Month: March 2021




Knowing what you should do as a leader in normal times is hard enough.

As you may have noticed, these aren’t normal times.

Trying to figure out what to do in the midst of a global crisis is so much more complicated.

So how do you cut through the mess and noise to chart a course that leads you into a better future?

Here’s a simple place to begin: start by asking the right questions. After all, the quality of the answers you get as a leader are determined by the quality of the questions you ask.

Ask better questions, you get much better answers and, as a result, a much better future.

The challenge is that it can be difficult to know which questions are the best questions to ask. In addition, you’ve got more agitated and angry voices than ever trying to tell you what to do (for more on that, see Pastors, Here’s Why Everyone’s So Mad At You Right Now).

So to help cut through the noise, here are five questions about the future that in my view, are the most helpful ones to be asking right now.

They’re questions I’m asking, and I think two years from now, they’ll turn out the be questions leaders who are making progress found themselves asking in this season.

1. How Much Of The Current Change Is Permanent?

People in the midst of a revolution often don’t realize they’re in the midst of a revolution.

It’s not like people woke up on November 1st, 1517—the day after Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis to a cathedral door—and said “Hey, it’s day 2 of the Reformation.” No one knew the Reformation had started. They didn’t realize a seismic shift was underway that would change the course not just of the church, but of human history.

When carriages and horses first started being replaced by cars, or radio went from Marconi’s curious invention to the launch of KDKA in Pittsburgh in 1920 (America’s first radio station), no one realized this was the cusp of a massive and permanent cultural change. The first cars and first radios seemed like anomalies, until, of course, they weren’t.

Crisis is an accelerator, and many of the ‘temporary’ trends we’re seeing right now are likely more permanent than we realize.

The COVID disruption that started off as a medical disruption is now also accelerating cultural disruption. Work, school, shopping, entertainment and fitness (all of which has become more home-based or morphed in other ways) will never quite be the same again.

Neither will church.

Whether you and I like change or not is kind of irrelevant. Culture never asks permission to change. It just changes.

If you want more on what I see changing, these posts can help.

The Original 2020 is History: 7 New Disruptive Church Trends Every Leader Should Watch

Why Going Back to “Normal” church Seems So Compelling and Can Be So Dangerous

Avoid This Big Mistake: Stepping Back Into the Past When You Step Back Into Your Building

Leaders who see the future have a better chance of seizing it.

2. What Do I Now Have Permission To Stop Doing?

This is a fun question for most leaders.

Remember all those things pre-disruption you wished you weren’t doing but didn’t have the courage or energy to kill? Yep, now’s the time.

If you haven’t gone back to ‘normal’ yet, this is the time to redefine what normal is.

I’ve found that changing one big thing (like say a move to a new facility) can give you permission to change a lot more things.

It’s like moving from one era to another. People expect there will be change, dislocation and new things.

So often when we’ve gone through a big change, we’ll change a lot.

Hint: There’s never been a bigger disruption in our life-time. You’ve already stopped doing so much…only bring back those things are are mission-central as you move into the future.

Remember to focus on the why of change, not just the what and how. But if there was ever a time to change what wasn’t working, this is it.

If you’re wondering how to lead change without blowing up your organization or your own leadership, this might help.

3. What Would I Do If I Was Leading A Start-Up? 

It can be hard to transition an existing church or organization into a new future, but one helpful way to think about it is how you would approach things if you were a start-up.

Old models rarely do well in new eras.

If you were a brand new church plant, opening a new restaurant, launching a new business…how would you approach it?

That kind of thinking can be exceptionally clarifying.

For example, speaking at conferences and events was a big part of my life pre-COVID. Like many people, I haven’t been in a plane since March 2020.

With COVID still surging and mandatory quarantines in place where I live for returning visitors, I don’t know when I’ll be back on a plane again or speaking in person.

If you were launching out as a speaker right now, well, how would you behave?

If you were launching a church right now, what would your strategy be?

Or say you were opening a new restaurant, how much would you focus on indoor dining v. take out, delivery and patio space? Or helping people create their own food experiences?

Once you know the answer to that question, go there.

For me, we’ve written in-person speaking out of our future plans indefinitely, launched a second podcast (which doesn’t, of course, require travel) and done any speaking events I accept digitally instead. At this point, it doesn’t matter when in-person speaking at events will be feasible again. We don’t need it.

Existing organizations who behave like start ups will have a much better future than organizations that don’t.

You can bet the future on things changing, or you can change. The second is a much wiser strategy.

4. Where Are We Seeing Real Momentum?

This is another fun question.

It might feel like you have no momentum anywhere, but that won’t be true for most organizations. (If it is true for you—that you have zero momentum anywhere— the problems are much deeper than a global crisis.)

You likely have momentum somewhere, and chances are it’s happening somewhere different than it did before.

Pay attention.

Example: you might be hyper-focused on getting people back in the building because that’s where you historically had momentum. You can end up being so fixated on trying to manufacture momentum where you used to have it that you completely miss that your YouTube channel is growing quickly and you have a far bigger open rate on your emails than in the past.

And when someone points out that you’re growing your open and subscriber rates, you dismiss them because it’s not where you want to see momentum.

Continue that for long, and you become the c.2003 music industry executive focused on CD sales who keeps ignoring the 20-year-old who are focused on streams that keep growing while your CD sales keep dropping.

Streams aren’t real”  you tell yourself, and make fun of people who don’t want to ‘own’ their music or have a physical copy of it.

Soon, you’re staring out the window watching the future pass you buy.

You probably have momentum somewhere.

Study it. Try to figure it out. Ask yourself why that’s growing and how you can leverage it to reach more people.

If you want to get your mission going, fuel what’s growing, not what’s declining.

5. How Will I Find A Sustainable Pace? 

This one is really close to my heart.

I’m running into so many exhausted leaders right now.  I’ve been there.

One of the best questions (perhaps the best question) you can ask yourself is how you can find a sustainable pace.

As I shared in this post, most leaders look to time off to heal them.

The problem with that strategy is you can never have enough time off to recover from ridiculously stressful, unattainable days.

Time off won’t heal you when the problem is how you spend time on.

A decade into leadership, I went through a season of burnout that was so intense I thought I was finished. By the grace of God, I wasn’t. But I’ll never forget how painful it was. (If it’s helpful, here are 11 signs you might be burning out.)

My heart for leaders is that you find a sustainable pace heading into year two of the crisis that will give you the regular rest and renewal you need.

My formula for staying out of burnout for the last decade a half can be summed up in this phrase: live in a way today that will help you thrive tomorrow. 

Most leaders live in a way that will make them struggle tomorrow: too many hours, not enough sleep, poor diet, too little exercise, and failing to nurture life-giving friendships. Living that way slid me into burnout.

So as you move forward, ask yourself: what changes can you make spiritually, emotionally, relationally, physically and even financially (financial stress is stress) that can help you thrive moving forward?

If the crisis is a long term thing, which it appears to be, you need a longer term strategy for personal renewal.

Time off isn’t the solution for an unsustainable pace. A sustainable pace is the solution for an unsustainable pace.

Original article appeared here

Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church. He’s the author of several best-selling books, including his latest, Didn’t See It Coming, and speaks to leaders around the world about leadership, change and personal growth.

The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast and Carey’s blog at are accessed by millions of leaders each year.

Looking for a new position? Stop by and have a look at the jobs that are available! Ministry jobs are hard to come by and job hunting is no fun. We help ministry job seekers find their ideal role in their next ministry – for free! More than 6 million search for a job every day. Be found! Looking to list a job or an open position? We help churches and organizations get job openings in front of potential candidates. We have several plans and packages available. Today is the day!

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4 Questions I Ask My Team on a Regular Basis

Tips for Video Interviews

4 Questions I Ask My Team on a Regular Basis

In a survey reported in Forbes magazine, staff members and subordinates were asked what they wished their boss would do better. The number one answer by far:

Communicate with me.”

Here’s the funny thing, I bet those leaders are communicating with their team members. They just aren’t talking about the right things.

If you lead a paid staff or work with large numbers of volunteers who serve in “staff” type roles, you are leading a team.

So what would your team say about your communication with them?

If our only communication with our team is about what WE want to talk about then they probably do complain about us. They don’t just want to hear what we have to say, they want to be able share as well. They don’t want to just talk about “work”, they want to know that you care about them as an individual.

So, let me share with you 4 questions that I ask my team on a regular basis.

1. How Are You Doing in Life: Spiritually, Emotionally, Physically, Intellectually? 

This is more than the trite “how are you doing” that we might ask while passing someone in the hallway. I genuinely want you to unpack for me your current spiritual, emotional, physical and intellectual state.

Sometimes their answer is “I’m doing great” and that’s enough. But over time I’ve had the opportunity to help hold them accountable to some physical fitness or dietary goals, recommend a book that would help with an emotional issue they were walking through, or walk them through a season of difficulty.

2. What Do I Need To Know About The Areas That You Lead?

This can include so many things.

Maybe they had a recent “win” that they want to celebrate with me, or maybe there is a volunteer causing trouble and they aren’t sure how to handle it. Perhaps they are considering a change in curriculum or have a budget concern.

No matter what it is, this is my way of keeping a pulse on their area before larger problems arise and I might be caught off-guard.

3. What Are You Working On Right Now?

This is more than a micromanagement question.

I’m not as concerned with if they are returning emails as I am that they are managing their present responsibilities with an eye toward future endeavors that will help us be successful.

Depending on their answer I may be able to redirect their efforts toward things that will serve us better.

4. How Can I Help You? 

Not every leader is comfortable asking this question.

They think it makes them look weak, gives authority to those under them or exposes a flaw in the leadership.

However, the opposite is actually true. It requires strength to admit that you may have made a mistake or overlooked something, or to position yourself as a servant to those you lead.

The answers to these questions help me know my team better. Over time they come to know that I’m genuinely interested in them. They open up to me. They trust me.

What more can I ask for!

Does all of this seem like A LOT?

It actually is a lot. Frankly, it’s too much to do alone. That’s why at CourageToLead we believe, “Every Leader Needs a Coach”…because no leader can do it all alone!

Let’s set up a call with one of our coaches to talk through leading your team and organization through re-entry.

It’s simple, click the button below, schedule a time that works for you, fill out a brief application and show up to your call…we’ll handle the rest!

Original article appeared here

Jeremy Isaacs is a coach at CourageToLead. He serves as Lead Pastor of Generations Church in metro Atlanta. He has been coaching pastors since 2014 and has written 2 books including “Toxic Soul: A Pastor’s Guide to Leading without Losing Heart”. He has a BA in Christian Ministry from Lee University and a MA in Theological Studies from Liberty Baptist Seminary. He goes on #Fri-Dates with his wife Corrie and on Saturdays sits with her on the sidelines of sporting events.

Looking for a new position? Stop by and have a look at the jobs that are available! Ministry jobs are hard to come by and job hunting is no fun. We help ministry job seekers find their ideal role in their next ministry – for free! More than 6 million search for a job every day. Be found! Looking to list a job or an open position? We help churches and organizations get job openings in front of potential candidates. We have several plans and packages available. Today is the day!

Find more ministry blogs at

5 Key Leadership Traits of a Great Campus Pastor

8 Suggestions for Weary Pastors & Church Leaders

5 Key Leadership Traits of a Great Campus Pastor

The concept of the campus pastor is a genius kind of idea.

For more than a decade, the roles and responsibilities of a campus pastor have been innovated by hundreds of leading multi-site churches.

Campus pastors, while many are very capable communicators, they focus more on leadership and shepherding than on teaching and preaching.

The weekend sermon from the primary communicator is broadcast to all campuses. The senior pastor or a small teaching team typically carries that responsibility, thereby saving time for the campus pastors to invest more in the people of their campus.

Some multi-site churches choose live teaching nearly every week by their campus pastors. But in these cases, they meet as a team and construct the sermon together which accomplishes similar goals. First, the team makes the sermon better, and second, it gets it done faster. (Saves time.)

The multi-site model is efficient. It has the potential for incredible stewardship of time and talent.

The word efficient doesn’t sound very warm and fuzzy. It’s not a relational word. But the more efficient your church is, the more relational it is because you have more time for people.

The word inefficient, on the other hand, is a word that relational or not, no leader likes to hear. It wastes time and energy. A key question is: How do we design systems to invest more time in the things that really matter?

Effective is the idea that trumps both efficient and inefficient. Measurable progress, according to the goals of the vision, is the bottom line of effective leadership.

Effective campus pastors are a formidable force for good.

Because campus pastors are typically not required to do things like write sermons, deal with the overall church budget, and oversee administrative functions from buildings to leading a church board, they have more time to invest in people.

Don’t misunderstand; campus pastors are among the busiest leaders I’ve ever known, primarily because they do devote themselves to helping people grow spiritually and leadership development!

In the launch of a multi-site campus, there is nothing more important than your selection of the campus pastor.

Here are our choices for top leadership traits for campus pastors.

First, a quick list of assumed foundational characteristics, such as:

  • Humble
  • Godly character / Loves Jesus
  • Smart
  • Strong work ethic
  • Leadership drive

5 Key Leadership Traits of a Great Campus Pastor:

1) Team player 

A great campus pastor has an entrepreneurial spirit but can work within systems and flourishes on teams.

The entrepreneur in a great campus pastor gives them that edge that provides drive, ideas, and the courage to be the point leader.

Yet at the same time, they are willing to listen, take ideas and direction from others, and play team ball. Candidly, that’s not a typical combination of skill and attributes.

It’s common for leaders with drive and courage to want to be out on their own, but this unique person sees the potential of what can be accomplished through teamwork. They understand how their willingness to join a team can often advance the Kingdom in more significant and faster ways.

2) Developer of leaders

The best campus pastors are quick to roll up their sleeves and jump into the messiness, pain, and struggles of everyday life with people.

However, they are keenly aware that they must protect time to train and equip quality volunteers for ministry. Ephesians 4:11-12 makes that clear. (Equip the people for ministry.)

The best campus pastors develop other leaders. They are very good at identifying potential leaders and developing them to the point where significant responsibilities can be entrusted and released.

Surprisingly, the art of empowerment can be so difficult. It’s one thing to develop a leader; it’s quite another actually to trust them to lead and give them the keys. Great campus pastors do that every day.

3) Shepherd’s heart and strong people skills

As I just mentioned, great campus pastors jump in quickly to help people. The focus is spiritual growth, but sometimes the need is more basic, for example, a parent is struggling with one of their kids. No one campus pastor can meet all the needs, but they possess a heart that causes them to do for one what they desire to do for many.

In addition to a shepherd’s heart, the importance of strong natural people skills can’t be overestimated.

The ability of a campus pastor to connect quickly with all kinds of people, love them, and care about them is essential. 

Campus pastors think fast, but they intentionally slow down to see and meet the needs of people, including carrying an evangelistic zeal into the community to reach people.

Loving people is at the core of a great campus pastor.

4) Vision wins over a passion for communicating

At 12Stone Church, all of our campus pastors are skillful communicators, and most really love to teach. But their vision to reach people is greater than their passion for communicating regularly.

(This does not mean that teaching and reaching more people are mutually exclusive. I’m merely focusing on the characteristics that make a great campus pastor.)

Let me give an example where all campus pastors are required to be good communicators. They cast the overall vision of the church at their respective campus. They do this on the platform as well as other gatherings at their campus.

It is not necessary for all great campus pastors to be strong vision creators, but all must communicate the vision and be outstanding vision carriers into the lives of the people at their campus.

5) Cultivates and transfers church culture

The ability to embrace and transfer the true culture of the church is one of the most sophisticated and necessary skills of a campus pastor.

This ability is needed both on the platform during the worship services and throughout the week with leaders and the congregation in general.

This, of course, works best when the church’s culture is healthy and clear to everyone.

This takes strategic and intentional effort from the top leaders and everyone on the team. It carries three distinct elements.

First, the entire staff must care about the culture, and all agree upon the key values.

Second, the campus pastor must intentionally cultivate that culture, including enhancing the good and eliminating what is not desirable.

Third, the results are that the culture is noticeably present and healthy in every campus.

I’d love to know what you think.

What would you add or delete from this list of five? 

Original article appeared here

Dan Reiland is Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. To read more of Dan’s articles, click here

Looking for a new position? Stop by and have a look at the jobs that are available! Ministry jobs are hard to come by and job hunting is no fun. We help ministry job seekers find their ideal role in their next ministry – for free! More than 6 million search for a job every day. Be found! Looking to list a job or an open position? We help churches and organizations get job openings in front of potential candidates. We have several plans and packages available. Today is the day!

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5 Predictions About The Future Church As We Move Through COVID-19

5 Signs You May Be Growing Weary as a Leader and What To Do About It

5 Predictions About The Future Church As We Move Through COVID-19

Not only has the coronavirus pandemic radically changed the world, but it’s also radically changed how churches operate and function. Even has some places around the country have or are about to slowly ease some restrictions, churches will be facing a new reality. How will churches function in whatever new normal lies ahead?

To that end, based on trends I’m seeing and conversations I’ve had, here are five predictions about what I think will happen with the Church as we navigate the effects of COVID-19.

1. Some (or many) will disengage

Due to the interrupted rhythms life caused by the coronavirus, churches will see some people disengage, even when churches are able to resume gathering again. Some will drop off without intending too as they simply got used to spending their time differently. In addition, the less likely someone is to practice any spiritual disciplines, the more likely this is to happen.

Others will disengage due to the type or style of church they were a part of before. If faith is seen more as something you do to get healthy, wealthy, and wise, the churches where that is taught will struggle. After all, this pandemic has done anything but deliver us those things.

These are just two of a number of reasons why some, or many depending on its people and the type of church it is, will disengage. And while this isn’t something we would want. I would encourage pastors and church leaders not to focus their efforts on trying to retain those who want to walk away for superficial reasons. But more on that in a minute.

2. Some (or many) will engage for the first time

The good news about churches moving fully online for a short time is twofold. For one, churches are being forced to take engaging people online seriously. This is a very good thing.

Second, it is enabling many churches to reach and connect with people they never would have before. Add to the fact that this pandemic is opening many people’s eyes to the need for true hope and grace, and there will be many people who were disinterested in faith now seeking out the hope that Jesus provides.

This means that churches will have people engage and connect with them for the first time. How many will depend on things like how active they are online during this time, how many of their people are sharing and engaging their content, and the type of content and resources they produce.

Not that New City Church where I lead is the best example, but we have increased not just spiritual and faith-building content, but also fun and engaging content as well. If people are looking for hope, we want to provide it. If people are looking for a laugh and a distraction from everything that is going on, we want to provide that too. We believe God will use both types of content to connect us with people far from him.

If you want to see what we have been doing, connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

3. Your faithful core will determine the health of your church

One of my biggest prayers during this time is that God would grant our church a faithful core of people (regardless of the number) who love Jesus and are ready and willing to honor and serve Him. I’m not worried about how many people that would be, but simply that God would use this time to give us a strong core desiring to realign our lives with His purposes.

This is where I believe pastors and church leaders should focus their efforts and their prayers.

Knowing that some will drop off and some will new people will check things out for the first time, we should care and pray for everyone to seek after Jesus. But we can’t be all things to all people. We need to take this time to see what adjustments God might want us to make so that we can be in the best position to utilize those who want to be a part of God’s mission.

What does it look like to build up those most committed to honoring God and loving those He has placed in their lives? What rhythms of prayer, worship, generosity, or service do you want to encourage your faithful core to pursue?

In John 15 Jesus states, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. Every branch in me that does not produce fruit he removes, and he prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit.”

Now is a great time for churches to figure out what changes they need to make to produce better fruit in the future. The health of our churches is determined by those who are the most committed. Let’s not waste this opportunity to decide what changes or tweaks need to be made not to help us cater to the masses, but to those who will drive the mission.

4. People will continue to give generously if they believe in the mission

One of the biggest fears for churches once things began to shutdown in March was around finances. Most churches are already in tight financial positions, so how long will it before they would have to close their doors?

I know this was a big concern for New City. We had just moved into a bigger building and were only able to meet in it for two Sundays before we had to close things down. How would we make our budget now that we can’t meet anymore plus the fact that we wouldn’t see any numerical growth due to the shut down?

And yet, we still hit our projected income in March and exceeded it in April. As I talked to other pastors, some have reported the same thing happening in their churches.

How is that possible?

I believe it’s because people will always support a mission they believe in. Times like this show everyone that we are not in control as well as how desperately people need to know God. To be clear, this doesn’t mean giving won’t start going down if the economy continues its downward trend, but it does mean that faithful churches with faithful people won’t dissappear overnight.

The more churches make Jesus the mission and not any other agenda, the more likely that they will be financially stable. People aren’t going to give to false hope and self-help programs. But they will give to things that promote real life change.

5. Counter-culture churches will thrive

COVID-19 only makes more real what has always been true; counter-culture churches will thrive. Churches that faithfully teach the good news of the Gospel and Scripture will always be around. Even in places in China or Iran where many churches are run underground; the Church has seen massive growth. In places like America or Europe, where contemporary values often couldn’t be more different than Biblical ones, it is the liberal (theologically) churches and mainline denominations that are seeing the fastest decline.

Churches that lovingly teach the good news of Christ and call people to His standard will thrive, regardless of how large or influential the church might be in the community.

Theologian David Wells says that “Worldliness is that system of values…which makes sin look normal and righteousness seem strange.” Because of that, you would think churches that pursue Jesus instead of worldliness would then die out. After all, a group of people who don’t celebrate what culture at large celebrates would eventually be at least shunned out of existence, right? But the data shows us the opposite is true.

Now is the time to faithfully follow Jesus. The people and the churches that are willing to do that and trust in Him during this hard time are the people and churches God will use as we move forward.

Let’s not just survive, let’s thrive

Original article appears here

Dylan Dodson is from Raleigh, NC. Married to Christina, and has two kids, Finley & Roman. He’s a big sports fan, likes to read and learn, and spend time with people. He serves as the lead pastor of New City Church and resource church planters through Practical Church Planting.

Looking for a new position? Stop by and have a look at the jobs that are available! Ministry jobs are hard to come by and job hunting is no fun. We help ministry job seekers find their ideal role in their next ministry – for free! More than 6 million search for a job every day. Be found! Looking to list a job or an open position? We help churches and organizations get job openings in front of potential candidates. We have several plans and packages available. Today is the day!

Find more ministry blogs at

The Top 3 Qualities in a Youth Ministry Hire

The Top 3 Qualities in a Youth Ministry Hire

The Top 3 Qualities in a Youth Ministry Hire

Someone once asked me, “Jonathan, we’re looking for a new youth pastor. What would you look for in a youth pastor?”

What would you say?

Good speaker?

Kids like them?


(Those are the ones I hear from people frequently.)

To be honest (see what I did there?), none of those three above make my top three. Sure, they’re great qualities. In fact, being “organized” is probably the fourth most important quality on my list. It’s very important…but not as important as these three below.

Here are the top three qualities I’m looking for in a leader, and some ways you can test to see if they have them. Then…what is the top quality you look for? (Chime in, in the comments.)

1. Humility/Teachability
The first thing I look for in any interview is humility. When I ask questions, do they come across like they know all the answers, or as someone who is a fellow learner? (Because I’m still learning, so I’d rather work with others who are still learning.) In fact, do they demonstrate an eagerness to learn (not just a willingness)? Do they want a mentor? Are they open to suggestions?

One way I seek to discover this is by asking behavior-based questions, asking for examples from past behavior. I might ask, “Tell me a lesson you learned the hard way this last year.” Or, “What is something you learned from a mentor recently that you were able to apply in your ministry?” In fact, when I call their references, I’d ask them specifically for examples of teachability they noticed in this person.

Why such the big focus on humility?

Because humility trumps everything! I know, it almost sounds counterintuitive. But Jesus taught this, laying out the cause/effect relationship between humility and leadership (Matthew 5:5). Jesus also modeled this (John 13). Humble leaders are the best leaders. In fact, humility is actually the key to Christianity—the admission that we can’t do it on our own and we need a savior. Those who don’t humble themselves are rather shortsighted. Humility is unavoidable. If we humble ourselves, we’ll be exalted. If we exalt ourselves, we’ll be humbled (Matt 23:12).

Do they need Jesus? Do they demonstrate this?

Watch out for the person who thinks, “I’ve got this humility thing handled!”

2. Reliability
Does this person’s yes mean yes (Matthew 5:37)?

This trait is rapidly becoming extinct in our world. I can’t tell you how many times people tell me they’ll do something…and nothing happens. They don’t even think twice about it. “I didn’t have time.” “Something came up.”

I always just want to reply, “No, you just don’t come through whenever it gets tough!” (Psalm 15:4)

A good way to test this is give them some small tasks as part of the application process. Ask them their preferred method of contact, then contact them that way and see when they respond. Ask them how soon they can complete an application and then note when they actually turn it in. Make an appointment with them (if they’re local), show up early and note what time they get there. If someone shows up late to an interview…that is an omen, my friend!

The best way to test this is to start by hiring people in a temporary position and observe how they work. This isn’t always possible if you want to hire someone from New York and you live in Texas. But even then, I’ve seen churches hire a position for one year, with full disclosure that they will re-evaluate at the end of the first year.

We need people who will actually do what they said they’d do.

 3. A Team Player
Does this person play nice with others? Do they have a history of building a team of leaders around them, or do they like to do it alone…“because if you want something done right you have to do it yourself!” Do they see the importance of recruiting volunteers?

A huge part of this is the ability to recruit and equip volunteers…a skill completely unrecognized and devalued in many ministry circles. Has this person ever done the math and realized they can get more done if they can delegate to others (the second most important quality of a leader according to Forbes).

Ask this person, “Tell me about the last team of people you worked with.” “What did you like/dislike about working with them?” “How many volunteers did you start with…and did you end up with?”

Don’t hire the Lone Ranger (I’m showing my age with that example).


These are just the top three. I also value work-ethic (are they a self-starter), organizational skills, ability to teach…and do they like deep dish pizza instead of that skinny stuff you have to fold over?

These three above give me insight to the foundation of our faith—loving God and loving others. It starts with humility and dependency on God, then integrity, then flows to how well they treat others.

What about you?
What are the qualities you look for?

How do you discover these?

Original article appears here

Jonathan McKee is the president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over 20 books, including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed KidSex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller – The Guy’s Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By TeenagersConnectand the 10-Minute Talks series.

He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, and You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife, Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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