I’ve spoken to a fair number of people who’ve told me they’ve tried the “purpose based” model of church staff, or sometimes they call it the “portfolio model”. But when you dig a little deeper, it turns out they haven’t ally tried it, what they’ve actually done is just reshuffle the cabinet.
They’ve kept Pastor Joe on as the evening church/young adults guy, and on top of that, they’ve given him the evangelism portfolio. But by that, what they mean is, “you have to run the evangelism STRUCTURE/EVENT for the other two congregations!”
Now, this is stupid for so many reasons…
- what if the pastors of those other two congregations don’t want Joe to run an evangelism structure for them? What if they don’t like how he’s going to run it?
- so, are the pastors of those other two congregations just meant to ignore evangelism in their congregations because Joe’s doing it?
- if Joes is still meant to be the young adults pastor, when on earth is he going to haven the opportunity to develop an evangelism initiate with the other two congregations? It’s not his priority, and it never will be.
- structures don’t work. They only provide an avenue for people to express what they are convinced of. That is, if people are convinced and excited about evangelism, they’ll use a structure to help them do it. If they’re not, putting something on isn’t going to change their mind
That’s why you should give your staff Purposes, not structures and not even portfolios. Set them a purpose, a vision for the people across all their congregations; “make us a people who are excited about evangelism, trained for it, and doing it”. That’s a purpose to work towards. That’s a purpose to staff!