“And Other Duties As Assigned”

I’ve been looking at lots of worship leader job descriptions lately as we help several churches look for staff. Almost all of them have some kitchen-junk-drawer statement at the end of the responsibilities that is some form of:

“And other duties as assigned.”

Talk about a blank check…for someone else to cash on your life!

Now, this Fertilizer isn’t about boundaries and being fairly employed. It’s about navigating the reality of being on staff and how to lead. Because leadership requires navigating change and uncharted territory and generally being resourceful enough to do whatever it takes.

None of us could’ve imagined how true this would be in 2020. For many, our whole job seemed to change, at least for a season. We weren’t rehearsing a band and leading a roomful of worshipers. We were recording, editing, and premiering a video. We switched from being worship leaders to being TV producers.

Hey, that’s not in my job description! Oh, but it is. :)

So what was it like to be doing an almost entirely different job last year? And what resourcefulness muscles did it grow in you?

The reality is that we need to be nimble, able to flex, switch, adjust, learn, accommodate, reinvent. As weird as 2020 was (with its cousin 2021 now in play), it really only pulled back the curtain on what was there all along: leadership demands resourcefulness.

I love my dictionary’s definition of resourcefulness:

“The ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties.”

First, it’s an ability, a skill. It can and must be developed. When you’re in a moment that is requiring more ability than you had previously, your muscles may hurt, and you may get winded. That’s all normal. You can try to grit through it, but it’s best if you use the buddy system. Find someone - your pastor, another leader, a friend, a mentor, an Ad Lib coach - to walk with you and support your skill acquisition. :)

Musing about an idea you had six months too late isn’t resourceful. You’ve gotta move at the right time. Not hasty, but not too late. When a problem arises, get on it. Think. Pray. Research. Get on it quick. Don’t get stuck in worry, over-analysis, or perfectionism. Make a call.

The whole point is for you to overcome. It’s who you are, after all. More than conquerors. Overcomers. So it’s in your DNA, how you’re wired. You’ve got this! When the world falls apart or turns on its head, it is your moment to shine, to lead, to show your resourcefulness.

Honestly, I hope this year requires less of us. The craving for normalcy around us is palpable. But in those moments that will surely come that require resourcefulness of us, that fit in that “and other duties as assigned” category, let’s go for it with all our hearts!