In growing churches it’s not uncommon for high capacity volunteers to serve as and function like paid ministry staff members. Instead of paid staff members I’ve seen volunteers oversee entire ministry segments in a church even attending weekly staff meetings and staff retreats. But when is the right time to hire that person and move them from a volunteer to a paid staff member?
To put all my cards on the table I must admit that I’m a bigger fan of developing volunteers than I am of hiring staff. But sometimes the right thing to do is to make the hire.
Some people will tell you that this tension hinges on one simple issue. I’m not of that persuasion. In fact I think there are multiple factors you should take into consideration before you pull the trigger on hiring a volunteer who has “worked their way into a job.”
1. Availability: If the volunteer that is leading the ministry moved away would you have to pay someone to replace them?
2. Impact: Is the impact and scope of the ministry the volunteer is leading broad enough and deep enough that you’re beginning to think about whether you should be paying them or not?
3. Specialization: Sometimes the role requires a specialized skill-set that simply demands a salary if you’re looking for a particular quality. This isn’t uncommon in a teaching role, technology, or creative arts.
4. Accountability: While hiring someone involves a salary, it also involves another level of accountability.
5. Time: How much time is the volunteer investing in the ministry? Is it a 40 hour a week job?
6. Leadership: Do they know how to build teams and develop people? Are you going to pay them to do ministry, or lead people to do ministry?
7. Culture: Do they understand, embody, and know how to perpetuate the unique culture you’re building at your church?
What other questions come to mind? What should church leaders be asking to determine if they should pay for a role or not?
Leave a comment; I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Posted in Leadership, Volunteers