5 New Staff Positions Your Church Needs

POINT OF THE POST...

For a long time, church staffing conversations revolved around how many staff members a church needs. Today, churches are struggling to answer a new and more complex staffing question: What staff positions do churches need? The days of senior pastor, executive pastor, education pastor, worship pastor, etc., are going away in part. Successful churches have realized they also function as media and data companies. Leading churches to recognize the need for new and different church staff positions. In this NEW ARTICLE, we discuss 5 new positions every church should consider.

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POINT OF THE POST...

What staff positions are needed at your church is an important and changing question. This post gives you 5 potential new positions to consider. 

For a long time, church staffing conversations revolved around how many staff a church needs.

There is the ratio approach, where churches attempt to keep staffing somewhere between 1:100 to 1:150, meaning that for every 100-150 members in your congregation, you should strive to have one pastor on staff.

Another way to judge staff size is to consider the staffing expense percentage compared to total revenue. Again, this number can vary, but 40 – 55% seems stable for most churches.

Today, churches are struggling to answer a new and more complex staffing question:

What staff positions do churches need?

The days of senior pastor, executive pastor, education pastor, worship pastor, etc., are going away in part. Successful churches have realized they also function as media and data companies.

Church isn’t only in-person, and discipleship isn’t a single pathway for everyone.

These two realities require churches to evolve to better manage technology, media, communications, and information.

Here are 5 positions every church should consider today: 

1. Weekend Experience Director

We used to say the “sermon begins in the parking lot.” That’s still true. But with online church expressions, the “sermon” begins in multiple places.

Great churches today recognize we are living in the “experience economy.” We discuss this implication extensively in the Remodel Your Church Model Course and Masterclass Experience. In the experience economy, offering services isn’t enough — we are creating experiences. These experiences help people connect with God, each other, and themselves. The Weekend Experience Director oversees and coordinates the entire Sunday experience, both online and in-person, from the parking lot to the parking lot. 

You can download a job description for this position here: Weekend Experience Director Job Description.

2. Production Director

In the past, churches hired a Worship Leader or Choir Director, giving them responsibility for the church service. Think about how much has changed in the last decade or two. Church services today are mostly multimedia experiences. I’m not suggesting your church become an entertainment venue, but to some extent, there are cameras, projectors, switchers, screens, lighting consoles, and audio mixer in nearly every church. The typical worship pastor is often ill-equipped to lead the utilization of this equipment.

Churches looking at the future recognize the need for more production support than music support. Week to week, it’s easier to contract musical talent than production expertise.

Don’t shoot more for this, but I don’t know what a typical worship pastor does on Monday or Tuesday morning. 

3. Communications Director

You didn’t need a staff member to manage the bulletin. But now? Odds are you don’t have a bulletin. Bulletins have mostly been replaced by email, social media, QR codes, YouTube, and stage announcements. All of these communication channels are necessary and important. And they must be led and coordinated.

Maximizing digital communication channels is mostly new for churches. If you want to learn how to best integrate, not add, digital experiences, consider the Remodel Your Church Model Course and Masterclass Experience.

4. Information and Data Analyst

Data is too important to overlook, especially when it’s so easy to get, process, and analyze. The best decisions are data-driven.

For example, I’m working with about a dozen churches on new generosity systems. As I write this content, I’m sitting in an airport after spending a few great days with a church on this topic. We discussed as a group how to best measure the giving progress. Here’s the list of metrics we will soon begin tracking:

    • Percentage of Giving Units against their Active Database.
    • Percentage of Giving Units by each category (In my Funding Funnel work, we define 5 categories of givers and work to inspire movement from one type to the next).
    • Percent Change in Total Giving Growth (Quarter vs. Previous Year Quarter, Rolling 12-Months vs. Previous Rolling 12 Months).
    • Percent Change in Medium Gift Size (Quarter vs. Previous Year Quarter, Rolling 12-Months vs. Previous Rolling 12 Months).
    • The number of First-, Second, and Fourth-time givers per Month (This also triggers a Thank You System).
    • New Recurring Givers per month (This also triggers a Thank You System).
    • Recurring Giver Drop Off per month.

Knowing how much money was given last Sunday is no longer sufficient for data-driven decisions. These lag metrics are essential and should still be measured, but steps and trends measure growth.

5. Adult Engagement Director

This position is a better representation of what was previously education, discipleship, and assimilation. Engagement is about participation in community, giving, serving, baptism, and more. Even within these categories, there are multiple incremental steps.

Churches today need staff members waking up every day thinking about how to better move people into incremental engagement steps. This doesn’t happen by accident.

How Do You Pay For All These Positions? 

Growing our church resolves many of our staffing issues. While we work on that, here are two other suggestions: 

1. You don’t have to hire all of these positions immediately. Over time, as staff members migrate off your team, consider how you can restructure your current team members to accommodate some of these new positions.

2. Every position doesn’t have to be a paid staff position. Giving some of the above responsibilities to highly engaged volunteers is possible and, in some cases, preferable. Additionally, consider outsourcing some of your current staff positions to volunteers to make staffing room for these more specialized roles.

What we can’t do is ignore the roles necessary for success in our churches today. Whether you outsource, shift some staff around, or think differently about how volunteers are used, these responsibilities are too critical to remain absent at our church.

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