Posted by Todd Rhoades on January 3, 2014

Hiring Church Staff: How To Pick A Winning Team

Hiring church staff is probably one of the hardest (and most important) things that churches can do.

Having the right people on the bus in the right seats (as Jim Collins would say) is EXTREMELY important for churches.

And having the wrong person on your team can really drag you down during 2014.

So… how do you hire a real ‘winning’ team?

Ritchie Miller has some suggestions. Ritchie is the pastor at Avalon Church. He says that some of his biggest mistakes over the past 11 years have to do with bad hiring decisions. Here’s what he has learned:

Hiring Church Staff Rule #1 – Hire The Right People.

That may seem obvious but if it were that easy then none of us would ever make a mistake in hiring. You may be familiar with the “Three C’s” of hiring – Character, Competency, and Compatibility. Character is easy enough to determine but competency and compatibility require a lot more work. You can’t just tell if this person is a fit by looking at a resume or a degree. We use a test called the caliper assessment. EVERY employee that we hire is required to take this test.

Hiring Church Staff Rule # 2 – Define The Win.

Even if you get the right person you will not keep him or her if you do not define the win. As a pastor or senior leader in a church you must know what the win is or it will frustrate good staff members. Failing to define the win leads to “silo ministries” that do not pull in the same direction of the vision of the church. Pastor, can you define the win? If not, you must spend time determining what it is so you can communicate it clearly.

Hiring Church Staff Rule # 3 – Give Clear Expectations.

This is crucial to the long-term success of your team. You must clearly define what is expected in job description and job performance. Regular reviews must be a part of this process.

Hiring Church Staff Rule # 4 – Release Ministry.

Many pastors struggle with this concept. We like to give the responsibility without giving the authority or the tools necessary to accomplish the win. Good leaders must get good at releasing ministry.

Hiring Church Staff Rule # 5 – Keep An Open Dialogue.

Open lines of honest communication do wonders for the relationship between pastor and the staff. It keeps misunderstanding and bitterness at bay. We have a saying at Avalon that helps prepare us for communication that may not be what we want to hear.

+ Great tips as you think of hiring this year.