In his new book, Tribal Church, Steve Stroope offers the following ten ways to “pay” your leaders–whether paid or unpaid. Steve is a brilliant church tactician. I’ve been blessed to receive some mentoring from him through Leadership Network and have admired his ministry at Lake Pointe Church for years–going back to my years in Dallas.
The ten ways listed below in italics are Steve’s. Note: The plain text that follows is my writing. It’s really important to show appreciation to those who serve in ministry, whether paid or unpaid. Churches that don’t tend to lose or demoralize servants. I hope you’ll find these as helpful as I do:
- Money. ‘Nuff said. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with this, by the way.
- Public or Private Praise. Determine which one the person prefers.
- Access. Making yourself available to them personally.
- Input. Allowing them to speak into things, expecting their suggestions will be heard though perhaps not implemented.
- Increased Responsibility. Give them additional responsibilities.
- Empowerment. Wider boundaries within their existing responsibility, or promotion.
- Adequate Resources. Make sure they are provided whatever they need for excellence in their area of ministry.
- Perks and Bonuses. These show thoughtfulness more than base salary does. It also provides tangible ways of marking achieved goals.
- Knowledge. Sharing knowledge through books, tools, conferences, etc.
Find out which of these “leadership love languages” speak most to each of your staff. Just ask them to give you their top three. Discover your own, and that of your elders, as well. Then, pay accordingly. It may get you a lot further than paying people the way you’d want to be paid. Pay them instead the way they would prefer to be “paid.”
Having a list like this at hand, if it does nothing else, will help keep “paying” a priority. In the end, we’re not really talking about “paying,” we’re talking about thanking and appreciating. This is vital to the health and morale of staff over the long-haul.