Are You Hiring the Right People for Your Church Staff?

Because of the growth of The Journey (and some painful early lessons), I have made it a goal of mine to become an expert on Staffing – to learn everything I can from other churches, businesses, etc.

And recently I came across a great article from TechCrunch that deals with hiring for startups (church planting anyone?), but there are some great lessons for churches who are hiring at all stages.

Here’s one idea I definitely agree with:

ABR: Always be recruiting

…One of the “tells” for me of a management team that will not be extra-ordinarily successful is that they’re not always recruiting. I’ve seen it before – I send a talented member to a team and they say to me, “we don’t really have a role for that person.”

Really? I always have a role for talented people. I may not have a BUDGET for talented peole – but I always have a role for them. What role? Who knows. But let me at least have a coffee and feel out their enthusiasm, talent and ambitions.

I might choose to do an upgrade on my existing team. I might be grooming them for when I have more money or more revenue. I might not be able to persuade them now but I want them to know my company so that when I’m ready to step on the game I have a list of A players I want.

There’s no telling what God has in store for your church or for that potential staff member that you’d love to hire, but can’t afford right now.  By constantly recruiting, you’re preparing for any number of scenarios that might open that door.

And you’re also helping prepare your church for God to bring fast growth – ie: you know who that next hire will be if/when it’s time.

Another thought that’s particularly applicable in church staffing:

Attitude over Aptitude

One bad apple spoils things for everybody.

You don’t see it coming. You figure, “sure, they’re a pain but they produce such high quality work I’m willing to put up with them.” Don’t.

… When you hit internal moments of doubt you need the team members who say, “Guys, we can do this! We’re up against the ropes but we’re not down. Let’s dig in.” You need team members who do that when you’re NOT there.

If you have a trade-off between somebody who is more talented but a “bad seed” versus somebody who is very talented (but perhaps less so) who is a motivator – I’d hire the latter any day of the week.

Don’t get so caught up in the collection of degrees hanging on someone’s wall or their tremendous talent that you overlook the fact that you need a solid team player who will help raise the “encouragement quotient” around your church.

Here’s the link to the full article – fair warning: this is not a “church” publication, so be prepared for a little different language than you may prefer.

Let me challenge you: whether you’re a young church preparing to make your first additional hire or a multi-staffed mega-church… Always be on the lookout for articles, books, resources, etc., that will help you continue growing and improving in this vital area to church growth!

P.S. For the most comprehensive Church Staffing resource available (nearly 6 full hours of training, plus resources, documents and more), check out The Staffing Workshop.

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

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