How to Structure Your Organizational Chart for Success in 2021


COVID has moved church online.

Before the pandemic, only a small percentage of Protestant churches were streaming their services online, and now it's nearly impossible to reach your audience if you are not set up online. Having church services online has allowed the church to become more accessible to people who wouldn't have been able to participate—or possibly even know about your church—before.

Even as we move toward more in-person services, the online church isn't going anywhere. This new platform for churches to reach their audience, interact with their communities and introduce Christ to new people is changing the roles that are critical for churches, even after the pandemic. Here are the critical roles that churches are considering hiring after this shift to online ministry.

New Leadership

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2020 has led many leaders we've been speaking with to feel burnt out and even feel unqualified for the new tech-world we live in. COVID-19 has required everyone to learn new technologies that, for some, are challenging and don't compare to their previous way of operating. Church leaders who were planning on retiring in 4-5 years are now retiring early out of fatigue and a lack of desire to build new strategies in this digital age. We can expect that if leaders begin to step down from leadership positions, churches will be seeking leaders who demonstrate an understanding of, and a desire to engage with, new technology.

Cross-Trained Staff

COVID-19 has made it important for employees to be generalists, rather than specialists, after the influx of restructures and layoffs earlier this year. While staff in every position will likely need to learn new technology, most staff members will have to learn even more new skills. Agility, excellent communication, and a willingness to learn will be more critical than ever in order to keep up with the velocity of change we're seeing in how organizations run and business is conducted.

Churches and Christian organizations will benefit from having employees who have a variety of skills and a strong ability to learn. Whether you are looking to hire or just redefining job roles within your organization, make sure your staff members are learning new skills and technologies that allow them to pivot if necessary.

Cross-training is also critical for long-term success. It's important that at least two people on your staff know how to execute all critical responsibilities in case a key employee leaves. We expect to see a lot of turnover in 2021, so ensuring multiple people on your team are equipped with the knowledge and skills critical to meet your goals is imperative.

Communications Strategists

An ability to communicate effectively to your team and your audience is vital to organizational health and growth. We're seeing churches and Christian organizations feel the need for the communication department to be represented in top leadership positions. These are the people responsible for creating consistency across all of your platforms and ensuring your voice, values and mission are reflected in everything that comes from your church or organization. As the number of platforms we're using every day grows, so does the urgency for messaging to remain consistent.

Furthermore, I expect we will see a switch in organizational structure for communication departments. Rather than housing communications leaders under the worship team, churches are understanding that communication strategy needs to play a role in worship, therefore, communications directors need to climb the organizational chart. As your church continues to communicate through new online channels, make sure your communication department is serving at the leadership level to ensure clarity across every area of your ministry.

Technology Experts

Technology will only continue to increase and become more prevalent in society. Churches and Christian organizations are going to realize an increasing need to hire individuals to fill vital AV/tech roles. For the first time ever, we will see executive and associate pastors who need to have a strong knowledge of technology for churches to continue to be successful in our digital world.

2020 has sped up the rate of change in churches and has required churches to fill critical new roles. As we head into 2021, ask yourself what skills your current staff needs to develop to better reach an online audience and keep up with technology. Moreover, ask yourself what positions need to be filled to help your staff reach the most people in the most effective ways.

At Vanderbloemen and ChristianTeams we are passionate about connecting people with their passion. If you are looking to fill these new critical positions, we'd love to help you find the right people to lead you into the future of the church.

William Vanderbloemen is the CEO and founder of Vanderbloemen, which serves teams with a greater purpose by aligning their people solutions for growth: hiring, compensation, succession and culture. Through its retained executive search and consulting services, Vanderbloemen serves churches, schools, nonprofits, family offices and Christian businesses in all parts of the United States and internationally. Follow him on Twitter @wvanderbloemen.

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