If you are part of a church staff, it is inevitable that at some point your team will be making some important hires. Whether you are looking to replace an old staff member who choose to move on, or you are growing as a community and need more support; you will need to make some hard decisions about who will be joining your staff.
Instead of diving straight into the search process, it is a wise choice to do some self-assessment and a great opportunity to re-calibrate and refocus as a community. Some self-assessment early in the process of looking for a new hire will make the entire task easier. If you have a solid understanding of where you are as a church, it will become clear what kind of person you are looking to hire.If you have a solid understanding of where you are as a church, it will become clear what kind of person you are looking to hire. Click To Tweet
Here are five questions to ask when assessing yourself before a hiring new church staff:
1. What are the original values of your church community?
To begin, it is helpful to think about the grassroots of the church, to the ideologies of the founders, and the specific calling that brought your leaders to create this organization in the first place. It is important to revisit your history: look to to your website or original mission statement. What do you think God had in mind when this church was born?It is important to revisit your history. What do you think God had in mind when your church was born? Click To Tweet
2. What is the current reality of your church?
This questions requires the most honesty and self-awareness. Look closely at where you may have gotten offtrack or unfocused, at your strengths and weaknesses, your needs and upcoming opportunities, and the emotional state of your community. It is important to get multiple perspectives for context: board members, key leaders, the next generation and partners of your ministry. Your current reality shapes the route you will take moving forward.Your current reality shapes the route you will take moving forward. Click To Tweet
3. How can you move forward strategically?
Now you can begin to look towards the future, casting a vision of what your church could look like and how this new staff member could help you reach this goal. If you haven’t already, this is a great time to bring in a consultant. When hiring for a key position, a consultant is someone to support the process, serve as a facilitator and help you create a specific strategy. Christian author and consultant, Lyle Schaller, uses the words “volumes” and “chapters” as metaphors for specific types of transitions in the life of your church. Volumes are major transitions, and chapters are more minor. Is your church beginning a a new volume or simply a new chapter?
4. What competencies are required?
Since you understand where you are as a church and created a vision for the future, it should be start to become clear particular competencies you are looking for with this hire. Competencies explain how a person will react (short term) and respond (long term), to given situations. What specific competencies will make your vision for the church possible? If you are looking for a new senior pastor, for example, and your church has a history of division and friction within the congregation, you might want look for someone with a competency for conflict resolution.Competencies explain how a person will react (short term) and respond (long term), to given situations. What specific competencies will make your vision for the church possible? Click To Tweet
5. What is the position description?
The search committee should create a profile for the new church staff position, taking into consideration all the components you have assessed. Create a general position summary, something short and simple than sums up the competencies needed, then list essential duties and responsibilities and the most important personal qualities you are searching for. If you can’t describe the position accurately, it means you don’t really know what the position requires. However, if you have answered all these questions, you should have a clear picture of what kind of person you are looking for and what skill set they should have.If you can’t describe the position accurately, it means you don’t really know what the position requires. Click To Tweet
It can be tempting to skip assessing some (or all) of these questions when you anxious to fill some shoes. You can see that answering all the questions that come up can be emotionally taxing and will require a lot of work. However, putting in the work to understand where you are and what you need will help the search process move smoothly and save you time (and possibly money!) in the future.
The Art of Hiring Wisely- NEW! This FREE resource outlines pitfalls in the hiring process as well as lays out tried and true steps and principles to aid you in making the best possible hire. Whether you are anticipating the need to add to your church staff or are walking through an unexpected change in leadership, The Art of Hiring Wisely will help you move forward with confidence. Available for immediate download HERE.
Change Management– Hiring well is an important and essential factor in bringing on new church staff–but it’s not the only one. It is also essential to guide your staff and community through the transition, which takes skill. To assess and grow your skills in leading change, we recommend the Change Management Effectiveness Profile and the Change Management Skills Builder. If you are a coach, the Managing Change Coaching Guide with Storyboard is a powerful tool to help you walk alongside your clients as they navigate leading major change.
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