10 Guidelines to Help You Find Staff and Build Culture

Recently I had the opportunity to teach at Exponential West. There were leaders from all over the country, churches small and large, and we talked about how to build a great team, and then how to keep a great team by paying attention to culture.

Here is the short version of what we talked about (and you don’t even have pay!)…

When Looking for Staff… 

  1. A Resume is Worthless — most of what matters in hiring someone is not found on a resume.
  2. You Can’t Train Character — Give your life to helping people find Jesus and reform their character. But when you are hiring, you need people who have proven integrity, especially with their tongue, money, and sex.
  3. Social Media is Your Friend — I’m giving you permission to stalk your next employee! If it’s on the internet, it is public. Look at their online persona to see how they think, what they think is funny, and how they treat others.
  4. Hire From Within — You know what you are getting; you know they understand your vision and philosophy; you know that the “chemistry” question has already been answered.
  5. Find Fresh Eyes — Occasionally you should not hire from within because you need a fresh infusion of ideas.
  6. Find Leaders, Not Doers — You have limited dollars, so you should typically spend your staff dollars on leaders who can build teams, inspire followers, and reproduce themselves over and over again.
  7. Pay Well — you don’t want people to come because of money, stay because of money, or leave because of money.

Building a Great Culture… 

  1. Make Time for the Three S’s — every week, carve time with your staff or leadership team to do three things: A) Tell Stories of what God is doing through His people, B) Spotlight an individual to let them get to know them and celebrate their unique contribution, and C) Give inside information (Stuff) or training that will add value to your team.
  2. Offer Employees Flexibility — Some positions need set hours (i.e. facility care shifts or preschool teachers). However, most positions should be flexible, focusing on outcomes (did you accomplish your job?) and not on specific hours (how long did you sit at your desk?).
  3. Being Fair is Not a Priority — Make decisions based on your vision and priorities–not based on fairness. News alert: I spend more time with my wife than any other woman. Why? Because she is my priority.

What would you add to either of these lists?

I’ll be expanding on each of these topics in my upcoming book (to be published by Thomas Nelson in July 2014). 

Read more from Tim here.

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Tim Stevens

Tim Stevens

For more than 17 years, I have been on staff with Granger Community Church. It has been a privilege to watch the church grow from a congregation of 350 meeting in a movie theater–to a world-impact ministry reaching more than 6,000 locally and tens of thousands around the world. Outside of my family, the most important place I invest my leadership, time and energy is to the staff and congregation at Granger.

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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you Ed for sharing your insights into the Church Growth Movement. I have my reservations with Church Growth models because it has done more damage than good in the Body of Christ. Over the years, western churches are more focused on results, formulas and processes with little or no emphasis on membership and church discipline. Pastors and vocational leaders are burnt out because they're overworked. I do believe that the Church Growth model is a catalyst to two destructive groups: The New Apostolic Reformation and the Emerging Church. Both groups overlap and have a very loose definition. They're both focus on contemporary worship, expansion of church brand (franchising), and mobilizing volunteering members as 'leaders' to grow their ministry. Little focus on biblical study, apologetics and genuine missional work with no agenda besides preaching of the gospel.
— Dave
comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you for sharing such a good article. It is a great lesson I learned from this article. I am one of the leaders in Emmanuel united church of Ethiopia (A denomination with more-than 780 local churches through out the country). I am preparing a presentation on succession planning for local church leaders. It will help me for preparation If you send me more resources and recommend me books to read on the topic. I hope we may collaborate in advancing leadership capacity of our church. God Bless You and Your Ministry.
— Argaw Alemu
comment_post_ID); ?> Amen!!
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