His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”—Matthew 25:21
Why Train Rather Than Hire?
Over and over in God’s Word, we see the call to be good stewards with what God has entrusted to us. This can obviously apply to things like our personal finances, but I think it also applies to those of us who serve God by working in His church. Because we aren't a business, we have to be frugal with what we have in the church. We depend on the gifts and offerings of the people in our community to keep serving.
With that in mind, it is a good idea to find ways to do more with the little amount we have. Again, we want to think this way when it comes to our church’s finances, but even more, we need to think this way when it comes to our staffing. Most churches can’t afford to have a staff of fifty people, each in their specialized field. The more we can equip our staff and co-workers to do more with what we have been blessed with, the more our churches can serve God’s kingdom and our community.
Areas of Crossover
While every church worker has a particular niche or area that he or she feels most comfortable in, God has blessed us all more than we may even know. It is amazing what we can do if we trust that God will equip us to do more. What we, as church workers, need to do is find our areas of crossover, where we can use our natural God-given abilities to stretch ourselves, and then look for opportunities to use those skills.
Perhaps the easiest way to go about finding areas of crossover for our co-workers is to sit down and have a conversation, getting to know them a bit better. You could take them out to lunch and ask them questions like the following:
- If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?
- What is a subject you’ve always been interested in, but never thought you could do?
- When you were a child, what did you think you would be when you grew up?
You might be shocked by the answers you get! Perhaps your church secretary wanted to be a teacher, but never got the chance. She might make a great Sunday school teacher. Maybe your youth director loves film and always wondered what it would be like to direct a movie. That person could possibly create videos for your church’s social media accounts.
How to Find Resources for Training
Knowing your co-workers’ dreams and abilities is only the first step, however. Once you’ve talked with them and found areas that they think they could grow in to further serve the church, the real challenge will be to find out how to properly equip them to do that task. There are multiple ways to get them the training they need to perform their new task comfortably.
- People from Your Congregation—You may find that someone needs to be trained in a field that one of your members is a professional in. You could ask that professional to take your employee under his or her wing for training in that area. Not only would this be a great training opportunity, but it would also grow the relationship between those two and show your members that your co-workers value the church enough to go above and beyond their current role.
- Local Schools—Perhaps you don’t have someone in your congregation who could train your church workers in the areas you need. Another great place to look is local schools and training centers. Many community colleges have adult education courses that could be helpful for your training situation. If your church can provide or raise the money for its workers to enroll in classes, there would be less of a burden on the workers and a great boost to their morale.
- Online Resources—When all else fails, the internet will almost always provide. Whether you use a paid website like Lynda.com, where you can learn pretty much any kind of technical skill, or a free website like YouTube.com, where you can find videos on how to do almost anything, the internet is full of helpful resources that you can tap into to train your co-workers in the areas you need. Simply go to Google and search “online training” for whatever skill you’re looking to learn. You may have to do some research to find the best fit, but it’s most likely out there.
Guarding Your Church Workers from Being Overworked
The obvious caveat is that you need to be extremely careful not to overburden or exhaust your church workers. You may find that many of them simply don’t have the ability, time, or motivation to take on a whole other role. Part of your task is to get them excited about the idea, not to force it on them. Help them to see how their personal growth will be good for not only the church but also for them. Be sure to keep an open line of communication with them as the process continues, checking that their current duties aren’t being neglected in order to take something else on. The more we can work together to grow God’s kingdom, the better.
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