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.Read More
A well-crafted job description will include the following components:
- Job title: brief but reflective of what the job is about
- Job overview: highlighting the job purpose as it links to the broader team or organizational purpose, and how the job fits into the overall structure
- Reporting relationships: including who the immediate supervisor is for this role, and how the reporting structure works for the person assigned to the job
- Roles and responsibilities: a breakdown of more specific activities or tasks associated with the position
- Qualifications: educational background, experience, skills, and competencies which involve attributes and behaviors, which are relevant to the role and needed to carry out specific tasks.
Numerous samples of job descriptions are publicly available and can be used as a template to be customized to suit the needs of our local churches or ministry teams. Depending on the need, job descriptions do not have to be too long or too prescriptive. The more important thing is that there is clear information provided to help both the ministry leader and the prospective candidates assess the fit. Feel free to ask your regional director for samples of job descriptions.
Preparing job descriptions
Job descriptions, like everything else, should be developed in a Team Based–Pastor Led model. Below are some things you may consider in preparing job descriptions:
- Ask God for discernment. This is God’s work, and he is in the business of shaping people for building up the Body. Our part is to discern how the Spirit is moving, what the needs and opportunities are, and how God is moving in the lives of people to bring them to participate.
- Revisit the mission, vision, and organizational structure. The overarching organizational structure serves the vision and mission of the church and shows how the different roles fit together. For instance, GCI’s vision of Healthy Church involves healthy leadership and healthy Avenues, and results in having Faith, Hope, and Love Avenue champions and teams in our local churches. Their job descriptions are based on what each Avenue aims to achieve and will include how a particular role is connected to others.
- Review any previous job descriptions. Is the job description for a replacement of an existing position, or is this for a new position or assignment being developed to better suit the needs of the organization? Some ministries may already have existing job descriptions. By reviewing what is in place, one can assess whether the job description just needs to be updated or more significantly changed to align with the organization’s strategic direction.
- Consult your team. Involve other team members in developing job descriptions. They can provide input about how the role supports the team’s overall objectives, how the role aligns and meets team needs, and how the role being described interfaces with their roles.
Whether we are already active in servant leadership or are only yet exploring how we can participate in what the Lord is doing in our organizations, there is excitement and empowerment as people discover that they are the right person in the right place at the right time for the work that God has prepared. Will a clear job description guarantee best fit and ample supply of people needed in ministry? Not absolutely, but they are a vital and helpful tool towards discerning how we can engage, equip, encourage, and empower people towards building healthy teams that are God-glorifying in function, relationships, and results!
“Let us practice the fine art of making every work a priestly ministration. Let us believe that God is in all our simple deeds and learn to find Him there” A.W.Tozer
2 thoughts on “The Value of Ministry Job Descriptions”
Sound and well balanced organizational advice.
“Knowing where you are going is the first step to getting there”-Ken Blanchard
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…