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5 Church Staffing Mistakes to Avoid

Article by: CDF Capital

Read the original article HERE.

Hiring the wrong person is a costly, time-consuming mistake. It is a lot more challenging to let someone go than it is to pass on them at the very beginning—especially in a church context. Here are five mistakes that you do not want to make when hiring a new staff member.

1. Focusing on experience over cultural fit

It’s difficult not to receive a shot of adrenaline when a résumé comes across your desk from someone who has worked at a well-known church or has come from a respected university or seminary. Do not, however, let these accolades cloud your judgment.

You want someone who resonates with your mission and gels with staff and volunteers. Skills can be learned over time, but fixing the overall fit is a lot more complicated.

2. Neglecting to check their background and references

It is sad to admit, but the church circuit can be an ideal shelter for criminals or abusive people. Many churches fail to do their due diligence when hiring. This is why it is vital to check references, ask the applicant tough questions, and call the person’s previous church and speak to the executive pastor.

The nature of church work leaves a lot of people vulnerable. They naturally trust the staff and open up their personal lives. It is heartbreaking when a hiring mistake leads to hurting someone else in our care.

3. Elevating someone because of their gifts or talents

We all have God-given gifts and abilities. These proficiencies, however, are not necessarily a ticket to ministry. You might have a young person in your congregation who is an incredibly moving speaker or a charismatic volunteer. And on the strengths of those gifts, it might be tempting to hire them—even when they have not developed the maturity required for ministry.

Every church should have a plan for recognizing potential and disciplining someone into mature leadership. A lot of messes can be avoided by recognizing that someone’s talents are not a license. Leaders need to be developed and refined.

4. Involving too many people in the hiring process

It takes a significant investment of time and resources to hire well. But if there are too many people involved, the process can become painful—for everyone. The logistics of getting people in the same room are often difficult enough, but when the time comes for creating consensus around a particular candidate, it can get rough.

Keep your hiring team small and agile. Get feedback from the people who will be most impacted by the decision, but do not feel like you need to include everyone in every aspect of hiring.

5. Forgetting to check their virtual footprint

The people on your team should have someone whose job it is to Google applicants, check social media accounts, read blogs, listen to podcasts, etc. These are public accounts that will give you insight into someone that their r will not reveal.

You might pick up on skills or abilities you could really use on staff, or it could alert you to theological issues you need to talk about in their interview. It is also critical to remember that anyone in your church can research an applicant online, so you want to make sure that there are not any glaring problems that a member might find after you have hired them.

Making smart choices

You have limited staffing dollars, so make sure that the people on your team are going to bring significant value and improve the culture. The right hire can improve morale, enhance processes, and help grow your church. The wrong hire can do the exact opposite. These tips will help you make a wise hiring decision and enable you to develop a team that functions well.

Article Submitted by: Jonathan Hill

Resident Director of Evangelism Ministries

Cornerstone Conference IPHC

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