Staffing your online ministry roles
Over the last few weeks, we have been talking about the 5 strategies that we see churches employing to do effective online ministry in the season to come. We've also unpacked the 4 roles that we see as being essential to fill in order to do online ministry well, and the job descriptions for each of those roles.
While the response to our strategy work has been overwhelmingly positive, the biggest question that we have gotten from churches is this:
My budget isn't big enough to hire 4 new staff members... how do I make this work?
A few thoughts:
- First, Breathe: You don't need to solve this right now. You do need to begin to come to clarity on this, but you have some time before you begin to implement your online strategy, but you do need to begin developing your plan now (we can help with this, click here to learn more)
- There is no one size fits all: Your church serves a particular group of people in a particular context. Because of this, the way that you do online ministry (and the way you staff it) will look different from other churches. Do not assume that your church's online ministry needs to look like Big Community Church Down the Street in order to be effective.
- You probably don't need to hire 4 people: Your strategy, your context, and your available resources will determine how you fill these roles. Don't assume that these need to be full-time staff members.
I'm convinced that we can be creative in the way that we fill these roles, without compromising the ministry that we do. Here are the five ways that these roles can be filled, 4 of which don't require a full-time hire:
- Key Volunteers: It is likely that you have people in your congregation that are already passionate about doing online ministry. It is time to deputize them for ministry. I fondly remember some of the best video producers and communications people on ministry teams that I have led being committed volunteers. Seek those people out.
- Pivot Current Staff: Everyone on your staff has probably had to pivot somewhat in their job description over the past months. It might seem natural to reassign an existing staff member to your online model’s four essential needs. This can be a great solution for your ministry and your budget. Do keep in mind that something will need to be taken off of their plate in order to ensure that they are able to do this new ministry well.
- Part-Time Staff: If relying on volunteers or pivoting current staff is not an option, consider a part-time team member. Depending on your model, some of these roles are perfect for someone with the right skillset and the capacity to invest in your ministry. A part-timer gives you additional accountability than a volunteer and can increase the quality of the work done.
- Full-Time Staff: For churches who are placing a high priority on their online ministry, full-time may be the only option. While full-time staff members represent a significant financial investment, they usually offer the highest impact and the quickest start-up. If you determine that full-time is an option for any area of your online ministry, we encourage you to hire people that can recruit, train, and lead a
team of volunteers. Online ministry needs to be a team-driven ministry rather
than a staff-led initiative (we'd love to help you find the right people if you go this route).
- Specialized Virtual Contractors: If the last few months have taught us anything, it's that remote work can work in the Church. There are some incredibly talented people across the country that could do much to advance your church's online strategy in a cost-effective way if you are open to remote workers. I am convinced that churches can benefit from partnering with virtual contractors, especially when it comes to your online ministry strategy (I'd love to talk more about this if you are intrigued by the concept).
For me, the bottom line is this: this is doable for your church. It may not look like how another church does it, but you have the ability to do this in a way that makes sense for your unique context. If you are stuck on how to make this work, I'd love to talk. Use this link to schedule some time for us to talk.
You've got this!
P.S. We are seeing a number of churches begin to launch their searches for their next teammate. Are you getting ready to do the same? I'd love to learn about your search and talk about how we can walk with you in this season. Click here for a free, 30-Minute Consult.