Part 2: Doing Staff Reorganizations Well

Editor's Note: Paul Clark, the Operations Pastor at Fairhaven Church in Ohio and a Contributing Editor toYour Church, recently underwent a major staff reorganization. Last week, we published the first in a four-week series on what Fairhaven sought to change and how. Step One involved dissolving the executive team. Today, he writes about Step Two.

Step Two: Establishing a New Title Structure.

Titles can be extremely difficult to manage as a staff's size increases and roles become more diverse and specialized. In order to reduce some of the problems mentioned in Step One, we decided to simplify and de-emphasize titles. Five general titles will remain, with clearly defined parameters. All staff will fit into these five employment categories:

Lead Pastor: This designation is reserved for the individual providing overall organizational leadership and reporting directly to the Governing Board.

Pastor: This designation is reserved for individuals who: 1) possess Bible college or seminary education; 2) are licensed (or are in the process of licensure by the District), making them eligible to perform sacerdotal functions; and/or 3) manage ministries and/or have other paid staff under their supervision.

Director: This designation is reserved for individuals who manage ministries and have other paid staff under their supervision, but do not have formal Bible college or seminary education.

Specialist: These individuals possess specialized technical education or training.

Ministry Assistant: These individuals provide ministry assistance to various ministries and ministry leaders.

No more executives, assistants, associates, and all the other title nuances that were intended to convey hierarchy. The reporting structure is defined by the Organization Chart, not by titles. This will create less formality and foster a better sense of being one team.

We labor over titles when the reality is that what we do is vastly more important than what we're called. Our people find their own natural way to understand each person's role, in spite of the fancy and somewhat convoluted titles we apply. Function naturally trumps formality.

So my functional, no-nonsense title becomes: Paul Clark, Pastor, Operations

I earned the title, "Pastor" based on my education and credentials, and my functional responsibilities are in the area of operations. That's all anybody needs to know. If, for some reason, somebody cares to know who reports to me or where I am in the reporting structure, they look at the Organization Chart. It's very clean and simple.

Already, in just a short time in the new structure, I've seen these two steps pay dividends. The younger staff members feel like the playing field has been leveled. There's a feeling that we're all on the same team. People are opening up more and feeling valued.

Next week, Paul addresses "Step Three: Creation of a Management Team."

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is published with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.


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