One of the opportunities of leadership is being able to take a step back and see the big picture. When you're not involved in the day-to-day minutiae, you're more able to plan ahead and make sure the team is headed in the right direction.
However, the downside is you're not closest to the action. That may be another staff member or perhaps a volunteer.
Those on the front lines are the ones
Interacting with parents checking in their children
Helping first-time guests who're trying to figure out where to go
Talking with individuals wondering where they fit in
Guiding people trying to register for an event or get more information
Those on the front lines know important details you don't get to discover
How the church signage isn't clear to first-time guests
That the registration process for next week's marriage conference was really cumbersome
Why you keep losing volunteers in the nursery
That it's too difficult for new members to figure out how to really get involved
You'll limit your church's ability to grow and serve if you don't intentionally and consistently gather input from folks on the front lines of ministry.
Tip #1: Schedule quarterly volunteer meetings where you talk with volunteer leaders and ask for their input
What comments (good or bad) did you hear from participants of recent events?
Do you have enough volunteers for your area? If not, what can we do better when it comes to inviting people to serve?
Is volunteer training sufficient?
What's working (and what isn't working)?
Tip #2: Talk with new staff members to get their fresh eyes perspective
What processes seem clunky or unnecessary?
What acronyms or terms do we use in communications with the congregation that don't make sense to newcomers?
Is there anything about your job that's unclear or where you're not sure what's expected of you?
Tip #3: Chat with the folks who serve at your information booth or guest services table
What questions do you repeatedly receive?
What issues/questions do you not feel equipped to handle?
Are there any processes we need to improve (event registrations, baptism signups, etc.)? If so, what and what improvements do you recommend?
Tip #4: Gather input from those impacted
Send out an online survey to people who attended a recent event and analyze the results with your team.
Comb through recent emails to the church or comments on the church's Facebook page to see what questions are asked frequently or what type of feedback you're seeing consistently.
Rules for receiving feedback
Don't get defensive they might be rightthey could be wrong, but you first need to listen and digest what they're saying.
If you're hearing the same thing from multiple sources, you need to investigate further and take action.
Give credit when you receive feedback and implement changes based on feedback, say so. Thank the group or individual for providing you with helpful information.
See feedback as an opportunity to get better. Yes, some of it will sting but don't be too hard on yourself. You can't see every detail, so that's why you're seeking input.
Strong leaders who truly want to serve others listen to input. Separate the wheat from the chaff, don't let your ego get involved, and move forward as appropriate.