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Current Events

What We Are Learning

| 2 min read

Written by Matt Steen
May 6, 2020 10:59:52 AM

What should we be looking for in our next hires?

I'm going to say it... if I hear the phrase "unprecedented times" one more time, I might just take a hostage. It seems that every time I turn around, someone else is saying that phrase. But as much as I hate it, there is truth to it: American church leaders have not navigated a leadership challenge like this.


Over the last few weeks, I've been spending a ton of time with church leaders listening to what they are learning and how it will impact their ministry in the coming season. When it comes to staff hires, there are three themes that I am noticing... and to be honest, I am encouraged:
  • Return to the pastoral: Over the last several years, as church staffs have become more specialized, there has been a tendency to focus more on "getting it done" on Sunday morning over a more pastoral skillset (this is a generalization, please don't send me hate email). While there is still a need for technical proficiency and the ability to execute on vision, there is a greater need for people to pastor their teams, shepherd their congregations, and walk with people through crisis. The churches that are thriving in this season have successfully seen their specialists pivot to pastoral care in this season. What I am hearing from churches that I talk to is that when they make their next hire, pastoral care is going to be just as important as technical proficiency.
  • Resilient and Adaptive: The pastors that I have been talking to have recognized the need for resiliency and the ability to adapt on the fly. Over the last eight weeks, job descriptions have been thrown out the window and the most valuable team members are the ones who can pivot and pick up new skills quickly. There is also a demand for people who have the ability to innovate with what they have and create something where there was nothing weeks ago. One of the key questions we will be asking in our interviews going forward is "How did you shift your ministry during the pandemic?" By the way, tomorrow's Now What? webinar will be discussing how to approach family ministries this summer. You can register here.
  • Remote Working Ability: This season has proven the importance of being able to work remotely. While churches have generally been reluctant to embrace remote work, this season has shown that churches CAN do it, and in some cases, it can help them do better work (learn how here). Churches are needing teammates with the self-discipline and motivation needed to successfully work from home and will be seeking these traits out in the days to come. We'll be asking our candidates "What are the disciplines you embraced to successfully work from home during the pandemic?"
As states begin to relax restrictions and churches slowly begin to discuss reopening their buildings, many churches are beginning to have the conversation about adding to their team before schools reopen in the fall. As you begin to plan for your staff openings, we'd love to share more of what we are learning about what makes a great teammate in these unprecedented times. 



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