“Hey Fletch” on Staff Issues

From around the globe, people tune in on Fletch’s warm and sound advice. He’s a friend and “church doctor,” bringing an objective perspective, broad knowledge and vast experience. Your question will get a personal reply from Fletch.

45 Minute Meetings. Really???

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Hey Fletch … I read the Hey Fletch column on February 12 about the 45 minute meetings. This just won’t work. How am I supposed to do an annual review in that amount of time.

DRF—You make an excellent point. Many meetings can happen in 45 minutes. However, significant meetings can take far longer. An annual review is one of those meetings.

For an annual review, I like to schedule a 90 minute meeting. […]

Staff Not Responding to Email

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Hey Fletch … I send out emails to our staff and don’t get a response. What should I do?

DRF—First, make sure that your emails ask for a response. Keep each email with just one focus item. In other words, don’t ask four complicated questions in one email. That won’t work.

If you have staff who don’t respond, send them a text message. “Hey, I haven’t seen a response to my email. Could you […]

Free Material for Chaplains

Friday, January 25, 2019

Hey Fletch … I have a list of free resources for hospital chaplains. Perhaps some of your readers would like this information. Are you interested in seeing the list?

DRF—This is a good list of resources for hospital and prison chaplains, churches and other ministries. Let me share the ones that I could verify that offer free material.

Resume for a New Job

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Hey Fletch … I am currently the executive pastor and will be transitioning away from this church at the end of this month. I wanted to share my resume with you in case you know of any churches or ministries that are looking for experienced leadership. Thanks and God bless!

DRF—Yes, send your resume to me. I’m always happy to look at a resume and make recommendations as I can. God’s best to […]

Not a Pastor, Can I Lead a Wedding?

Monday, December 10, 2018

Hey Fletch … What does the Bible say about who can perform a wedding? Are they any state or federal laws on it? I’m asking because I’ve been asked to do a friend’s wedding but I’m not ordained or a pastor.

DRF—The Bible is silent on who can perform a wedding and how the wedding should be carried out. There is no mandate that the wedding be performed in a church or by […]

Two Jobs Pending

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Hey Fletch … Believe it or not, there are two churches that have offered me jobs. One is still getting the offer letter together and I have the offer from the other in hand. Thanks for your resources in this process. However, what do I do now? Wait or make a decision? Should I contact the church that hasn’t sent me an offer letter? What do I say?

DRF—Congratulations on having a church […]

Did I Break the Law in Opting Out of Social Security?

Friday, November 30, 2018

Hey Fletch … When I first became a pastor, people advised me to opt out of Social Security. I had been in business for over 20 years and they said, “you already paid enough.” From what you talked about in your keynote at the Shepherds 360 Conference, I think I may have broken the law.

DRF—There are of plenty ideas out in the marketplace regarding opting out of Social Security. Dave Ramsey […]

Asking for a Raise

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’m in the process of asking for a raise. However I do not know what is appropriate for my job title, years of experience and location. I need to let my supervisor and senior pastor know what I am asking for within the next week. Do you have any resources that would be helpful in navigating this question?

DRF—We just concluded ten Smart Money for Church Salaries workshops around […]

The Role of Care Pastors

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Hey Fletch … I want to ask you about the structuring of our adult care ministry. We are a church of two campuses, with our main campus having 3,000 people per weekend. We care/minister to adults through four community pastors who are deployed by geography—east, west, north and south. Each of these community pastors cares/ministers to their geography in the areas of life groups, weddings, funerals, hospital visits, baby dedications, men’s ministry, […]

Attorney Needed for Pastor Who Opted Out of Social Security 

Monday, November 19, 2018

Hey Fletch … A few months ago we discussed our pastor’s lack of retirement planning. You mentioned you could recommend a non-profit attorney for a consultation.

One of my “strategies” is to help our pastor qualify for Social Security, even though he opted out. He does have 28 credits, 12 short of the minimum. Can he be paid as a member of the band? Part of our worship team is paid and he regularly plays […]

Cancel the Job Posting

Monday, October, 29, 2018

Hey Fletch … We need to cancel our job posting on XPastor. We placed a job on XPastor for a three month period. Exactly three months to the date, we have filled the position—from a candidate that came through your site. I was assuming that the post would come down at the 3-month mark, but I still see it up on your site. Thank you for that grace period. 

DRF—That is a […]

Supervising a Friend

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Hey Fletch … I have a dilemma. It’s a strange problem and I’m struggling with it. As the XP, I am both a close friend and supervisor to a staff member. As a friend, I don’t want to say some things that need to be said. As a supervisor, I need the person to improve. See my problem?

DRF—I hear you on this. The problem can be sourced in our modern definition of […]

Staff Member Joking About Raises

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Hey Fletch … I have a staff member who constantly makes jokes about getting a raise. The first few times it was kinda funny, but now the humor has worn off. What should I do?

DRF—Humor can be an insight into someone’s thought life. It can also be divisive when it is hurtful or inappropriate. Your staff member is making inappropriate jokes. Money is on their mind. The jokes need to stop, now!

The first […]

Plan for a New Hire 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Hey Fletch … As a Senior Pastor of a new and growing church, I have a staff member leaving. The role is the 10 hour a week, director of the worship services. Can you review the transition plan? I have laid out five steps: 1) Collect and review resumes/references of those interested, 2) Interview 2-3 people, 3) Make a final decision, 4) The new person begins and learns from the person leaving, […]

360 Reviews for Senior Pastors

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Hey Fletch … Do you have any experience or connection with a church that has employed a 360 type evaluation of the Senior Pastor?

DRF—While I have done 360 reviews, I’m not an expert in them. Nathan Baxter has an article on XPastor that talks about these types of reviews. He says:

What is a 360 performance evaluation? Technically speaking, it is an exercise where a leader receives anonymous feedback from those who […]

How to Become a Pastor in Scandinavia

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Hey Fletch … I am becoming more and more interested in becoming a pastor. I am not sure what the best route would be. What do you advise?

DRF—This is an exciting time in your life. Let me give a few thoughts about becoming a pastor.

The first thing is to get deeply involved in your local church right now. Teach where you can. Visit the sick in the hospital and those in nursing […]

My Resume

Monday, September 17, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’d like to become an XP. Could you take a look at my resume and give me some thoughts?

DRF—I would be pleased to review your resume. Before you send it to me, check out the Great Resumes Page on XPastor. Learn from those who have outstanding resumes!

I like to see a resume that conveys the strengths and experience of an individual. Get some help on the design to […]

Questions for a First Interview

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Hey Fletch … Hey I have a first interview for a position on Friday. Any tips? What kind of preparation should I do? What questions should I ask them?

DRF—Before I drafted my thoughts, I did a web search on “first impressions.” There is a ton of good material on the subject. I especially liked that the Dale Carnegie course said: “Never underestimate the value of a smile. The first time you […]

Need Help on Developing a Salary Matrix

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Hey Fletch … We are developing a salary matrix where each tier of employment has ranges from low to max. I have been working on this, but wanted to know if there were tools or companies that do this for churches. Do you know of anyone who could help? Our Compensation Committee desires an outside organization to conduct the review.

DRF—I’m just finished my third book, Smart Money for Church Salaries. We […]

How Often Do Campus Pastors Preach?

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Hey Fletch … Quick question—from your experience gained through XPastor or otherwise, do you have a sense on how often a campus pastor typically teaches in a video-venue model where the lead teacher is preponderantly on video?

DRF—The rule of thumb for a campus pastor to speak is anywhere from 4 to 8 times a year. A few churches do more and a few churches do less. You want the campus pastor to […]

How Important is the Leader of Evangelism?

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Hey Fletch … How important is the leader of evangelism? What are the top three areas that the leader should be driven to succeed?

DRF—There are many titles for people who lead the evangelism effort in local churches. They range from Pastor of Evangelism to Local Outreach Pastor to Friendship Minister.

These are vital roles in churches! And from your email handle, I’m assuming that you are or desire to be in the role. […]

A Private Hallway Conversation

Sunday, July 22, 2018

There you are in the hallway. A friend joins you and before you know it, you are having a confidential conversation. The problem is that you are in a public space.

If you want to have a private conversation, go to a private place. Don’t get mad that others overhear your hallway conversation. 

Many a time I have had a hallway conversation, only to have a staff member laugh at one of our […]

Hiring a Care Pastor

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Hey Fletch … I was in a class of yours in the Doctor of Ministry program at Dallas Seminary. As Senior Pastor of our church, we’re hiring a care minister. I’ve attached our job description and we have a candidate who is a long-time member. He’s been sensing a call out of the corporate world and shows a lot of the giftedness and experience for this position.

I need a good book on […]

Is My Resume Top-Notch?

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Hey Fletch … I have been in management for over 25 years and now feel God’s call to move into an Executive Pastor position. I would like your help with making my resume relevant to the church world versus the business world. Thanks for your help and I hope you have a blessed day.

DRF—The first thing that you should do is take a look at XPastor’s Great Resumes page. It will […]

My Boss Wants Me Out

Monday, July 9, 2018

Hey Fletch … My boss wants me out. She came into my office last week and essentially said “You are done here.” What should I do?

DRF—Often there is a substantial backstory that builds up to that climactic statement. Sometimes it comes out of thin air. Either way, your relationship with your boss is severely damaged, probably beyond repair.

As you think through the last few months, consider what you have done to be […]

Time Cards for Pastors

Friday, June 29, 2018

Hey Fletch … Are my people working hard enough? Should we use time-cards for pastors?

DRF—This is similar to yesterday’s question about administrative assistants. People work incredibly hard when they have a compelling vision. When people speak into the tactics of implementing that vision, they work even harder.

I am not a fan of having time cards for pastors. Pastors are exempt from FLSA regulations, so time cards are not required. Some churches use […]

How Do You Treat Administrative Assistants?

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Hey Fletch … How do you treat administrative assistants?

DRF—Sometimes email is remarkably incomplete. There must be a huge story behind your question. Let me share a couple of thoughts about this broad topic.

  • All staff members are vital on the team. Whether they be a facility worker, administrative assistant or key pastor, each person needs to carry the vision and vibe of the church.
  • Be fair and as generous as possible with […]

Worship Leader Resume and Reel

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’m beginning to write the script for my worship reel. What do you think are the most important things to hit on in that video. What subjects do churches and employers need/want to hear me share about?

DRF—A resume for a worship leader should include “your reel.” That is a collection of videos that show you in action. I would suggest that you include three things:

  1. Tell the top two […]

Big Announcement at Meeting’s End

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Hey Fletch … I met with our volunteer drummer last night. We talked for an hour about life and ministry. At the end of the time, just as we were about ready to leave, he said: “Oh, I’ve really enjoyed being in the band but I need to pull out. My schedule is too crazy right now.” Why would someone wait until the end of a meeting to make a big announcement […]

The Executive Pastor Indicator

Friday, June 8, 2018

Hey Fletch … I filled out the XP indicator. When do I get the results?

DRF—I love eager beavers! You are avid and want to learn about your strengths. You are saying, “I’m ready, let’s go!”

The Indicator began as a work only for XPs. It grew into People Patterns that any person could use to better understand their gifts. This current version of the People Patterns has explanations of each area that are tailored […]

Posting a Job?

Monday, June 4, 2018

Hey Fletch .. I would like to post a job for a Pastor of Children’s Ministries on XPastor. How do I do that?

DRF—Yes, XPastor has a section to post ministry jobs. To cover our expenses for running the otherwise free XPastor site, we charge $99 to post jobs. The position will be put on the site and on our social media.

You can see the job posting page here, with a link […]

Urgency Mode in Email

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Hey Fletch … I have a grid of how staff can send me emails to get my attention. I created a four-part numbering system. This lets me immediately know how important their item is. Thoughts?

DRF—I like the grid in your email. Remember though, most people can process and use three levels of expectations. Four levels pushes the envelope on what people can remember and use. 

You want people to signify an ‘urgency […]

Being Directive with Staff

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Hey Fletch … I am struggling with how directive to be with my staff in terms of “expectations”?

DRF—For me, setting expectations is one of collaboration. I find that when I can have a discussion with someone, many times they set great expectations. 

When I turn leaders loose in their area of giftedness, I generally find that they need coaching, not a foot on the gas pedal. I weave my personal expectations into […]

Pay Staff to not Take Health Insurance

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Hey Fletch … Thanks again for such a great XP-Seminar. It is truly run with excellence and is so helpful to me. Here’s a quick question for you or whoever you may refer me. The question is regarding full-time employees who are eligible, but do not need or engage in the medical benefits offered by our church. What is your opinion and how do most churches handle this situation regarding additional […]

Boss Stole My Idea

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Hey Fletch … my boss stole my idea and said it was his. What gives?

DRF—That’s a hard one to hear. I’m so sorry that you had this experience. Can you go back to your boss and get some clarification? Can you explain to him that the idea was yours? Can you share your disappointment and angst?

Some ideas are born out of collaborative efforts. When things are products of a work group, they […]

XPastor Course Syllabus

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Hey Fletch … is there a syllabus available for the XPastor Staffing Course, Operations 101? I took your Generosity Course and enjoyed it!

DRF—I’m so glad that you enjoyed the Generosity Course. Let me email you the syllabus for Staffing. We are now putting the syllabus as a part of week 1. Most people only want the syllabus after they sign up for a course.

The syllabus is helpful as an outline of […]

Part-Time Pastor Ready to Burn Out

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’m a church planter. We have a part-time pastor on our staff. Her husband makes a good living and we would love to pay her more. However, as a starter church, our budget is so, so tight. I can’t bring her to full-time status. She is already putting in more hours than we are paying her for and I fear that she may burn out. Thoughts?

DRF—The good news for […]

Key Salaries in a Church

Saturday, May 5

Hey Fletch … Where should I email the compensation survey questionnaire I filled out for you?

DRF—XPastor has a Compensation Guide available for $49. You can get a $15 discount if you submit information using the provided spreadsheet. The XPastor survey is smaller than other online compensation data guides. But it gives, in table format, all the key positions in a church, like this:

1,400 in Worship […]

Paying Teenagers at Church

Friday, May 4

Hey Fletch … Quick question for you. What is the best way to pay teenage minors who do occasional child care work for the church? 

DRF—Whether they are occasional or not, you need to follow federal and state regulations. If the church pays them, then you have liability for their work, so that’s one issue. As I recall, California allows minors to work, but need a permit. I researched and found this […]

Unclear Instructions to Administrative Assistant

Thursday, May 3

Hey Fletch … You are certified in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, so let me ask this. As the Senior Pastor, I have an assistant who is an ISTJ. He often says that my instructions are not clear. How can I give better direction?

DRF—In MBTI lingo, the ISTJ is a logical, quiet, hard working, duty fulfiller. At they introduce the person:

The ISTJ personality type is thought to be the most abundant, […]

Hiring Church Staff

Friday, April 20, 2018

Hey Fletch … Here in Nigeria I have a question. I would like to know if there are templates on church staff recruitment decision making … like a decision grid.

DRF—I’m not sure that I would use the word ‘template,’ as each church is unique. You want to create a style, or template, that reflects who your church is. Yet, there are many common issues to hiring among churches. To address these common […]

Hurting Pastor in a Jungle of Chaos

Friday, April 6, 2018

Hey Fletch … You know, there’s a lot of material for counseling marriages. There is little out there that I’m aware of for counseling for pastors who take the shots and still have to lead. Managing the mental and emotional jungle when unforeseen chaos hits so close is something most of us have no category for.

DRF—I was thinking through your email and praying for you. Things like what you have described take a […]

I’m a Paid, Professional Christian

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Hey Fletch … I feel like I’m a paid, professional Christian. I work in a church as a pastor and it is feeling like a job. The joy is begging to fade away. Help!

DRF—You are a full-time, vocational Christian leader. Pastoral work can be grueling. Emails and texts come at all hours. Weekends can get eaten up in ministry activities. You are engaged in a spiritual battle of enormous proportions. Huge numbers […]

Transition to Ministry after 30 Years in Government Service

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Hey Fletch … Good morning! I am searching for a church that has leadership development as its culture and focus. I just finished a seminary degree in Virginia Beach, VA and am wanting to make a transition to full-time ministry. I have a 30+ year career in government and public service. I’m a little stuck…any advice? I’m willing to relocate for the right opportunity.

DRF—If I understand you correctly, you are looking for […]

Ministry Jobs & ‘Seminary School’

Friday, March 23, 2018

Hey Fletch … Seems it is quite hard to find a job at a church unless you have gone to Seminary school. I live in Austin, Texas. Is there a certain website I should be viewing to find ministry jobs?

DRF—A Seminary education can open doors, but it’s not a golden key. More than half of all church jobs come through networking. I would suggest that you talk to five local pastors. Ask […]

Ministry Leads to Weight Gain

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Hey Fletch … This one is rather personal. Your column is a safe place for me to ask it. I have been gaining weight. Often I am at breakfast and lunch meetings, then want to have quality time with my family at dinner. All I do is eat … and it is showing!

DRF—I hear you on this. Ministry makes good weight control harder for the reasons that you gave. John Reed, the […]

Four-Wall Discussions

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’ve heard you use the term “four wall discussions.” Could you define that for me?

DRF—I call certain meetings “four-wall discussions” to signify that what is said should stay in the four walls of the room. A profane equivalent is “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”

Here is what you do with a church team. Lay out the ground rules that every comment is fair game in the discussion. […]

We Had a Narcissist on Staff

Monday, February 19, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’m on the other side of the international date line from you, but church issues are the same the world over. We had a Narcissist on our staff and ruined staff and congregational morale. Can you give advice on how we can heal?

DRF—I’m so sorry to hear of your trouble. One definition of a Narcissist is “a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves. Narcissists […]

You Are Not a Pastor

February 7, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’m a hurtin’ puppy in Oklahoma right now. Got my tail between my legs. A fellow pastor on staff came into my office and said, “You are not a Pastor. Pastors should do this and that, and you don’t do those things.” I know I should be tough and let it roll off, but it came from a guy on staff.

DRF—That’s a bummer on steroids. Part of the fall of […]

Just Got Dissed in an Email

January 31, 2018

Hey David … This one is personal and hard to write. I just got an email that seems to say that I wasn’t on a project any longer. I’m totally shocked. I thought that I was the project leader and now they are bringing in another person. I’m pretty mad and hurt. Thoughts for me?

DRF—In reading your email, your Senior Pastor didn’t say much, just two lines. What he said was ambiguous. It […]

Creating a Ministry Description

January 27, 2018

Hey Doc … My Presiding Bishop is looking to create a role for someone to visit churches inside and outside our organization. This person would stand in for the Bishop when he is unable to be at events and conferences. Do you have any suggestions for a role description and title?

DRF—Sounds like a wonderful role for the right person. XPastor does not have a job description on file for such a role … […]

Staff Culture

January 25, 2018

Hey David … We are wanting to get a feel for how our staff is doing. What can you suggest? We want to understand how our staff feel and get a handle on our staff culture.

DRF—I’m coaching an XP who just did a survey with the Best Christian Workplaces Institute. They got plenty of useful data points from the survey. It was incredibly helpful for them. Take a look at their site […]

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