Guest Post: Staffing – Why Church Hires Go Wrong

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At Ministry Insights, we work to equip Christ-followers and ministries to build stronger leaders. This is the first of two excellent articles from our good friend and Ministry Insights practitioner Paul Alexander that gives you great steps to take in successful staffing.

Why Church Hires Go Wrong

BY PAUL ALEXANDER, Posted March 26, 2012

Paul Alexander and his family

Paul Alexander and his family

Spiritual leaders know where God wants them to go, and they have the ability to persuade other people to go with them.

If God has given you a picture of where He wants you to lead, then chances are it’s bigger than what you can handle alone. It’s going to involve other people, it’s going to involve building teams. At some point it’s going to involve recruiting and hiring staff members.

When a hire goes right it fosters synergy, movement, and momentum. But when a hire goes wrong there are setbacks, losses, and ultimately the mission suffers. Below are the 2 most common mistakes made by churches which lead them to making the wrong hires.

#1 Most Churches hire too fast.

“A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.” (Proverbs 14:29, NIV)

As a rule churches hire too fast and fire too slow. They hire for who they are, instead of for who they want to be. They generally put off hiring until a point of pressure and crisis reveals the need. As a result they hire the most talented person available at the time.

I know it sounds great, and they may in fact be a great person but often times they’re the wrong hire for your team. Hiring quickly from a position pressure and need usually leads to falling in love with specific abilities or the track record of a candidate and not doing the hard work of finding out if they’re the right long term fit for the church or your team.

#2 Most Churches don’t have a process for hiring.

“Make plans by seeking advice; if you wage war, obtain guidance.” (Proverbs 20:18, NIV)

“I’m going to hire someone.” That’s a plan. But how are you going to make that plan become reality? How are you going to find that person? How do you know if they’re the right person? How are you going to actually get that person in the room?

That’s the process that needs to be thought through, built, and worked. Great hires don’t just happen and great teams that make vision become reality aren’t put together on accident.

By the way, you can’t hire or fire your way out of a problem that you need to roll up your sleeves and do the hard work of leading your way out. Hiring or exiting staff may be a part of leading out of where you are to where you know God wants you to go, but it’s not a silver bullet.

Ministry Insights encourages you to check out the Position Insights Profile and process as the quickest, most accurate way to identify and hire the right people on your staff.

Paul Alexander is a pastor, speaker, ministry strategist, and consultant at The Unstuck Group. This post was originally published on his blog, which we encourage you to check out.


More to Help You with Staffing and Team building

Guest Post: 4 Steps to Making the Right Hire

Guest Post: 5 Leadership Lessons From Running the Race

Guest Post: How Teams Overcome Adversity

Guest Post: 4 Questions to Ask about Church Communications