Work Better with Church Staff

As a WMU leader, a good working relationship with church staff is vital. Whether your church has just a few staff members or many staff members, get to know them and be aware of their responsibilities.


  • Respect their time. Make appointments when you need to meet with them whether for planning or discussing an item of concern.
  • Include staff in planning. Ask for staff members’ input and ideas before asking for their help.
  • Thank them for their help. No matter how seemingly small the task, your appreciation goes a long way.
  • Honor church policies and procedures. Your cooperation helps the staff do its work and will help you achieve your goals.
  • Plan ahead and keep deadlines.
  • Honor your commitments to church staff. If you have agreed to carry out a task, then do it with excellence.
  • Pray for church staff.
  • Participate fully in church activities. Be supportive of the staff in all areas.
  • Volunteer to help with a variety of church activities. Staff members appreciate those who help where needed.


  • Walk into the church office and expect staff members to stop what they are doing to meet with you. While staff members are generally gracious to speak and take a few moments with you, there are times that they cannot stop.
  • Repeatedly ask for last-minute favors.
  • Email critical remarks. If there has been a problem or misunderstanding, handle it in person.
  • Complain about one staff member to another. If there is a legitimate problem, follow church procedures.

Many who serve on church staff are unfamiliar with the magnitude of the work of WMU. Preconceived ideas can be barriers. As you work with church staff, share your excitement about WMU-sponsored opportunities such as MissionsfestSM, FamilyfestSM, a particular ministry, etc. Invite staff to go with you to an associational, state, or national WMU sponsored event. Provide opportunities to catch the excitement about missions and what WMU does to help churches learn, pray, give, go, and send.

Joy Bolton is a preacher’s kid and is married to a pastor. She understands the challenges of working with church staff from firsthand experience both from the perspective of the staff and as a church member.






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