Staffing a Church Plant

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about staff, so I thought I would answer some of them here.  I moved to Cartersville, not knowing anyone, to start this church.  I worked for about a year before our first preview service. 

It was just before that first preview service that we "hired" our first staff position – a small groups pastor.  Most people will tell you to find a worship leader first, but we wanted to hire bands, so we just played to our strengths.  Tim came on staff without the promise of any salary, and he raised support.  Even now, he is still raising support for about 50% of his salary.  By the end of the year, he should be able to stop raising support.

We also hired a part time children’s leader.  That was an important area for us, so we needed a leader.  After we launched, we hired a part time administrative assistant to handle the office stuff and the money stuff.  So for the first 6 months, we had me, a small groups person, a part time children’s person and an office person.

All of these people were from within, and I’m a big advocate of hiring from within.  We just hired a new children’s person from within, and she already gets our strategy and philosophy.  We’ve seen her work and lead, because she’s a volunteer.   The people that we’ve brought in for interviews or brought on staff from the outside, haven’t gelled with us.  People don’t come to work here for the money…they come to work here because of the vision and because it’s a God-thing.  I’m a big advocate of hiring the right person, not just the right position.  And play to your strengths.  As a church plant, you can’t hire every position you want.  If there’s a guy in your circle who would make a great exec pastor, hire them.  If God has brought you the amazing worship leader, hire that person.

We just hired an administrative pastor who will help fly at 30,000 feet and run the church.  And since we believe you ought to structure for twice your size, we are re doing our org chart to reflect some of those changes.  I’m backing off from a lot of the things I did when I started and focusing more on vision and teaching, but I wasn’t able to do that in the beginning.  Church planters have to do it all, and then quickly move to getting specialists involved.

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