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Staff Health

A Hidden Time Bomb in Staff Hiring

Prioritize culture fit in church staff hiring for long-term success.

Hiring Church Staff

Cultural Misalignment?


You’ve found a great candidate. You’ve nailed down theological alignment and are impressed with their skills. It feels like a perfect match. 

But don’t get ahead of yourself.  

Have you taken the necessary time to evaluate culture and DNA fit? Without alignment in this key area, you may be signing up for a ministry mismatch. Make sure to thoroughly assess culture fit.



Here’s a reality check – when you meet someone and instantly like them, that doesn’t mean you should hire them. Hitting it off initially is incredibly important, but it is not the only thing.


Too often, churches hire people they like and ignore other key factors of a healthy, long-term fit.


In fact, without digging in on church culture and DNA, you may be signing up for longer-term disharmony, frustration, and constant tension. 


Don’t learn this lesson the hard way. Take time to discern culture and DNA fit – it's more important than chemistry. Here’s how:


Why Culture Fit Matters


Every church has a unique culture and ministry DNA. From the congregation you serve to the programs you run to norms among staff and volunteers, no two churches are alike. Hiring someone without assessing culture fit is like forcing two mismatched puzzle pieces to fit together – it doesn’t work well and looks awkward.


When someone doesn’t fit the culture of your church, it doesn’t mean they aren’t great pastors.  It just means they wouldn’t be a great pastor at YOUR church.


At Chemistry Staffing, we assess culture and DNA fit upfront for every candidate through a 25-question cultural assessment before the first interview. This reveals potential areas of misalignment between the candidate’s background and approach and the church’s culture.


Close Theology But Worlds Apart Culture


Two churches can have nearly identical theological beliefs but vastly different cultures. A laid-back, relationship-driven church will clash with a hard-charging, metrics-focused leader. Even if theology aligns, the culture clash will wreak havoc. 


That's why theology and likeability can't override cultural mismatches for long. You may connect instantly with a candidate personally and theologically. But if your ministry values and expectations don't align, tension is inevitable.


Getting An Inside Perspective


It's hard for a church to objectively see its own culture from the outside. That's why at Chemistry Staffing, we interview candidates about their previous church experience and cultural expectations for their next ministry role. We can then assess alignment with the culture of your church.


Here are some questions we recommend church leaders ask themselves to get an inside view of culture:


  • What are five adjectives you would use to describe your church culture?
  • What do staff and volunteers value most about your ministry?  
  • What cultural expectations do you have for how your team interacts?
  • How would an outsider describe your church’s “vibe” or style?
  • What aspects of your culture are the most crucial to maintain?


Taking time upfront to evaluate culture and DNA prevents forcing square pegs into round holes. Get hiring right from the start by prioritizing cultural fit today. 


Next Steps


Finding strong culture alignment is key, but evaluating fit can be tricky alone. At Chemistry Staffing, we specialize in assessing church culture and DNA. We deeply understand your church’s unique personality, values and norms. Then we leverage our expertise to evaluate if a candidate will thrive in your specific culture.


Don’t go it alone – let the experts help. Partnering with Chemistry can minimize the risk of a bad culture fit. We assess cultural alignment exclusively for churches because we know fit matters. You don’t have to figure this out yourself.


Let’s start a conversation. Schedule a free 30-minute video call with one of our experienced church coaches. Ask us anything. We’d love to help however we can. Getting your next hire’s culture right is too important not to get guidance. We’re here to help.


Schedule your free call today!  


We’re here for you!




Todd Rhoades

Todd Rhoades

Todd has invested over 30 years in serving churches, having served as a worship pastor for over 15 years, a church elder for more than a decade, and in various ministry leadership roles in both the business and non-profit sectors. As the original founder and developer of ChurchStaffing.com, Todd fundamentally changed the way thousands of churches search for pastors and staff on the internet. Todd is a graduate of Cedarville University, and lives in Bryan, OH with his wife, Dawn.

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