Building a Staff With a Ridiculously Small Budget

Church Staff / Leadership //

When it comes to staff, I can’t remember a time in ministry when I didn’t need more help.

I have learned over the years that I can’t wait for people to see my need for staff to begin building a staff. Before you immediately say that this “staff idea” is a big church problem let me just ask you to slow down and think. Staff is just a word we use for team of people fighting for the same mission. I have worked at every size church over the past 17 years and I learned quickly that I needed to build a staff to lead with me even if I couldn’t pay them.

The central question for all leaders is how do I build this staff when I don’t have the budget right now to pay them what I want to pay them? The truth is you will never be able to pay the amazing people that push the mission of your organization forward what they deserve so find a way to build a team and don’t allow that fear to hold you back. Don’t allow your budget to determine your team. Get creative!

Here are a few steps to take to build that team on a small budget…

  • Develop Your Staff Structure // take time to step back and ask yourself what roles you really need to be effective in your ministry context. The roles you need will be unique to your church. Never ask for more staff if you don’t have a staff plan. Your staff plan will set you up to look for the right kind of people to join the team.
  • Empower Lead Volunteers as Staff // funding a staff position takes time so don’t wait to fill your staff plan and go ahead and staff it with lead volunteers. Many times lead volunteers become people you pay down the road. Let sharp volunteers lead and push your mission forward.
  • Get Creative with Pay // every effective church I know uses the power of part-time staff well. Growth leads to tight budgets and many times you have go part-time to accomplish what needs to be done. What we have found is that many leaders prefer this pace. They want to be a part of the team but they have outside jobs. You can also compensate with conference time and training or pay for graduate school.
  • Utilize Contract Work // if you have a big event coming up use contract work to help you pull it off. Bring the right people around you and hire them for the project with a flat rate. You would be surprised how many sharp leaders will partner on projects with you and help your ministry gain momentum.
  • Always Plan Ahead // keep your senior leaders in the loop about the staff needs you see coming so they can pray and plan with you.

When it comes to staff be proactive! Complaining you need help is never going to get you the help you need. Build that team you need right now!





About the Author

I am a follower of Christ, a husband, a dad, and a pastor. I serve at Grace Community Church as Executive Pastor. Before this position at GCC I served in multiple family ministry roles as kids, student, and family pastor for 15 years. I’m passionate about communicating, creating environments, and leading leaders, volunteers, and teams (it’s the inner coach in me, I love empowering people to do great things). Thankfully I have a job that allows me to do all three of these things.