We’ve found that most church leaders don’t realize how administrative tasks pull them out of some of the more creative, ministry, and vision-focused tasks as they answer each email and schedule every appointment.
But a virtual assistant, for example, can construct a church leader’s week around blocks of time where they can really be immersed – uninterrupted and unencumbered – in ministry and not worried that congregants are getting a ‘busy signal’ when trying to reach them.
Here are 10 ways a hybrid staff can benefit your church.
It’s a rare breed that can lead a church, cast vision, think big picture, and also handle all of the details and administrative functions; most of us are gifted in one or the other.
And most people called to be a church leader have gifts and a heart for casting vision, growing the church, and ministering its people.
So while the administrative functions are just as important, with hybrid staff, church leaders just don’t have to be the ones responsible for all of the details and all of the everything.
In our experience, trying to do all the things, wear all the hats and keep all the things in-house takes the biggest toll on a church’s most invaluable resource: its volunteers. And the collateral damage of trying to do everything? Volunteer fatigue.
Many churches are now realizing that they’ve asked volunteers to do something for so long that it’s no longer helping the church advance because they’ve worn out the volunteers that are helping in that capacity.
A virtual workforce, however, can alleviate the burden placed on your impossibly generous volunteers – assuming responsibility for administrative tasks, bookkeeping, and even web design and management – and allows your volunteers to instead pursue a different church calling or passion.
When it comes to accountability, there’s just a huge difference between a volunteer and paying someone to do a job. Accountability is a big deal.
As church leaders, you want to hold administrators accountable but when it’s a volunteer, it’s an entirely different dynamic. But hybrid staffing provides a different way to approach conversations about expectations, results, and accountability.
Your ‘no’ is someone else’s ‘yes.’
Think about it. As a church leader, you’ve done lots of hands-on tasks over the years. If you're still doing what you’ve always been doing, you’re not allowing someone else to step up and grow in their role.
Just because you can be all things to all people, it doesn’t mean that you should.
As leaders, we feel inclined to hoard everything because we think we can do it better or faster. Why? Because it makes us feel good and accomplished and important. We hoard out of fear.
You have to let this stuff go. You have to get out of your own way. You cannot grow your practice if you’re in the weeds.
Allow someone else to help you shoulder the day-to-day tasks that consume you so you can get back to what only you can do and give the gift of opportunity to someone else.
Because if you have any desire to grow your church, you’ll eventually have to develop more people capable of supporting it.
Bottom line: Your future leaders are hiding in plain sight within your church.
And by developing employees at all levels today, you’ll identify more people who have the potential to be effective leaders to deepen your leadership bench for tomorrow.
While there are some still of the belief that you have to share a room to create culture, we’ve argued the case that it isn’t restricted to four brick-and-mortar walls. Shared vision, not shared spaces, creates a culture.
By instilling a sense of belonging and ensuring they identify with the greater mission and values of the church, your culture can flourish even if your people don’t spend a lot of time together.
Hybrid staff can be retained to work on an as-needed, project-specific basis or for employment in perpetuity – so you don’t have to worry about ‘finding’ work for them to do or maximizing your investment.
Another advantage is that they are responsible for their own taxes and benefits. Further, you don’t have to worry about payroll taxes, pensions, vacation, holiday, retirement, or other benefits, and you aren’t responsible for other oft-overlooked expenses, such as utilities.
A 2012-2013 study from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business discovered that call center employees who were allowed to work from home for nine months were 13 percent more productive, took fewer breaks, sick days, and made more calls per minute – all while reporting higher levels of job satisfaction and retention.
And the type of services a hybrid staff can provide are nearly limitless. If you can dream it, there is likely a hybrid staff who can make it a reality.
Need someone who can take care of emails, answering the phone, managing your calendar, data input and management, booking travel, and managing your church’s website? There’s hybrid staff for that. Need someone versed in accounting and bookkeeping? There’s a hybrid staff for that, too.
In fact, a hybrid staff can serve to expand the administrative offerings of your church as they come with their own strengths and skill sets, freeing up your time to focus on advancing your ministry and vision.
Church volunteers and temporary employees can fill gaps, but since they are, by design, temporary, you know that inevitably you’ll have to fill that particular position or need once again in the near future.
But with fractional staff, you have dedicated people committed to the goals and vision of your ministry – without having to deal with turnover because if there is a staffing change, a modern staffing company like BELAY will bear the burden of training and managing the turnover.
Global Talent Pool
No longer restricted by geography, you can mine talent from virtually anywhere. So for small to mid-sized churches in smaller towns or metropolitan areas where the local candidate pool may be shallow or exhausted, virtual employment puts a world of talent and experience at your fingertips.
And even if you require specialized skills or capabilities, virtual employment increases your odds of landing the highly qualified help you need by casting a much larger net.
Increased Health & Happiness
Sure, health and happiness don’t exactly sound like quantifiable selling points or benefit statements – but they actually are.
Research published by the National Bureau of Economic Research led by a Stanford economics professor found that remote employees were happier and therefore healthier, thereby reducing sick days and absenteeism, which echoed the findings of a recent Gallup study that found that employees who work from home three to four days a week are far more likely – 41 percent versus 30 percent – to feel engaged.
And many millennials are now electing mission-centric jobs over benefit packages and prioritizing work-life balance, so a hybrid staffing model would meet them exactly where they want to be.
Add to this the joy of not having to commute, wearing anything you want, eating whatever and whenever you want within reach, and enjoying the comfort of your own home.
BONUS: Remote team members are also more likely to voluntarily contribute longer work hours.
As more and more businesses make the move from brick-and-mortar business models to virtual ones — and successfully — your church can, too. So if you’ve been on the fence about fractional hybrid staffing whether due to budgetary restrictions or because you think you can wear all the hats, it may be time to reconsider.
And while there may be a lot of ways to solve these problems, BELAY can not only pair you with the right person for your church, but your BELAY team will also solve for any of the issues and challenges that come with traditional staffing, such as hiring, onboarding, cost, retention, and more.
Put simply: Your church will be better, faster, leaner and more cost-effective — all while giving you back precious hours in your day to do what you do best.
Get started today — and wonder why you waited so long.