Tag Archive - search

0

Top Posts of 2017 #4 “Stop Hiring People to Work at your Church”

I just wrote this post back in October and it jumped up the Top-10 chart quickly! It addresses one of the most significant and common lids to growth that churches experience.

Churches love to hire people. I mean they really love to hire people. Often times when churches are just starting off, staff members will raise their own salary until the church has the capacity to pay them. Then as they grow I’ve seen churches long for the day where the budget grows just a little bit more so they can make that next hire. They put so much hope into staffing. Many think that if they could just add one more special staff position to the team, the church would grow.

Now before we get too far into this conversation, let me just say that I’m not against churches hiring staff members. I’m just against churches hiring as many staff members as they do.

You see the average church in America has somewhere around a 1:75 staffing ratio. That means for every 75 people they have attending the church there is 1 full-time equivalent staff member being paid to work at the church. A full-time equivalent may be made up of 2 – 20 hour a week employees, 4 – 10 hour a week employees, or any combination you can think of. At the Unstuck Group when we help churches build a Staffing and Structure plan for the future, we encourage churches to staff at 1:100. By the way, do you know where you church measures up on that ratio?

Why Staff Lean?

One of the many reasons why we encourage churches to staff with this approach is because the churches across America that are reaching the most amount of people with the Gospel and are seeing the most amount of life change are leaner with their approach to staffing. They’re putting resources into reaching people, ministry, and developing people instead of into salaries. They pay fewer people more so they can attract and keep great people.

The More Staff the Less Life-Change

When churches staff at a lower ratio they unintentionally keep people from following Jesus. When people are hired that means what was previously being done by volunteers is now being professionalized. This takes the ministry out of the hands of volunteers and actually often times discourages volunteerism. Volunteering is discipleship. You can’t follow Jesus and not serve others.

More Staff is an indicator of Over Programming

A low attender to staff ratio is also an indicator that a church is probably over-programmed. The staff are busy running a lot of programs to minister to people who are already a part of the church and already know Jesus. 

It’s Easier to Hire than Develop

It’s faster and requires less effort to hire people to do ministry than to recruit, train, and develop volunteers to do ministry.

It’s more Convenient to be Served than to Serve

It’s easier for church members to pay to hire people to serve them than to invest the time into stepping up and serving others.

I could go on and on, but I bet you get the point. Hiring isn’t always the wrong move to make at a church. But if you do hire, hire for two big results:

  1. Hire people who can build teams and develop people
  2. Hire specialists because of a needed skill

Posted in Leadership, Staffing

0

Stop Hiring People you Like

A wrong hire can set a ministry back for years and unfortunately churches aren’t known for making great hires. Pastors have a tendency to hire people that they like, and value relational chemistry over production. I get it. Pastors are taught Greek, Theology and the Bible. Seminaries aren’t known for providing great courses on recruiting, hiring and team development.

So, most pastors are left to rely on their “gut” and hope for the best. They typically look for natural connections that they can build on to get “comfortable” with and “believe” in a potential hire.

Is the potential hire from the same denomination of churches? Did they go to the same seminary or school as the pastor? Do they know the same people and run in the same circles (tribe)? Did a friend recommend them? Have they read the same books or listen to the same podcasts? Do they go to the same conferences for inspiration and new ideas? Do they already know someone on staff? Do they share similar interests or grow up in the same area or region of the country?

All of these simple connections can lead pastors to emotionally and relationally zero in on a potential hire and pull the trigger to bring them on the team for all the wrong reasons.

Don’t be Afraid of Results

Culture and chemistry really matter, they should factor into your recruiting and hiring. Potential hires need to fit with your team and your church. But you’re not just hiring them for their fit, you’re hiring them to get something done. You’re hiring them to produce results. If they don’t have a proven track record of producing the kind of results you’re looking for, then pass on them, no matter how great a “fit” they may be.

Challenge the Team

A new hire is a great opportunity to infuse a whole new set of experiences, ideas, perspectives, training and competencies into the staff team at your church. When you invite a new person to your staff team they should lift the water level of the entire team up. Their approach, experience and expertise should challenge the team and motivate them to take some new ground. If there is too great a value on chemistry and relationally connecting with a potential hire then relationship will trump growth.

You’re not Hiring them to be your Friend

Listen, I completely understand wanting to “like” the people you work with and yes, I’ve read about how everybody needs a “best friend” at work. I’m fortunate enough to work at a church and on a team that I actually really, really like. But at the end of the day when you’re hiring someone you’re not hiring them to be your friend. You’re hiring them to join with you and play their part to make a big vision become real. I mean could you imagine saying to Jesus, “Hey I know we didn’t take your mission to reach everyone on the planet with the Gospel very seriously and we didn’t do a great job with that, but we really liked each other.”


Posted in Leadership, Staffing

0

How do you know when it’s time to Leave your Church?

Most people don’t stay at one place of employment their entire lives. If you work at a church, chances are you probably won’t work at that church the rest of your life. Most likely at some point you’re going to leave to go and start or work at another church.

There are all kinds of reasons why church staff leave the church they work at to go work another church. Some of those reasons are solid and make a lot of sense. Some of them as you could guess, not so much.

If you’re a church staff member and you’re trying to figure out if you should stay or if it’s time to go, here are a couple of principles you should keep in mind.

God’s Direction

I’ve said this many times before both in writing blog posts on staffing and personally 1-on-1 to church staff members. If you know God is calling you to something else, then that’s a great reason to leave a church. But you better be pretty sure that it was God you heard talking and not the pizza you had at 2:00am before you start waving around the, “it’s God will,” card.

You’re Asked to Leave

If you’re asked to leave your church staff job for whatever reason from downsizing, restructuring, poor fit, or poor performance you can be pretty sure that’s a good reason to leave a church.

Ongoing Conflict

It’s difficult to give your all to a church and be “all-in” when you don’t get along with the people you work with. Just because it’s a church doesn’t mean every personality will be able to work with every other personality. I’ve seen some staff stay too long at a church in an effort to “live at peace with all men,” thinking they’re ungodly if they can’t figure out how to work with everyone. It’s probably naïve to think you’ll be able to get along with everyone or work for anyone. It’s important to remember that relational and cultural chemistry matters.

Opportunity

Sometimes I’ve seen staff leave their current church because they’ve grown and they’re ready for a new challenge or greater responsibility, but their current church is unable to provide that challenge or opportunity.

Don’t Respect the Leadership

If you don’t respect the leader you’re serving under and you can’t, in good conscience, submit to their authority then it’s time to leave.

Don’t Agree with the Vision

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had this conversation. Someone (usually in a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th chair role) thinks that God has called them to speak for the Lord and help their poor Lead Pastor understand that it is time for the vision to change because they don’t agree with it. And they are just the person who has come down off of the mountain with the new blueprint for where the church should go next. Or on the other hand the vision is so unclear that people have a hard time understanding how to define success in their job, which leads to frustration, which leads to burnout. Either route you take you end up with a lot of frustration and an eventual job change.

The first two reasons (God’s direction and you’re asked to leave) are super clear and no brainer indicators that’s it’s time to go. The other four are not as easy to figure out. They can be indicators that it’s time to go or they can be excuses that you make to yourself that it’s time to go. You have to discern which it is.


Posted in Leadership, Staffing

0

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

0

3 Secrets of an Effective Church Staffing Structure

Let’s be honest: There’s no shortage of resources out there on building church staff teams. Where churches really struggle is putting what they’ve learned into action.

Later this month my friend Tony Morgan with the Unstuck Group is partnering up with William Vanderbloemen with Vanderbloemen Search Group to tackle this topic. William and Tony work with hundreds of churches of across the country; they witness firsthand where and why churches are stuck in this area.

This free webinar will break this topic down into three priority components and offer you clear next steps to start building a healthier, more effective team.

The health and effectiveness of your church starts with its leadership. This webinar will help you:

  • Get your structure and roles right.
  • Hire the right people (and know when it’s time to let them go).
  • Build a culture of leadership development.
  • Identify practical next steps you can use to circle up with your team and start leading the changes you need to make.

Thursday, May 26 at 1pm EST
Space is limited! Register now.


Posted in Leadership, Staffing
Page 1 of 612345»...Last »