Guest Post: 5 Important Tips for Effective Church Staffing

Guest post by Lacey Hauptman

Hiring the right people is crucial to your church’s  success. They will be able to achieve the right goals and create a bigger impact, which will enable the church to run smoothly and efficiently while continuing to provide exemplary services to church members.

Here are some critical church staffing tips to help you find the right people (and avoid mismatched hires):

1. First, pray.

team meeting for church staffingIn Luke 6:12, Jesus spent the whole night praying on the mountainside before setting out to find his apostles. Likewise, as a church leader, it is important that you seek counsel from the Lord.

Years ago, my uncle was part of the committee in-charge of hiring for his home church. The committee wanted to discern God’s will in whom He wanted them to bring into their community, and decided to conduct a 40-day fast. And through God’s grace, they were able to effectively choose the right people for the posts that needed filling.

Some of those hires are still on staff.

2. Look into the applicant’s background.

Background checks are vital to the church staffing process, particularly when it comes to leadership or finance-related roles. This person will be representing your organization once hired, so performing a pre-employment background check is crucial to ensure that their values align with yours. You may also want to do a social media background check to further assess character and history.

3. Get unconventional with the interviews.

Learn more from your applicant by getting creative with this step. For instance, ask the candidate to attend a worship service prior to the interview so you ask them what they think of your church and how they can improve it. If your potential hire is married, you may want to interview the spouse as well – particularly for leadership positions. When you ask the right questions, the spouse can offer plenty of insight into your potential hire’s strengths and weaknesses, work-life balance, family life, and other pertinent factors that you haven’t covered yet.

4. Consider the applicant’s qualities and strengths

Considering one’s strengths when hiring is important because it allows you to utilize the best characteristics of an individual. As a church leader, it is your job to discern what a candidate’s strengths are and which ministry you can place him in to effectively use those strengths.

To make the assessment more accurate, incorporate a targeted test that will allow you to find out what strengths the candidate possesses. A useful tool for strength discovery is the Leading From Your Strengths (LFYS) Profiles questionnaire. It is a quick online questionnaire that yields a highly detailed 20-page report with comprehensive data on the candidate’s habitual patterns of behavior, thought, emotion, and communication. Aside from revealing the kind of strengths a candidate possesses, the LFYS report also offers actionable guidance on how to properly utilize these strengths.

My uncle once appointed a youth group leader who, despite being knowledgeable about biblical principles, lacked the natural charisma and energy needed to lead a big crowd. Instead of focusing on his weaknesses, they  zeroed in on his strengths and found the best match for his particular skill set. Once they transferred him to the Bible study ministry, he thrived.

5. Involve everyone in the final decision.

Don’t make the mistake of not including the team’s opinion in the final decision. This person will be interacting with everyone in the team one way or another, so make sure that everyone agrees to the hire before making the candidate an offer.

When paired with the right circumstances, incorporating these tips into your church staffing process should greatly improve your chances of hiring the right people and assembling the best and most effective team for your church.

Lacey Hauptman is a devout Christian, a freelance writer, and a stay-at-home mom. You can find her on Twitter.

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