included are:

  • Free Sunday school lessons
  • How to organize kids ministry
  • Ministry empowerment tools for parents and teachers
  • Children’s’ Bible stories and lessons 

The Discplr magazine also includes adult teachings discussing methods to stick to the mission of the church and maximize your potential in the ministry lessons are discussed.

9. Church Motion Graphics

Church Motion Graphics Screenshot
How church leaders can use CMG.

Church Motion Graphics is a technology resource meant to help church leaders:

  • Learn how to improve live streaming
  • Set up video calls
  • Virtually engage their audiences
  • Organize church media

10. Pushpay and Church Management

Pushpay and Church Management Screenshot
Church leader using a church software.

Pushpay is a template that offers various important church technology resources for church leaders including:

  • On-demand Pushpay University lessons for church leaders
  • Tips on planning and managing church budget
  • Church management software
  • Custom-branded church Apps.

Final Thoughts

It is the 21st century and Church leaders should take full advantage of church technology resources to enhance their worship services. Here’s our list of The Best Church Technology Conferences In 2021 you should take a good look at.

Are you looking to set your church up with a website but don’t know where to start? Find some inspiration here: 20 Best Church Website Designs In 2021

Check out The Lead Pastor community for more resources and content for church leaders.