Tag Archive - christian


Why Firing People who work at your Church Sucks

Changing Church Staff can be a terribly painful experience. Exiting a Church Staff Member costs the church more than just money. Trust is often eroded; people frequently leave the church during these times, and ministries typically lose momentum. Firing a Church Staff Member should always be a last resort option.

Simply put, firing people who work at your church sucks. It’s no fun for anyone and there’s rarely a win, that being said, there are times when it is the right decision. When those moments come along here are some principles to keep in mind.

Most churches tolerate Poor Work Performance over Poor Moral Behavior

The church is one of those weird “industries” that seems to tolerate poor work performance as long as you’re a nice moral person. I’ve seen churches keep people on staff who are constantly low performers and who produce little to no results simply because they like them and the relational or political fall out would be too great to withstand if they were ever let go.

Sometimes People in the church are going to Freak Out

No matter what you do there are going to be some people in the church who just freak out because they think a church shouldn’t fire people. In those moments, I wish the church cared as much about people who don’t know Jesus as they do about their favorite Staff member being asked to leave the team. But I wish that about a lot of things people freaked out about at churches.

Ministry is all about Relationships & Trust

Keep in mind that if you let go of one of your Church Staff that there will be some relational loss and trust will be eroded between the leadership of the church and the attenders. No matter how poor a performer or how right the decision is to let them go, ministry is all about relationships and everyone has their fans. Be prepared to lead through this loss.

People aren’t Expendable

Your Church Staff aren’t simply cogs in a machine that can be easily replaced or interchanged. They’re people to be developed and coached. In a current church climate where the talent pool seems to be thinning in America the best way to have a talented Church Staff team is to build and develop them. It’s hard to develop people if you’re constantly churning through them.

Mission Trumps Everything

Even thought it’s difficult, it’s okay to let someone go who works at your church. If they’re not doing their job, if they’re not the right fit, if they’ve hit their leadership lid and you don’t have another role for them or a number of other valid reasons. Jesus started this movement called the Church for a reason, He intends for it to accomplish something very particular. We don’t get to pick our mission. And the mission of the church is too important to allow the church to be held back from taking Kingdom ground because you have the wrong person on the team.

Your Church Staff Lose more than their Job when they Lose their Job

When your Church Staff lose their job they lose more than their jobs. They are losing their spiritual community, friendships, and the church that they and their family attend. So don’t make this decision flippantly.

Posted in Leadership, Staffing


Are you a Perfectionist or a Leader?

There’s a big difference between a perfectionist and a leader. One draws people to a cause and the other repels them. While perfectionists may be adept at pointing out opportunities for improvement few people will want to join them in the process of improving things. I’m sure you don’t know any perfectionistic church leaders and I know you’re not one. But just in-case you ever come across one, here’s a few thoughts that may be helpful.

  • When you lead with handing out instructions you don’t put yourself in a position to be instructed.
  • If no one can do it as good as you then no one will be doing it but you. Perfectionism is lonely and is a lid to organizational growth.
  • You know who listens to a know-it-all? No one.
  • Perfectionism is the enemy of innovation.
  • You can’t play it safe and follow Jesus. The very essence of following Jesus is going somewhere you’ve never been before.
  • High control leads to low trust. By the way, you know control is an illusion right? The only thing you can really control is your effort and your attitude.
  • If you wait for the perfect plan you’ll never get out of the gate.
  • Good enough is good enough for good leaders.
  • Leaders care too much about results and progress to be paralyzed by waiting on the perfect next step (or first step).
  • Perfectionism is the low road and the easy way out. Leadership requires developing others, and allowing others to do it differently than you (maybe even fail, yikes!). It’s way harder!
  • Imagine if Jesus acted like a perfectionist with you. He doesn’t criticize you when you don’t do it perfectly. He really could do it better than you and He still invites you to join Him in shepherding His church.

Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation


6 Reasons Your Church Should Use a Search Firm to Make Your Next Hire

Hiring a new team member can be exciting because it means there is going to be fresh eyes on old problems and status quo ministry, new ideas, and a new well of experiences to go to. If you’ve read much of my blog you know that I enjoy the hiring process and helping churches recruit and hire great teams. In fact you can check out this series of posts on “Recruiting and Hiring Teams that Make Vision Real” or take a look at how I help churches build a staffing and hiring strategy. But sometimes the best move that you can make is to enlist the help of an Executive Search Firm. Here are 6 reasons you should consider using an Executive Search Firm when you make your next hire.

1. Broaden the Candidate Pool

What do you do after you run through your network of relationships and post the job online? An Executive Search Firm can bring a broader, deeper, and more talented candidate pool than you can usually gain access to on your own. Simply put, they have a “greater reach.”

2. Make the Right Hire

At the end of the day you just don’t want to make any hire…or even a good hire for that matter. You want to make the right hire. A hire gone wrong can cost you and your church not only a significant amount of time and money; but a ministry can literally be set back years by making the wrong hire.

3. Save Time

Depending on the unique aspects of the role and the church it can take anywhere from 3 months to a year for many churches to fill a staffing vacancy. That’s a lot of time in which the ministry is treading water or worse moving backwards. A Search Firm can speed the process up considerably. Not to mention who on your Staff has the time to run a search right now?

4. Expertise

Most Pastors aren’t experienced professional recruiters. In fact most people in ministry have never had any professional Human Resources training at all. An Executive Search Firm brings years of experience and training to the table.

5. Process

Most Churches don’t have a proven and successful process to make a hire. The old standby “Personnel Committee” isn’t getting it done. No other industry successfully operates by letting its “customers” who have no industry or hiring expertise run a hiring process. A Search Firm will bring a tested and proven hiring process to the table.

6. New Challenges

In a growing church it’s not uncommon to go through multiple staff restructures. When those moments come it often exposes a need that can’t be filled with the talent that’s already in the room. Likewise it’s not uncommon in a growing church to have need for a more specialized and highly trained skillset for some roles. These are perfect opportunities to enlist a Search Firm to help in these unique situations.

There are a growing number of Christian Search Firms out there that you can look into, but here are a couple to help get you going in the right direction.

Minister Search is a full service search firm that helps churches and candidates find the right fit. They’ve been going at this for more than 10 years now.

Shepherd’s Staff helps churches find the right candidates and is willing to customize their level of involvement in each search.

Slingshot Group has a created special niche for itself in helping churches staff the Creative Arts.

Vanderbloemen Search Group is quickly becoming recognized as the nations foremost Christian Executive Search Firm working with many of the leading churches in America.

Posted in Staffing


is the church for christians?

Churches all across America are stuck. In a large majority of these churches people come every week to the worship services and faithfully attend bible studies. They love being with each other, they know one another’s names and they have a good general working knowledge of the Scriptures. But they’re stuck. They’ve plateaued or they’re declining. Their best days are behind them and they consistently talk about the “good ‘ol days” and a high water mark that happened some years ago. It was an incredible moment and they should remember it, they should talk about it. After all it was a great moment. But today they’re stuck.

It’s not because they’re not faithful in their church attendance or commitment to the Scriptures. But because they have adopted an unbiblical view of what Church is all about.

What if I told you that the church was never intended to be a box that we sit in, but a movement we’re a part of? That, as a Christ Follower you can’t come to church, because you are the Church. What if I went as far as to say that the Church isn’t for Christians? Got your attention yet? The Church simply doesn’t exist FOR Christians. Because the Church IS Christians, and we don’t exist for ourselves; we exist to be on mission with God. And God’s mission is all about His people taking on the posture of a servant and thinking about others before they think of themselves.

Could it be that the reason that many Churches are stuck today, is because they’ve been sold a lie that says Church is for Christians? That’s absolute opposite direction of what God has called His people to.

Click here to check out the talk I gave at Sun Valley Community Church this past weekend where I unpack this idea even further.

So what do you think? Is the Church for Christians?

Posted in Spiritual Formation