6 Ways to Reignite Energy on your Church Staff

6 Ways to Reignite Energy on your Church Staff

Aaron Buer

Digital giving apps and tools

So, we survived the fall launch.

All the different ministries in our churches are up and running. We did the epic opening series on the weekends. We pulled off our big outreach event. We made four million phone calls to prospective volunteers. It’s all more or less working. We did it. High fives!

And now... we’re all dead.

I mean, not actually dead but pretty tired. Like 50% zombie.

Our staff and volunteers are at a quarter tank and as we look ahead there is a lot of ministry ahead of us. It’s November. Barely. Oh, and Christmas is right around the corner. Yikes.

One of the most important roles of a leader is to reenergize our people. So, how exactly do we do this? How do we reignite passion, focus and energy?

It won’t happen automatically, this process needs to be led.

Here are a few ideas:

1. Show Appreciation

The post fall launch season can be a dangerous time for morale. Everyone has worked extra hours and put in a huge amount of energy.

Most of us don’t mind doing this because we are passionate about the Church. However, this zeal only lasts so long when we don’t feel appreciated or encouraged.

As leaders, it is on us to show appreciation for our people—to keep their morale up.

Recently, my team read the book, The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace. This book reminded me that not everyone feels appreciated in the same ways.

Personally, I’m big on words of affirmation. If you tell me I’m doing a great job, particularly in front of others, it’s a major boost to my morale. However, one of my co-workers would hate it if you told her she was doing a great job in front of other people. She doesn’t want that kind of attention. She would much prefer spending quality time with you.

My point is this: As a leader, one of your core responsibilities is to encourage your people, especially during this season. But, your natural way of showing appreciation may or may not resonate with each person on your team.

I would encourage you to read this book and talk with each member of your team until you understand what really encourages them and then concentrate your efforts. One of the key strategies to reigniting energy is to appreciate your people in targeted ways.

2. Money

Money talks. Let’s just be real. One of the best ways to reenergize your people is through a bonus.

Do you ever give bonuses to your staff members who are doing great work, covering for a vacant role or working extra because of a critical season, like fall launch? If not, you really should! Receiving a bonus from an appreciative supervisor feels amazing. Why? Because it communicates:

“I see what you’re doing and I appreciate you. You are valuable to this organization.”

Here’s your assignment: Find two or three people on your team who are doing great work and give them a bonus. I’m talking real money.

If it isn’t at least $300 you are doing it wrong.

And, don’t waste the opportunity to tell them about it in person! Seeing a bonus on your paystub is like “huh... interesting.”

Being told you are getting a bonus from an appreciative supervisor feels like you are some kind of hero.

3. Do Something Fun

Do you remember back to elementary school? Yeah, I know for some of us it’s a little fuzzy. “Wait, was life actually black and white back then? I forget.”

Remember what happened after a big test or an academically strenuous week? Many times there was a party day or a movie. Why? Because kids need to rest and celebrate! I’m telling you, we don’t grow out of this. Adults need it too!

A great way to reignite energy on your team is to do something fun together.

“Hey, we had a great fall launch and I know that many of you worked your tails off to make it happen. Next week we are going to take a day to celebrate by [insert everybody’s favorite thing].”

You might be thinking, “Psh... we can’t afford to waste that much time.”

I’m telling you, you can’t afford not to! It’s an investment.

Research shows that tired and depleted employees aren’t productive. Also, the more depleted we are, the more prone to negative thinking we become. It is healthy and reinvigorating to celebrate and relax. Maybe it’s time to schedule a fun day.

4. Free Day Off

Here’s a secret of management. You can give people a day off without charging them PTO.


Isn’t that breaking the rules? You’re the boss remember? You make the rules!

No, but for real, have you ever been given a free day off? It feels great! It communicates value and trust. It can be very restorative. Try one of these on a hard-working employee who is tired:

  • “Hey, you’ve really been working hard. I really appreciate it. I’m wondering, could you take Friday off? I’d be happy to cover your responsibilities. It would be on-the-house.”
  • “Hey, it’s 2:00. Why don’t you get out of here? Seriously, you deserve a break. I can cover for you.”
  • “You’ve been killing it. I’d love for you to have a long-weekend. What do you think about extending your weekend to Monday? Make a list of what you need to get done on Monday and I’ll do it for you.”
  • An employee asks you if they can take a day off and you respond with, “Absolutely, and you know what, you’ve been doing great work. Don’t mark it down as PTO. It’s on me.”

Doing something like this for one of your employees really makes them feel special and I’d put money down that they show up for work after this free day ready to give 100%. Of course, I wouldn’t really put money down because I’m a pastor...

ANYWAY, give it try. Free days off are the best.

5. Tell Stories

Most of us don’t mind working hard when we know it is worthwhile. I mean, that’s why we are in this business right? We love watching lives being transformed by Jesus. It’s amazing to be part of.

The stories of how Jesus is impacting lives in our churches always restore passion and energy. Because of this, one of the most effective strategies you can commit to as a leader is collecting and sharing these stories.

A critical part of our weekly staff meetings is a segment we call “Stories that need to be told.” We spend about 20 minutes each week telling stories of how our ministry is impacting people. Why? Because we constantly need to be reminded of the impact of our work. It’s incredibly energizing.

So, who is collecting and sharing stories on your staff? I would suggest that you commit to making this happen or delegate the project to someone.

6. Set a New Goal

One of the reasons we run out of steam after the fall launch is that we become aimless. Everything was focused on pulling off a great fall launch but now that it is over... what do we do?

All that is left is the mundane and the regular. When this happens, it’s time for a new focus — a new goal. Without goals and direction our people become bored, aimless and restless.

One of the smartest things we can do after a critical season like fall launch is set a new goal. Focusing the team around a new initiative is naturally reenergizing. We were designed to achieve, build and improve. The right goal at the right time will unleash all of this positive potential and energy.

So, as you seek to reengage your team, what’s the one thing that could change everything right now? Focus on that.

Taking Action


That was a lot.

There are a bunch of strategies in there. Let me summarize: Appreciate your people and refocus them.

Let me encourage you to pick one or two strategies and go for it!

We’d love to hear your own strategies for how to reignite energy when your team is feeling depleted. Feel free to leave your ideas and comments below.

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