How to Build Trust Within Your Staff

By Rick Warren

TrustGood teams trust one another. Good teams trust their leader, too. Imagine a football team where the quarterback couldn’t trust his wide receivers to catch balls thrown his way

You can’t build a team without trust. It’s crucial. I can’t overstate how important trust is in developing your staff team.

Philippians 2:19-20 says, “I want to be encouraged by news about you. So I hope the Lord Jesus will soon let me send Timothy to you. I don’t have anyone else who cares about you as much as he does.” (CEV)

Paul trusted Timothy. Trust is the emotional glue that binds a team together and produces confidence. If your team doesn’t trust you and if they don’t trust one another, you won’t achieve your aim.

High-achieving churches have a high level of trust among the staff. It means the lead pastor trusts the staff, the staff trusts the pastor and the staff trusts one another. To build trust you’ve got to not only trust your staff to get the job done but also trust them to do the job in the way they think is best.

So how do you create that kind of trust in your team?

  1. Be consistent. People must learn to trust one another. The Bible says, “A faithful man is hard to find.” The more a staff spends time together and works together, the more they know how one another responds to challenges. That kind of consistency builds trust.
  1. Stand with your staff when they take heat. I’ve told the pastors on my staff that if they’re ever accused of something publicly, I’ll defend them before I even know the issue. I don’t accept criticism when I first hear it. I defend my staff member first in front of other people, and then I’ll check out the accusation, if needed. That builds trust among my staff.
  1. Delegate.The proof of trust is delegation. Whenever you tell a staff member, “You do what you think is best,” you tell that person you trust him or her. I learned this lesson in my first staff position. The pastor called me in after I’d just been hired as youth pastor. The very first thing he said to me was, “I wouldn’t have invited you to be a part of this staff if I didn’t trust you. The very fact that I trust you means you are free to do whatever it takes to get the job done. I will back you 100 percent.”I would have charged hell with a squirt gun for that guy because he had that kind of trust of me. Within a year, we had baptized more than a hundred teenagers all because we tried things that had never been done before.

Does your team trust one another? Do they trust you? Be consistent, stand with your team and delegate. You’ll never build a high-impact ministry team without trust.

Rick Warren

Rick Warren

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.