Church Staff: What We Look For

In one year, we’ve gone from one person on staff (me), to 10 people (a combination of full time and part time). Every single one of the people on our team right now have been hired from within. In other words, they were committed to the church before they came for a job. I tell people that if they want to one day work for Oak Leaf Church, start volunteering in that area and do a great job.

We do not hire based on education. In my experience, a seminary degree does not mean you will be better at what you do. Some churches pay more for higher degrees…I joke around that we should reverse that. I’m all for education, but I don’t think it makes a person an expert in a ministry field.

We also don’t hire solely on experience. Just because you’ve done ministry 10 years doesn’t mean it’s a fit here. We may have to beat bad experiences out of you, or you might be stuck in your ways.

When we look to hire someone, I look for three things:

1. Leadership ability. I don’t want people to do ministry; I want people to lead ministry. If you’re a leader, I could put you in children’s ministry or service programming and you’ll be okay. Ministry is leadership. You’ve got to be able to take people from where they are to where God wants them to be.

2. The desire to work hard. I want to tell people “go home…you’ve been here all day” NOT ask them why they were an hour late. We hire hard workers who will get things done no matter what. I don’t have time for excuses. Being lazy is not going to get you anywhere. Our setup volunteers get to the place at 6 AM on their only day off – and you’re leading those hard working people.

3.  The ability to learn and grow.  We hire for potential.  I want people who are going to go out of their way to get with other people doing their jobs at churches that are getting things done.  Part of everybody’s job description is to seek out these relationships.  I watch other teachers.  I want our band watching other worship bands.  I want our kids people communicating with other dynamic children’s ministries and soaking up everything they can.

We’ve decided to hire for potential and character, not for education and experience.

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2 comments so far

  1. erickyp on

    What is the third thing?

  2. […] volunteers. I thought it would be good to share my thoughts which I got and modified somewhat from Oakleaf. Here is what we will be looking […]


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