The Tension & Debate on Church Hiring

A poll was taken on ChurchMarketingSucks.com about how church leaders feel about hiring in their organizations. Here were some of their responses (shown below). I find it interesting that 53% agreed it doesn’t make any difference, just hire the best person for the job. I would agree with this assessment, however, among many church leaders depending on who you talk with, will find an element of tension and debate between hiring someone from within the church vs. hiring someone from outside the church.

Like, any church, it is still an organization – that requires a staff, a budget, a board, and a volunteer force. However, I believe that some churches unintentionally underestimate the skill sets and leadership abilities that reside within their own volunteers. I think a lot of churches have missed out on some great hiring opportunities, because they quickly overlooked their congregation by looking outside of the church, before they had time to fully asses the talents among their church.

For any church staff position, the objective should be, find the best person for the job. Nothing more, nothing less. I do not agree with churches or ministries that hire people based on a relational connection to other people in senior leadership, members of the board or staff just because they need a job and are a nice Christian. If their skill set and experience matches the duties of their position and are performing their duties above average, then great! But, if they’re holding a staff position only because they have a relative that sits on the board, then that type of church has an unhealthy hiring system and probably an unhealthy leadership culture in general.

What is the position profile? What is the “dream candidate” profile? What skill set is needed for the position? What are the duties and job responsibilities of the position? Does he/she have the experience and education to meet qualifications for the position? And, most of all, I believe this is what makes or breaks the potential working relationship — can your candidate(s) flourish in your church leadership culture? Does he/she know and understand the vision and mission of the House? So many servant leaders (volunteers) in churches today understand the vision, mission and culture of their church. The question is can a volunteers skill set, experience, and education match what you are hiring for?

If you have a candidate for a staffing position that understands your churches’ mission and culture with the appropriate skill set and experience to match the position you are hiring for; then those will be the church leaders that will flourish and go further, faster in your organization.

Bottom line: Before you expand the hiring search outside of your church, make sure you have fully assessed the talented volunteers that serve every Sunday by driving your vision forward.

Your Thoughts?

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