Should we allow our staff to use 20% of their time on side projects to help eliminate burnout?

Here’s an interesting commentary… what do you think?  Great idea, or horrible one?

Many church staff in congregations perform several ministry functions even though they are not officially a “pastor”. Special attention to church staff (youth directors, associate ministers, musicians, office assistants, interns, educators, etc…) and their work wellness. Appreciating their work is not enough (a raise wouldn’t hurt). Pastors and church leadership need give more time off in a world where church staff have to do “more with less”. Micromanaging, low pay, unreasonable expectations, many evening commitments, and poorly managed church conflict all lead to staff burnout. Giving the standard “two weeks” vacation is another sure-fire way to burnout staff.

Years ago, Google allowed their employees to spend up to 20% of their work time on side projects. What if churches let church staff blog, create, dream, build, write, or encourage creativity through side projects? Allowing church staff to express themselves through under utilized skills or talents may help a church find a new ministry. In addition, it allows the church staff to explore and create – something that is innate within humanity. Suppressing creativity only leads to frustration. Churches would be well advised to use a Google-like project to guard against burnout.

// Read more here…

What do YOU think?

How do you help reduce burnout on your staff?




  • Adam McLanem December 18, 2012 Reply

    I like it.

    Pretty much every minister I know has “something on the side.” So why not just make it official?

    Another fun idea? Lock the staff out of their offices a couple days per week. Make them go work with the people they are trying to reach.

  • Abbey December 19, 2012 Reply

    I totally agree. It’s stuff like World Changers and missions projects that help keep staff fired up.

  • Chuck December 19, 2012 Reply

    I love it.

    A thought crossed my mind, though, as to whether or not this is a notion that substitutes for the life and zest which results from time on our faces in God’s presence. I never recall hearing of this sort of trouble in our forefathers’ generations, and they were given to prayer and abiding, on the whole. However, those generations were also adept at avoiding transparency, vulnerability about things they struggled with AND a great deal many pastors also had outlets on the side such as being revivalists and what not. So, again…

    I love this idea to give staff 20% of their time for constructive diversions.

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