We’ve all read plenty of articles giving advice about who to hire and who to avoid when it’s time to make a hire for an open ministry position or to hire a new lead pastor. However, we’ve seen many churches take steps that don’t show up on these hiring checklists. Here are a few steps that any church can take when hiring a pastor that are low risk and high reward.
Don’t Let Urgency Determine a Hire
We know that “urgency” is a hard factor to quantify for a church. In some cases, an interim minister can take off the pressure from a search committee, while in other cases it may be urgent to hire a qualified candidate who has several other ministry position offers. However, in the case of a church that is struggling to find the right fit, we tend to advise patience for the right fit rather than lowering standards.
While a church should ask why it’s difficult to find a good fit for an open position if the search takes too long, consider that waiting a little longer for the right fit may pay off in the long run and save a lot of aggravation in the future if you hire the wrong person too fast. This may mean that certain ministries may need to be placed on hold until that position is filled, but we have seen this patience pay off in plenty of situations.
Hire a Staff Member You Personally Like
Chemistry is important. When church leaders or the members of a church plan to interact with a new staff member on a weekly basis, sometimes in stressful, life-changing circumstances, the ability to relate with a candidate becomes all the more important for a new hire. Consider which candidate appears the most personable and empathetic during interviews. This won’t tell you everything you need to know, but you also can’t overlook that aspect of a ministry candidate.
Is this the person you want to show up at the hospital if your family has a health crisis? Would you trust this person to support you in the midst of conflict in a church?
Test Pastors Before You Hire Them
There are many personality, management, and spiritual gift tests available, and having candidates complete these prior to making a hiring decision can help you get a better idea of what drives them and how they interact with others. While the MBTI is among the most popular, there are many other tests such as the DISC, Caliper Profile, Gallup Strengthsfinder, and Enneagram that can spark important discussions about personality and leadership styles.
While these tests have their limitations, the goal isn’t to stick people into boxes. Rather, these tests can guide discussions and help both sides get a better sense of how a candidate may or may not fit into a position.
At Chemistry Staffing, we are strong proponents of assessments. But we think churches many times wait way too long to access their candidates in areas of theology, philosophy of ministry, personality, and skills and abilities. That's why each candidate that applies for one of our church's open positions is assessed on the very front-end of the search. We find out over 100 data points on every candidate. That helps us determine potential long-term compatibility (and potential red flags) on the front-end.
Let’s Talk about Your Church Staff Search
If seeking a new staff member or filling an open position at your church overwhelms you, consider bringing in expert help. At Chemistry Staffing we love helping church leaders conduct efficient, affordable, and effective searches for pastors and church staff. Let's start with a 30-minute video consultation to talk through the things above. If we find that we can add value to your search, we'll share ways that we might work together. If not, we'll hopefully be helpful enough to point you in the right direction and give you some great free advice.
When the Church hires well, we all win. We want to make a difference.