Expert Training is Overrated

Let’s talk about staff for a minute.

When we’re looking for staff (and we are about to hire a few positions), we always look within our church.  We look around to see what volunteer is going above and beyond.  We see who is already doing a great job.  We check to see if they tithe (yes…we know who gives).  We watch them lead.

We don’t automatically look for experience and education.  Our executive pastor was a school teacher last year.  Our director of volunteers worked at a doctors office.  Neither of these people had expert training or tons of experience in their field.  This isn’t a big deal to us because expert training can be overrated.

If employee A is an expert at Rock of Ages Baptist Church and tries to do ministry at Oak Leaf Church based on his experience, that’s not going to work.  We’ll have to spend a couple years and a bunch of money on conferences to educate it out of him!  A seminary degree doesn’t automatically make you a good leader.  It may make you smarter (sometimes), but it doesn’t automatically qualify a person for ministry.  I’m using little of my seminary experience as a church planting lead-pastor of a fast-growing church.

All this to say, if you’re looking for someone to head up volunteers, children’s ministry, pastoral care, administration, or a hundred other jobs, don’t just look at the church job websites.  Look inside your church.  You may find a committed volunteer working a “regular” job who would take a pay cut to do something he or she  loves.

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1 comment so far

  1. Karen Kogler on

    Amen! Your point is well taken. The primary difference between any church’s staff and their volunteers in the paycheck. Both can be equally skilled and dedicated and even well trained. Staff work more hours because they’re freed from the need to earn a living otherwise. Hiring staff from within the congregation is a great way to improve the team relationship between volunteers and staff.


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