My thesis: Luke 6:31 should be the motto, slogan, vision statement and/or basic foundational rule for every church personnel-related issue. If we would follow Luke 6:31 in our church personnel matters, I believe we would have longer tenures in ministry, happier pastoral staff, and better church administrative relationships.
Luke 6:31 in 3 different translation: And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them (ESV). And just as you want people to treat you, treat them in the same way (NAS). Do to others as you would have them do to you (NIV).
Having served in a variety of positions on church staff, some part-time, some full-time, in nearly every position except music, I have been in many personnel committee and leadership meetings (with elders and deacons) where personnel matters arise. I have seen it all.
If we would mandate Luke 6:31 in our dealing with our church staff members, I believe we would be far better off and far more functional in kingdom business. Luke 6:31 applies to every aspect of personnel leadership. Consider a few examples.
Compensate others as you would like to be compensated. Staff need not be starved nor overly fed. However, if you believe you and your work deserves a respectable salary, comparable with others in your peer group, based on job performance and expertise, then compensate your church staff likewise. By low-balling them, you are not teaching them humility and contentment, you are telling them they are not worth that much in the big scheme of things.
Reward others as you would like to be rewarded. I know, I know, our reward is in Christ and spending eternity with him in heaven. I could not agree more. However, if you like being rewarded for a job well done in your field, when you go the extra mile toward a successful project, why not reward your staff with something in kind. A gift card. An extra vacation day. An expanded allowance for clothing, books, or conferences. A little pat on the back can be a great motivator.
Evaluate others as you would like to be evaluated. No one likes to be evaluated, but everyone needs it…and should appreciate it if it is done well. So how do you like to be evaluated in your job? Consistently. Fairly. Accurately. Sharing both areas of strengths and areas of needed improvement. Then receiving amply time, resources, and encouragement to enhance those strengths and improve the weaknesses. Sounds pretty fair right? Why not extend the same grace to your church staff members. They will be blessed by your investment in them and will be more effective in their service unto Christ.
Terminate others as you would like to be terminated. Is there such a thing as a way you want to be terminated? No job or position is permanently and perpetually safe forever. The same goes for ministry positions. Therefore as you would like to be let go, treat your exiting staff in the same fashion. Whatever you would like to be given, extend those same graces to them such as severance, job placement assistance, moving expenses, or time on the clock to look elsewhere. Honesty in explaining the situation to the church, not sweeping issues under the rug is also a very important step. No one wins with deception and lies.
When Jesus gave us the golden rule, I don’t think he anticipated us forgetting it so easily. Let’s put it back in, especially in our dealings with each other in ministry.