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Staff Health

Ambiguity Could Be Corroding Your Team Culture

Few things are more corrosive to a healthy organizational culture than ambiguity.


Define bimonthly.

Go ahead, define it.

I was reading over a job description for an associate pastor position with a friend of mine earlier this month where the phrase 'preach bimonthly' was used. As we discussed our thoughts on the position, I said that I thought preaching bimonthly was a little much, while he thought it wasn’t enough. After staring at one another, trying to figure out how they could be so wrong, we came to the realization that our definitions of bimonthly were different. This led us to the dictionary... which was no help:


1: once every two months
2: twice a month


Do you see where this could get a little sticky?

Few things are more corrosive to a healthy organizational culture than ambiguity. Ambiguity of purpose, process, or accountability (I really tried hard to squeeze a third “p” in there) will quickly turn a high performing team into a fractured and siloed collection of people looking out for their own best interest. The only way to combat ambiguity is through the relentless pursuit of intentional clarity. For churches that are preparing to hire, this pursuit of intentional clarity begins with the job description.

When Todd and I work with churches, one of the key parts of our onboarding process is clearly defining the expectations being placed on the new hire. We ask questions about the job description like does bimonthly mean twice a month or every other month? Our goal is to help churches and they're new team members limit the number of "I wish I knew that before I said yes," moments.

If you are getting ready to begin a search process, I'd love to spend some time sharing what we've learned about hiring church staff. Click here to pick a time for a free, 30 minute consultation. Bring your questions, struggles, or job description... and let's talk.

Where is ambiguity corroding YOUR team culture?

Matt Steen

Matt Steen

Matt has served the local church for over two decades as a youth pastor, church planter, and executive pastor. Originally from Baltimore, Matt currently lives in Orlando, with his wife Theresa, and has a B.S. in Youth Ministry from Nyack College and an M.Div. and MBA from Baylor University. Certified as an Urban Church Planter Coach by Redeemer City to City and as a StratOp facilitator by the Paterson Center, Matt has made a career of helping churches thrive through intentionality, clarity, and creating healthy cultures. He is convinced that a healthy church is led by a healthy team with great chemistry, and loves partnering with Chemistry’s churches to do great things for the Kingdom.

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