My associate pastor had recently become a daddy. Ah, I remember those days. The foggy expression due to sleep deprivation. The feelings of exhaustion that still lingered even right after taking a nap. The desire to put my face on my desk at work and sleeeeeep…… And all of those things were worth it because we had a new baby in the house!
Why am I mentioning all this? Because I had to keep reminding my associate pastor to stay home from work for a while after the baby was born. I told him that because I wanted him to love working for our church. I wanted him to sense 100% support from me and from other staff. I wanted him to believe that his family is more important to me than his job.
Why did I do that? Didn’t the church staff have a lot to accomplish? Didn’t we have pressing issues that needed his attention? Didn’t I care if his job performance suffered? Didn’t others have to take up the slack when he was not around? “Of course,” is the proper response to all of these questions.
I encouraged him to take time off because it’s what was best for him. If I truly wanted what was best for him, he would want to do his best for our church. And he did! If I genuinely cared about his wellbeing and the wellbeing of his family, he would care about the wellbeing of our ministry. And he did!
Would I have liked to see him in the office more? Sure. But when I was tempted to wonder, “Where is that guy?” I reminded myself of the most important staffing question I could ever ask: “Do I want him here today or do I want him here in 5 years?”
Lord, help me always err on the side of treating the human resources on my team more like humans and less like resources. May I be the kind of boss who trusts my team, empowers my team, believes in my team, proves genuine love to my team, and draws the best out of them! Amen