is a precious commodity.
Some people give it freely while others make you earn it bit by bit. Trust is needed in any relationship between leaders and followers; employer and employee; staff and volunteers. It can be lost quickly, and if damage is done, then trust can take years to get backif ever.
Working at a church involves unique dynamics. Church staff members put not only their hands to the plow but also commit their hearts to the effort.
This is about much more than completing tasks, it's about helping people establish and cultivate a relationship with God. Staff members trust their pastor to lead well; with the best interests of the congregation and staff in-mind. Pastors trust their staff to represent the church well and to do their jobs with excellence.
If that trust is strained or broken, it can impact the entire congregation.
So, how do we earn and keep trust?
#1: Keep your word
"But let your Yes' be Yes,' and your No,' No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one." Matthew 5:37
Sometimes we make a promise and it becomes very inconvenient to keep that promise. Keep it anyway. If you excuse your way out of it and then try to hold someone else accountable to keeping a commitment, you don't have much trust or credibility in that moment. Be careful what you promise to do and then keep your word.
#2: Admit when you're wrong
The only One who has never and will never be wrong is Christ. No matter how long you've been a Christian or how long you've been in leadership, you're going to mess up. When you do, own it. Apologize to those you let down, ask for forgiveness, and work to make things right. Your team will respect your honesty and vulnerability. They're also much more likely to continue trust you because you were humble enough to admit your mistake.
#3: Inspire with "why"
As an employer, you're certainly within your rights to assign tasks and give orders without a reason why. However, if you're leading your team into a new season of ministry or need them to make an extra effort, explaining why will help you keep their trust. Also, if you hide the reasons behind your decisions that can lead to confusion, frustration, and distrust. Your team will make up their own reasons why and many times they'll be wrong in their assumptions. You don't have to tell them everything (especially when confidentiality is needed), but providing at least a summary explanation can go a long way.
Leading a team requires trust between you and each team member.
Focus on building and retaining that trust to cultivate a strong, fruitful ministry team.