Developing loyalty in your staff

I was coaching a senior organizational leader recently who was working through the challenges of developing quality staff. I asked this question: “To what degree could a more pastoral approach impact your staff development?”

Sometimes leaders believe they need to choose between being strategic and being pastoral. Not true. Those two things aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, a pastoral approach can be extremely strategic long-term. Few things are more strategic—and more pastoral—than coaching your leaders toward what God is calling them to do.

And consider the rewards for your staff of taking a pastoral approach: recognition of what they are doing well, a context of supportive relationship, and coaching that results in a greater alignment of their ministry and their gifts.

Of course, sometimes that means changes in the alignment of their role… or that they need to take a different role entirely outside of your own ministry. You won’t be able to keep everyone. Hold people loosely, remembering that you are not developing them for use in your own ministry but for use in the larger Kingdom.

When we try to hold onto our people and develop institutional loyalty, we often lose them. Counter intuitively, when we hold people loosely and develop them for the Kingdom, often we find that we have developed the spiritual loyalty necessary for them to focus, sacrifice, and change.