Author Archives: Matt Miller

About Matt Miller

Matt Miller is a the Lead Pastor of a new church plant in Kansas City Kansas. He and his wife Jenn have three beautiful children, twins Allie and Kristie, and baby brother Luke. New City Church launched on January of 2012; since then they have grown to over 320 in weekend attendance and provide weekly opportunities to serve their city. You can follow their journey online at or on twitter @newcitymatt.

Two Simple Keys for Leading Your Staff

This is a guest post by Matt Miller, lead pastor of New City Church in Shawnee, Kansas. 

As a new church planter, I often feel like the dog who caught the car.  I started chasing the dream of launching New City Church in May of 2010 and in January of 2012, the dream became a reality.  And the reality was, I was in over my head!


One area of ministry that consistently frustrated me was the area of church leadership.  Like most church plants, our early qualification for leadership was, “Do they have a pulse?”  If they did, we gave them a title and hoped for the best.  Fortunately, we quickly realized that more than a pulse was needed and we began to make wiser decisions in this area.  However, I have learned that just because we are doing a better job of placing people doesn’t mean we are immune to staffing issues.  What follows are two principles I have learned that have influenced me as I have led my staff.


Respond, Don’t React


On my church planting journey, I have been blessed with experienced coaches.  It has
been great for me to have access to men who ask the right questions, have a different perspective, and have done what I hope to do.  I can remember on one occasion when I was sharing with my coach, Troy McMahon, about a frustrating text I had received from one of my staff members.  I was telling him what I had texted back and in mid-sentence Troy interrupted me.  I remember Troy saying, “Your Executive Pastor can react. Your Worship Pastor can react.  Your Kid City Pastor can react.  But you must respond.”  I had been guilty of allowing staff to evoke reactions out of me that often led to heated discussions.
What Troy challenged me with was to respond.  Not to respond with some quip or even a solution, but to respond with vision.  For me, to respond with vision meant that I couldn’t immediately respond.  I had to pause, pray, and process my response.  A response is required because a leader doesn’t ignore difficult issues.  But how that leader responds is important because his response will create a culture of reaction or responding.


Develop, Don’t Dismiss


As a leader learns to respond, what often follows are not heated discussions but honestconversations.  When I gave space to pause, pray, and process my response I was able to see the situation more clearly.  This clarity led to the second principle that heavily influences my leadership.  I’m learning to develop not dismiss.  I am guilty of moving on to the next person if the current person isn’t figuring it out.  What I’m learning is that, too often, them not figuring it out has more to do with me than with them.  I’m learning to ask, how can I inspire them?  How can I teach them?  What tools can I offer them for growth?  What questions do I need to ask?


All of these take time and in church planting, time is my most valuable commodity.  Choosing to develop my staff is an intentional decision.  If I don’t choose to develop, I won’t.  One way I intentionally choose to develop is by having weekly one-on-ones with my staff.  During this time I ask five coaching questions: Where are you winning?  What are you current challenges?  What are you doing about these challenges?  How can I help?  How can I pray?  By asking these questions, as the leader, I can assess if my staff members are growing or giving up.


These are two things I’m learning on my journey.  I hope they will inspire you on yours.