If you’ve been involved in ministry for very long, you know that people come and go. And not just church members, I’m talking about pastors and staff as well. In the church I serve, we’ve had five youth pastors in the past 10 years. Let me just tell you, that’s not ideal for the church or youth ministry. But that’s reality sometimes.
Sometimes you’re going to need to replace people, and sometimes, as your church grows, you’re going to need to hire for positions you’ve never had before. Hiring staff can be tricky. You make the right hire, and your church continues to get healthy and grow. If you make the wrong hire, your church can quickly be headed in the wrong direction. This is especially true when hiring a new senior pastor.
So, with that in mind, I want to share with you three thoughts about your next hire.
- Clearly define the role and expectations beforehand.
Before you begin looking for someone to fill the position, make sure the role and expectations are clearly defined, written down, and agreed upon by all the decision makers.
Here’s why, in many churches, different people have different ideas about what they want. Someone may want a pastor who is a great teacher, while another would prefer a pastor who may be more relational. When every decision maker is not on the same page, it creates confusion and chaos, not just for the church but for the potential hire as well.
- Do your research.
You know what the best indicator of future performance is? You guessed it, past performance. So, make sure to ask for references, and actually check them. I’m amazed at the number of churches that don’t check references.
Also, check their social media accounts. Do some Facebook stalking. What are they posting? What are they commenting on? What are they sharing? This will tell you a lot about a person.
Ask good questions. What’s been your greatest success? What’s been your greatest failure? How are you currently investing in yourself?
- Check for spiritual health.
Don’t assume because someone is applying for a job at a church that they have everything together. There are plenty of people who are working in ministry who shouldn’t be. Some have huge character flaws, while others burned out a long time ago.
Ask them, what does your prayer life look like? Who was the last person you invited to church? What fruit of the spirit do you struggle with the most?
I believe if you will take these tips and use them, it will save you a lot of potential headaches. Hiring new people to work in the ministry should be one of the most rewarding things you get to do. Make sure you do it right.
What was the biggest hiring mistake you ever made? What did you learn from it? Take a moment, and share in the comments below. While you’re here, make sure to subscribe to the blog to get tips on church growth, leadership, and more delivered to your inbox each week.
Written by Travis Stephens – to find out more about Travis and read more of his writings, check out his blog!
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