How do we, as church leaders, balance the need to have a core working environment in the office and a flexible work schedule that allows our staffs to meet with potential leaders and do other stuff that must be done outside of “normal business hours?”
I can’t say that we’ve found “the answer,” but I do want to share a “method” we’ve implemented. We want to maintain a flexible work schedule, allowing our staff to arrange their week according to the needs of their particular ministry area and personal/family needs. At the same time, we want to have a core set of “in the office” working hours that encourage and facilitate collaboration between staff members.
So, we created a “Schedule Of Ministry” process that is documented in our Staff Policy Manual. The process includes a form that facilitates a formal discussion between each staff member and their direct supervisor. The form is filled out, discussed, and signed twice per year at the beginning of the Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer “ministry seasons.”
Basically completion of the form ensures that there’s a formal discussion, at least twice per year, that results in an agreement between the staff member and their supervisor on what the normal ministry week will look like in terms of “in the office” work hours, “out of the office” work hours, and non-work hours. The agreement stands until a change is made or the next season of ministry approaches.
Of course, the signed form exists as a reflection of the typical week. The staff still has a “flexible” work schedule and may, at their discretion, deviate from their normal schedule.