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How to Support Church Staff During the Holidays

How to Support Church Staff During the Holidays

It really is the most wonderful time of the year to plan and celebrate the holidays! No matter your personal traditions, such as when you decorate your tree or participate in Christmas caroling, it can also be stressful to juggle the ugly sweater parties and children’s events, plus your already very busy “this time of the year” ministry workload. Promoting a peace-filled office environment starts with ideas on supporting your church staff during the holidays. 

  1. Share the calendar of all church events planned through the second week of January 2023.
    • Knowing what is ahead allows for better preparation all the way around.
    • This makes returning to work after the holidays a little easier for everyone. 
  2. Assign all tasks with realistic deadlines to coordinating teams.
    • Multiple deadlines promotes accountability.
    • Team members may fluctuate according to talents- decor versus cooking versus greeting, etc. Maintain a solid connection with fluid communication.
  3. Send brief weekly check-in emails for support and encouragement.
    • Include a quote or joke to keep spirits bright.
    • Checking in means you care. Remind them of that.
  4. Make the time and take a collective break or two or three!
  5. Encourage vacations.
    • Ask for a detailed handover so that everyone is on the same page and nothing falls through the cracks. 
    • Is there an SOP in place for your different staff positions? How to support church staff begins with learning more about their role and the “how to’s” they execute for both acknowledgment and substitution purposes.
  6. Simplify wherever you can.
    • Do you really need piňatas at the children’s Christmas party? 
    • If you’re hosting multiple events, plan for the tables and chairs to be set up in the same fashion to eliminate the breaking down and setting up again for each. 
  7. Prepare for volunteer last-minute callouts.
    • Have backup teams already established and lined up to fill in as needed.
    • Share the backup team schedules for easy connections.
  8. Reduce workloads whenever possible.
    • Don’t hold a meeting just to fill time. 
    • Be respectful of schedules and must-do’s before the end of the day.
  9. Supporting church staff during holidays includes connecting with them personally.
    • Keep it brief and sincere.
    • If your Children’s Minister likes snowglobes- pick one up and personally hand it to him/her. The point is to let them know you value their time and work ethic despite the festively busy nature filling church hallways during the holidays. 
  10. Thank them.
    • Give food/pizza gift cards for their individual family night dinners to take the stress off prepping dinner one night by acknowledging the support of their family to move the ministry forward.
    • Consider extending church staff a few extra paid days off sprinkled throughout the holiday period to help avoid burnout.

We should always be mindful of supporting church staff as Pastors and church leadership. Whenever there is the potential for more stress due to the time of year or the number of events planned, we need to lean in a little closer. Remember, when our church members join the staff, their place of worship becomes their workplace, and their Pastor is now their boss. Construct a rhythm of life for those on staff, keeping close the essence of the word church referring to our community of people more than the physical building and its functions. 

Donna is ​ACS Technologies’ Chief Customer Officer. Her focus is on strategic planning and operations of the customer experience organization. This includes Implementation, Ministry Success, Learning, Training, and Customer Service. Donna’s focus and passion have always been for our ministry partners as she has worked in the service part of the organization her entire career. Donna graduated from Lander College with a BS Degree in Computer Science and joined the company in 1985 as a Customer Support Representative.

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