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Staff Search

Beware: Not Every Potential Staff Member is as Good as They Appear

Discover the essential strategies for developing a healthy church staff beyond surface-level qualifications and make informed hiring decisions to ensure long-term success in your church ministry.

Staff hiring, Candidates, buyer beware

Navigating Church Staffing: Developing a Healthy Church Staff

Church staffing might seem straight-forward: look at a candidate's education, last place of service, denomination, and personality, and decide if they're a fit. However, as many find out too late, these surface-level attributes are akin to the best strawberries being placed at the top of the packaging at the grocery store — they don’t always represent what’s underneath.

Looking Below the Surface

Just like those deceptively appealing strawberries, potential staff members aren't always as good as they first appear. Churches often scrutinize easily seen attributes of candidates: where they went to school, what degree they have, where they last served, their age, and how appealing their resumes look. But these top-level factors don’t necessarily give an accurate representation of how a candidate will perform long-term in your church.

Addressing church staff issues requires delving into the candidate's experiences, skills, and attitudes. Personal liking for the person and immediate first-impression shouldn't be the sole decision-making factor for church hiring.

Making Informed Hiring Decisions

Church staffing needs due diligence and a thorough vetting process that takes more than just a first interview. Many churches jump into ‘marriage’ with a staff member after what equates to a first date, looking only at those top-level qualifiers with the misguided hope those represent the entire package.

There are five areas where compatibility and synergy are essential for a healthy church staff:

  • Theological alignment: Shared beliefs are the bedrock of a unified team.
  • Church culture and DNA: Is there a shared philosophy of ministry and alignment with the church's identity?
  • Personality fit: Staff members must mesh with the existing team and congregation.
  • Skills and abilities: Does the potential hire possess the needed skills and abilities for the role?
  • Chemistry: Beyond these four components, there should be a desire to work with each other, built on mutual trust and respect.

Seeking Long-term Success in Your Church Ministry

Whether you're a church looking to hire or a potential staff member looking for a new position, understanding these principles is essential for long-term, fruitful ministry.

If you want to delve deeper into these principles for creating a healthy church staff, check out today's Healthy Church Staff Podcast episode. It might just prevent you from discovering that your promising bunch of strawberries is not as ripe as it initially seemed.

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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