For most pastors and church staff, the four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are the best but busiest weeks of the year. While this four-week period follows a month of appreciation and encouragement for pastors during October, it’s still an exhausting stretch of ministry where pastors and church staff can get worn down and need an extra dose of encouragement. There are multiple ways to prevent exhaustion and discouragement at the end of the year. Follow the tips below for end-of-year encouragement for pastors and staff.
First, consider prioritizing which church events and programming pastors and church staff must attend. Not everyone on staff needs to be present at everything. Prioritize the appropriate staff support needed to accomplish the event with excellence through the organizational chart. It can also be helpful to use a filter of what I call “strategic visibility.” Can the church or ministry move forward faster if certain pastors or staff are present? If so, attend. If not, rest.
Second, consider giving your ministry teams extra time off during the holidays. Perhaps, people individually take time off between Christmas and New Year’s but imagine the blessing it would be if you gifted people with that one week to be able to work as needed to prepare for the first week of the new year instead of expecting them to be in the office. Furthermore, because churches rely on a number of volunteers over the month of December, perhaps there are ways you can bless the staff and church with extra rest. One of the blessings of the pandemic is that most churches developed the ability to provide online worship services. If you pre-recorded messages and services, you could utilize those on Christmas morning or New Year’s Day, which would provide the entire church an opportunity to rest.
Third, consider giving your staff an end-of-the-year bonus to say thank you and to honor their hard work. There are multiple ways to go about giving bonuses. However, there are a few things to consider. The annual budget should first be met. The staff person receiving the bonus should have adequately performed his or her job responsibilities. The process for bonuses should be as fair and objective as possible. If you’re interested in an objective process for considering year-end bonuses, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, at the end of the year or quickly after all events have concluded, you should evaluate the effectiveness and fruitfulness of the event or program, considering your church’s vision and mission. One of the best blessings for your staff would be to prune programming if it requires an exhausting amount of effort but produces little to no fruit for the Kingdom of God. While this might not be helpful in the current year, it will immediately communicate a culture of care to the staff and will establish a healthier culture for the following year.
We’d love to hear what your church does for encouragement for pastors and support your staff during the best but busiest season of the year. Also, if there is any assistance we can provide for your church staffing needs, please let us know.
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