Pastor Gene and I love answering questions we receive from other pastors! It gives us the opportunity to connect with our listeners right where they are at in their leadership journey. If you ever have a question you would like answered, head over to the “Contact” page at the top of the site and submit yours.
Today, we have the opportunity to dive into some questions that we have received from Pastor Ralph in the Phillippines. He is new to pastoring and is currently serving as a youth pastor.
Question 1: How do you choose your staff? What qualifications do you look for in your team?
There are a number of things we take into consideration when adding people to our team. But, with that being said, we are also constantly looking for ways to adapt our methods and find a better way. Here are some of the things that remain the same though:
We always begin with looking inside our organization. Those within most likely already have our culture and our heart and those are the most difficult things to teach.
We evaluate them on what I call the “5 C’s.”
Character. Do they have a track record of integrity? No integrity, no chance. We do record checks with those they have worked for or volunteered under.
Competency. Are they able to do the job? Do they have the talent and skill necessary to perform the task we are asking them to do? If not right away, do they have the capacity to learn within the gift set we are looking for? Is this job in their strength zone?
Chemistry. Do they have the ability to play well with others? Do they work well within a team? Do others like them and want to work with them? We don’t want a superstar who can’t work with others; we want a team player.
Culture. Do they have culture? Do they “fit” within the culture we have designed within the church? If you sense that they are talented but don’t value the same things, be very careful about bringing them on board.
Commitment. Are they committed to the vision? To the church? To you as their leader? Are they committed to the job they are asked to do or do they have a “good enough” attitude?
Each candidate is taken through a six-stage process.
Conduct an informal interview and if we are not 70% convinced this person is the right fit, we don’t move on.
Take each candidate through a series of tests. We like the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, the 16 Personalities test, the DISC personality test, the APT (Applicant Potential Test), the Can Do Attitude Test, and the Skills Profiler Test. These tests help us identify the competency and capacity of each candidate.
Bring the candidates in for a weekend tour and Monday interviews with three different teams.
See how your teams think the candidate fits within the organization and have them report back based on the 5 C’s.
Put each candidate into a real life situation and see how they react. For example, have an assistant applicant do an hours worth of work and overload them to see how they respond. Have them respond in writing to a critical letter, find scriptures on wisdom, proof a book chapter, draft a thank you letter to key volunteers, or take a tough phone call.
If the candidates pass all of these stages, we then choose the best one and once they are hired, we seek to do at least two days of training on the mission, vision, model, programming, and culture codes of the organization. We don’t just train them so they know, but we want them to be able to teach it to others.
Question 2: How often do you meet with your staff and how?
When the church was smaller and our staff was small, I met with them every Monday morning for a one-hour staff meeting. This wasn’t to go through plans for the week or to rehash problems. Instead, the meeting consisted of a 45-minute leadership teaching and then a 15-minute discussion period.
During our time as a smaller team, we didn’t need to go through plans or problems in meetings because we were able to do that one-on-one throughout the week. Now that we have grown much larger, our sites gather together once a month for a leadership teaching. On those “All-Staff” days, we go through a teaching during the morning and then the teams discuss what they learned during the afternoon.
On top of that, our departments meet once a week and they conduct their meetings based on the book “The Six Thinking Hats.” We will have more on that next week!
I think it is so important to continually fine tune our organizational structures. The church ought to set the standard for excellence in the world. In order to do that, we need to keep getting better at the way we do church. Too much is at stake. We are in the people business and in order to effectively minister to more and more people, we need to be organized and clear in our communications.
Our mission is too big and too important to not focus on the details and to mishandle how we minister to people. After all, the church is the hope of the world and we’ve been given a mission to reach every available person, at every available time, by every available means with the Gospel of Jesus Christ by creating churches unchurched people love to attend.