Everything we do communicates
I heard a story last week that stopped me in my tracks:
Paying for the prom
In the midst of the ongoing debate about chicken sandwich supremacy, a friend of mine is often seen defending Chick-fil-A through his Facebook account and throwing shade on Popeye's. When asked what his problem was with Popeye's, he shared the story about how he worked at Chick-fil-A during high school and how healthy the culture was, how well the team was cared for, and how much people loved working there.
He then went on to share the story of how he was $100 short of being able to pay for his prom and started begging people for extra shifts in order to be able to cover the cost. His manager caught wind of his need, saw the fact that he was doing everything he could in order to raise the money, pulled him aside and slipped him 5 $20s. He still gets choked up about it today, twenty years later.
What's your version of paying for the prom?
The job search process for pastors is brutal. During my last formal search, 90% of the resumes I sent out received no response.
No "thank you, but we are going to move in a different direction."
No "thank you, but the position is filled."
No "here are the next steps of our search, we will notify you if you move forward."
To be clear, this isn't because these are bad churches or horrible places to work, this is because life is busy. Sunday always comes. Volunteers who put in 60 hours of work each week only have a limited amount of time to sort through resumes.
As we talk to candidates, this is not an uncommon experience.
When churches ask me for my number one tip for finding and hiring great pastoral staff, it's this: communicate with every candidate, every step of the way, and let them know that you are thinking of them.
The job search process for pastors is a lonely, lonely road to walk. Communicating clearly, honestly, and regularly with the candidates that you are working with not only communicates that you value them, it gives you a leg up on finding and hiring the best talent.