Tag Archive - hiring


7 Habits of Highly Ineffective Church Leaders

It’s much easier to identify poor leadership in others than it is in yourself. We have a tendency to judge our leadership based on our intentions and the leadership of other based on the results.

An old Russian Proverb says it this way, “The eye cannot see the eye.”

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to observe all kinds of different Church Leaders who are leading in different sizes and “flavors,” churches. No matter the size or the flavor of the church I’ve seen the following 7 habits come up over and over again. So in no particular order, here are 7 common bad habits I’ve seen in Church Leaders over the years:

1. Crosstalk and Triangulation

I’ve seen far too many times where the dynamics of the church staff are such that staff talk about one another instead of to one another. Usually this is because it’s allowed and even modeled by the Lead Pastor. Biblically (Matthew 18) the scriptures would teach us that if you have an issue with your brother then you go to them, not someone about them. One path is a leadership path, the other is a political path.

2. Dictatorship

We have a saying at the Unstuck Team: “The Team Outperforms the Individual Every Time!” When the Lead Pastor takes a dictatorial approach to decision making and the direction of the church everyone loses. The young Staff lose out because no one delegates tasks that give them the opportunity to learn to lead, the Sr. Staff lose out because they’re not empowered to make decisions which will ultimately result in losing your best team members, and the whole church loses out because no Lead Pastor is as good alone as they are with a great team, no matter how much of a superstar they are.

3. Unclear Expectations

When expectations are unclear it always leads to frustration, disappointment, and let down. It’s true in our more important relationships and it’s true in leadership. Lead Pastors can set their teams up for success by drawing a clear target on the wall and agreeing to and writing down clear, attainable and measurable goals.

4. Micromanagement

Some Lead Pastors are so insecure that they’re incapable of trusting their teams. They feel as though they have to control every aspect of what’s going on in the church, no matter how small. This kind of leader ends up building a team that is incapable of thinking for themselves, which will become a huge barrier to the movement of the Gospel! The first step in combating micromanagement is delegation and the next is empowerment.

5. Hiring Friends

I’ve seen teams go south because a Lead Pastor hires friends instead of the best-qualified candidate for the role. When the vision is trumped by the convenience of friendship it begins to erode trust on the team and trust is the fuel that leadership runs on.

6. Lack of Moral Authority

Nothing is more demoralizing for a staff team than when the Lead Pastor takes a, “Do as I say not do as I do” approach. A simple example of this is when a Pastor says it’s important for everyone to be in a small group but won’t be in a group themselves.

7. Unresolved Conflict

When the Lead Pastor doesn’t keep short accounts and instead allows unresolved conflict to exist it can lead to serious dysfunction on a team. Small gaps between Sr. Leaders at the top appear as huge chasms the further down you get from the Sr. Leadership Team.

What other habits of ineffective Church Leaders have you observed? What would you add to the list? Leave a comment!

Posted in Leadership, Staffing


When to Hire from the Inside

At some point every church faces the question: “Do we hire from inside or do we go outside to make this next hire?” There’s a grocery list of items that can factor into making a good decision. But the following two principles outweigh everything else when you’re hiring from within the organization or church.

1. You Like what Already Exists

If you like the culture and the practices that are being implemented in the ministry, and you want to reproduce more of what you already have, then hire from within the church. While you can hire experienced talent from the outside, people who are already inside your church understand and fit your culture. They believe in your church enough to attend there and invest their time, talent, treasure, and touch even without being on staff yet.

2. There is Available and Developed Talent

If you’ve been doing a good job of training and developing internal talent, then chances are there are people right inside the church who already have the abilities to the do the job. In many growing churches there are already high-level volunteers who are leading ministries. A great benefit is that you’ve been able to see these people up close and over time. When you hire from inside there are less questions because you know what you’re getting. Start inside first.

Don’t forget to check back later this week for Part-2 of this post: “When to Hire from the Outside.”

Posted in Leadership, Staffing


recruiting and hiring teams that make vision real

Here’s what I know about you. You’re a leader…or you wouldn’t be reading this. And if you are a leader then chances are you’re chasing after something that’s bigger than you can do alone. Which means at some point you’re going to have to recruit and hire a team. This series of posts was designed for you. To help you think through the right steps and principles to guide you along the road to building a great team that makes the vision God has given you become real.

So I hope you enjoyed this recent series of blog posts “Recruiting and Hiring Teams that Make Vision Real.” Here’s a summary of the series:

Part 1: Why Hires go Wrong

Part 2: What a Hire gone Wrong will Cost You

Part 3: 4 Steps to Making the Right Hire

Part 4: 6 Principles of Building a Staffing Strategy

If you need help building a staffing strategy at your church I’d love to talk with you about it!

Posted in Staffing


recruiting and hiring teams that make vision real part-4 6 principles of building a staffing strategy

Great teams don’t happen on accident. Over the past 15+ years of working with churches the best hires I’ve seen have always come through a well thought out staffing strategy. Based on that experience the following are 6 principles that I help churches think through when it comes to building a staffing strategy.



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Posted in Staffing


recruiting & hiring teams that make vision real part-2 what a hire gone wrong will cost you

When a hire goes right everyone wins. The new hire is empowered and unleashed to lead in their sweet spot, the team is invigorated, and the church benefits from seeing the mission take ground. But when a hire goes wrong everyone loses, and I mean everyone. A hire gone wrong will cost you more than you think. Check out the list below…



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Posted in Leadership, Staffing