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The Value of Ministry Job Descriptions

A well-crafted job description helps a person see where he or she is in the big picture and in what ways he or she can support the vision and mission toward Healthy Church.

By Eugene Guzon, Superintendent Asia

There is a story you may have heard about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done, and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

Amusing as this anecdote may be, we can relate to the confusion, frustration, and disappointment caused by the three challenges of wrong assumptions, unmet expectations, and unclear directions. We easily forget that people do not know what they do not know. They cannot follow directions they haven’t been given, and they cannot meet expectations that are not shared. A way to avoid some of this is to provide all ministry leaders with clear job descriptions.

The importance of knowing who does what

Well-crafted job descriptions help us reach our goals of healthy church. People are our greatest resource and each one is unique with gifts given by God through the Holy Spirit to enrich the Body. A leader’s challenge is to help people find their best fit, and properly equip them.

Whether fielding people for tasks or considering one’s own ministry involvement, clear job descriptions help all to be better prepared to fulfil the role given to them and help them see how their role fits in the team’s overarching objectives. Sharing job descriptions helps all see how the various ministries work together and complement each other, leading to shared passion and energy as the team continually works toward healthy church.

Clear job descriptions also help ministry leaders and workers evaluate things like personal effectiveness, progress, or areas that need improvement. This opens the door for constructive feedback, instruction, and relevant equipping. When developed, communicated, and used properly, job descriptions can set teams up for success.

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3 thoughts on “The Value of Ministry Job Descriptions”

  1. Sound and well balanced organizational advice.

    “Knowing where you are going is the first step to getting there”-Ken Blanchard

  2. Thank you, Brother Guzon for your helpful insights! I believe all this is being utilized in our local, Healthy Church. Of course we still have a ways to go before we become rhe Healthy Church God desires…

  3. Thank you, Eugene, stuff to chew on.
    Some time ago at one of our local virtual pastoral conferences we discussed this based on a “Job Description” which on first reading appeared to set impossible demands. I had to present it, and tried to to so on the basis of that last aspect. However, it caused quite some consternation.
    I have thought about that quite a lot since.
    I have come to realise that there are some underlying principles which should be considered. Thus (like the document my presentation was based on) it is useful to have templates. But they are just that – better than to start out with a blank sheet of paper.
    1. There is such a thing as a “generic job” (e.g. salesperson, children’s ministry leader, children’s ministry facilitator, etc.)
    2. A job exists because there are needs.
    3. If needs change, the job description must change.
    4. Jobs are performed by a person or people and, ultimately, for the sake of a person or people.
    5. If it is people who perform the job, then there is a need for an overseer.
    6. If the person / people change, the job description must change.
    7. The performance of the job depends on (requisite) knowledge and personal attributes, (inborn) talents, (developed) skills, (necessary) behaviour, and may include (endowed) gifts.
    8. If creation of a job description is simply an item to be ticked on a list there is a problem.
    9. Any person who performs a job is a pastor (in the Genesis1.28 sense).
    10. Flexibility is a useful asset.

    In my other job, as project manager, and manager of project managers I have often had to deal with this in a short term, continuous and high impact way. In a project, the wrong person, or inappropriately applied, can have serious consequences. This is also true, if not as “in your face”, in what we might call routine operations.

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