I’ve now had the experience of hiring several staff members, and as of last night’s family meeting at Bethel, will soon be hiring another (a part-time worship leader). Each time I’m faced with this task, I remind myself of the five “C’s” of hiring staff…
Always look for character and integrity first, and in ministry, this includes the candidate’s relationship with God. Talent, expertise, and charisma are worthless if there is a fatal character flaw. An entire ministry can come tumbling down without a team that represents character.
I’m sure I’ll be a little bit criticized for this, but I look for staff members whose beliefs are close to our own. That is, I hire Bible-believing, theologically conservative Baptists. Doctrine is a high priority.
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We can argue about experience versus education all day, but really, we’re looking for staff members who demonstrate an appropriate mixture of the two to equip them for the position. And talent and giftedness have to be considered as well. Trying to do someone a favor by hiring them to do something they aren’t equipped for isn’t a favor at all, it’s a hardship on the staff member and the church.
I look for leaders who are going to be committed to God, to the people of our church, and to me as their leader. I’m not searching for blind loyalty or “yes men,” but I will look for those who care more about the needs of the body of Christ than their own.
This one gets overlooked, but it’s also highly important for the long haul. Everybody needs to get along. I’m looking for someone who is not only qualified, but whose personality is a good fit for the team, especially with me. If the chemistry is off, problems are inevitable, and too many churches have died from a staff infection.
Hiring isn’t necessarily fun. We should hire slowly and fire quickly and handle every new hiring opportunity with prayer, wisdom, and God’s leadership. So far, I have yet to make a hiring decision I’ve regretted. God has blessed us with a wonderful team. There are always kinks to work out, but we’ve experienced growth at every turn.
More wisdom on hiring staff will follow in the coming days as I revisit this drawing board myself. In the meantime, any suggestions to add?