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TN50 Should the staff lead the church?

First published on this website in August 2009 and last updated in July 2023

Words: 1300
Size: 146 kB
Categories: Leadership , Structures


These notes are written for larger churches that employ a staff team.

In practice staff often act like a leadership team for the church, but is this right? They usually have high ability, daily involvement and form a close-knit team. But the church's Council or leadership group may find themselves acting as little more than a rubber stamp for decisions already taken.

The notes propose a better way forward, following the charity leadership model where there are two bodies (Trustees and staff) with distinct roles. One can stand back from the daily detail and consider the big picture. The other carries out the church's plan (with all the volunteers too), but also informs the Council in its decision-making. So:

  1. Define the roles of both church Council and staff.
  2. Let the Minister lead the staff and appoint a separate leader of the Council.
  3. Have occasional joint-meetings, but do not make this the norm.
  4. The staff inform the Council but do not interfere with their decision-making. The Council do not interfere with the work of the staff.


Here is the link to this item: PDF TN50 - Should the staff lead the church.pdf

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Author's notes

These notes have been updated in July 2023 with minor amendments to the layout.