Motivations for work performance in the church

Topic / Leadership

Last week I was talking with Kent Shaffer and he pointed me to this video. It has a lot of implications for the church as a work place, but I’m not sure entirely what those implications are.

Watch the video. What do you think are the implications of this research for working in a church ministry context?

A couple of my initial observations and thoughts:

1. Ministry workers are definitely in the cognitive role, not the purely mechanical role.

2. “Pay people enough to take the issue of money off the table.” If they’re not worried about working other jobs or distracted by trying to make ends meet, performance goes up.

3. Churches who manage their staff is great if they want compliance, but if they want engagement as we do more complicated things, self-direction is better.

4. How many youth workers would thrive under leadership that says, “People probably want to do something creative and interesting, let me just get out of your way?” Sounds risky for many reasons, though, too. Guess leadership has to be willing to give up some control?

5. Personally, I often sense the urge of mastery for some of the same reasons: because it’s fun and because and it’s satisfying.

6. I know most youth workers are motivated in ministry by some of the same reasons the work force is. We’re self-driven to do learn and do a lot of this on our own free time and give away our hard work for free (i.e. this blog!). Challenge, mastery, and making a contribution.

7. Interesting: “The company needs a higher purpose, partially because it makes coming to work better and partly because that’s the way to get better talent.” Does the better “talent” of ministry workers gravitate toward the churches with a high vision because they become frustrated under low vision?

QUESTION: As you watch this video, what implications do you notice for the church?

Posted on October 26, 2010

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