Here are some quick tips we ask all our church staff to abide by in order to keep their own, the churchâ€™s, and other people’s data secure. The applications we use are listed (and we believe they are all great), but there are other great apps to use as well.
File Storage – Store everything in Dropbox.Â It is our backup software.Â We can get your stuff back if your computer crashes. Do not keep stuff on your computer hard drive, desktop, or anywhere other than Dropbox.
Passwords – Use a secure password management system. Even a secure digital note is better than a sticky note on your desk.Â Our recommended password app is 1Password.Â Further, use different passwords for all your accounts, so if one is compromised, they are not all compromised.Â Change your passwords often.Â Use two-factor authentication when available.
Accounts â€“ You should be the only one that knows your passwords and has access to your accounts.Â If you have a spouse or kids, they cannot know the password to your work account (the computer, your email, church database, etc.).
Treating others well is something we should all endeavor to do. For those like myself, that work on a church staff, treating others with love and compassion is part of the job. Recently, at my church, we did a staff training on how to treat and respond to others well, and here is what we shared:
Having a great team and team culture doesnâ€™t just happen. It takes hard work. There are many things we can do to strengthen our teamâ€™s culture, but here are eight that I believe have the largest positive impact:
Have a Compelling Purpose. If you are just meeting to meet people will simply not make your gathering/group/team a priority. Most people have lots of things going on in their lives and they make decisions on what they are going to do based on what they perceive has the most value for them. If you want a great team, with people who are actively engaged, then make sure they understand why you exist. What is your teamâ€™s compelling purpose
There are no doubt many qualities that describe a great associate pastor, or really a great employee anywhere. Here are fifteen traits that most senior pastors and leaders are looking for in their staff…
Sheep have a tendency to wander.Â When they do any shepherd that is doing their job notices and goes to find them.Â Jesus shared a parable about sheep and their shepherds in Luke chapter 15.Â In Jesusâ€™ story there is a shepherd that has a hundred sheep and one goes missing. Â Jesus, asks about the shepherd, â€œDoesnâ€™t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?â€ Â The implied answer is, â€œyes.â€ Â
This story has an implied answer, but it also implies something else.Â Without stating it, the story makes the assumption that the shepherd was paying close enough attention to notice that he was missing one of his sheep.Â A hundred sheep isnâ€™t easy to track, but the shepherd in Jesusâ€™ story was diligent and paying close attention.Â He was watching to make sure that no sheep wandered off.Â He was always counting, and recounting.Â â€œ97, 98, 99, hey, where did sheep #100 go?!â€
Today many pastors struggle to keep track of the sheep in their care.Â Some are just not putting in the effort, they are not counting, and sheep are wandering off without them even noticing.Â Others are trying, but they donâ€™t have the right systems in place to track their sheep effectively.Â So, how can pastors better track their sheep, notice when they are missing, and go after them when they are?
Every church should endeavor to provide a safe environment for every family and child to attend.Â A part of this safety preparedness is knowing the laws regarding child abuse reporting.Â These laws vary from state to state.Â Here are a few items we recently covered with our church staff:
1. How Massachusetts Defines Abuse, Neglect, Physical Injury & Emotional Injury – Under the Department of Children and Families regulations (110 CMR, section 2.00):
Every good pastorÂ and church will find themselves frequently visiting people in the hospital.Â At my church, we visit people who are in the hospital or shut-in every single day.Â Â Every church sets up their visitation ministry a bit differently.Â I explain how we set church’s visitation ministryÂ here:Â How to Organize a Church Visitation Ministry.Â But, what do those individualÂ visits look like?Â I recently gave our staff some best practices:
Pray before you arrive.Â You are representing Jesus, ask how He wants to use you.
In a church of any size, there are always people to be caredÂ for.Â One way churches often show their love and concern for the church family is through the sending of flowers.Â Churches can easily have hundreds of people to send flowers to throughout a year, spending thousands of dollars, so it is importantÂ to have a policy on whenÂ to send them.
Recently, I sat down with our church staff and reviewed our church’s policy on sending flowers.Â Here is what we covered:
I once heard someone say, â€œI donâ€™t care if I just barely make it into heaven, as long as I make it through those pearly gates!â€Â I have to be honest, this statement did not sit well with me.Â
I suppose on one hand I get their point.Â However you get to heaven, everyone that makes it will enjoy the same eternal reward.Â Some make it in after a lifetime of faithful service.Â Others are like the thief crucified next to Jesus, who made a death bed-last minute decision to believe.Â He believed, and Jesus told him he would be with him in heaven that very day. On one hand, if you make it to heaven, you make it to heaven.