5 Questions to Help You Select Ministry Team Members

Watching a leadership team come together can either be highly frustrating or highly energizing. Of course, all leaders prefer the latter. Leaders in companies, churches, and other organizations can witness their organization move to the next level if the right team comes together.

How then do you select those key persons for a leadership team? What questions do you need to direct at them? What questions do you need to ask yourself? Allow me to suggest five key questions.

  1. Does the person have a strong character? Any doubt at this point should disqualify a person. His or her character is foundational to everything else. No matter how qualified a person may seem, if he or she has questionable character, problems will develop in short order.
  2. Does the person have the competency and skills to do the work? This question is so obvious that it may seem silly to engage this issue. I, though, have admittedly brought people to different leadership teams without doing due diligence on their competency and skills for the job. Typically I like them personally and like their personalities. But hiring friends and fun people to do a job for which they are not qualified is a recipe for disaster.
  3. Does the chemistry of the person match the team and the leadership? Many of you have undoubtedly served on teams with highly competent people. But sometimes that person acts like a self-serving jerk. Regardless of how competent and gifted he or she is, that type of toxic behavior can destroy a team.
  4. Will the person align with the vision of the leadership? If you are on a leadership team and you disagree with the major direction of the leadership, get off the team. If you are a leader seeking to bring a person on the team, and you sense that he or she does not align with your vision, run from that choice immediately. A team with diverse visions is not a team at all.
  5. Can you trust the person? Allow me to clarify the specific meaning of “trust” in this context. Ultimately the trust issue here is whether or not the person is looking after their own interests and preferences or the interests of the team, the leader, and the organization. If you have to wonder what the motivation is of a prospective team member, you really need to move on to the next choice.

What do you think of these five questions? What would you add? What would you change?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Thom Rainer

Thom Rainer

Thom Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources.  Prior to LifeWay, he served at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for twelve years where he was the founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism.  He is a 1977 graduate of the University of Alabama and earned his Master of Divinity and Ph.D. degrees from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to speaking in hundreds of venues over the past 20 years, Rainer led Rainer Group, a church and denominational consulting firm, from 1990 to 2005. The firm provided church health insights to over 500 churches and other organizations over that period. Rainer and his wife, Nellie Jo, have three grown sons: Sam, Art and Jess, who are married to Erin, Sarah and Rachel respectively.  The Rainers have six grandchildren: Canon, Maggie, Nathaniel, Will (with the Lord), Harper, and Bren. He is the author of twenty-four books, including Breakout Churches, Simple Life, Simple Church, Raising Dad, The Millennials, and Essential Church.  His latest book, Autopsy of a Deceased Church, was released in 2014 by B&H Publishing Group.

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree with your 3 must-haves. I would add that the rectors have to call on every member who attends, at least once a year. The existence of a "calling commitee" is just an excuse to avoid making the effort. This is part of #3. If a rector does not like to call on parishioners, then she/he should not be a rector, but should find a different ministry. Carter Kerns, former senior warden, Diocese of Eastern Oregon and lifelong Episcopalian Tel# 541-379-3124
 
— Carter Kerns
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Are there any reliable statistics about the percentage of church plants that fail after 3 years in the US?
 
— Jon Moore
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I am a senior citizen who has lived in many areas of the US, the farthest south being Virginia DC area. There are several church plants in the area--some failed, some doing well. One of the sadist failures was a plant in NW Washington near a large Presbyterian Church (I had been an elder in the church, so I knew the area) where changes in church doctrine was driving many away from the PCUSA churches. There were many mature Christians who lived in the area who were very willing to participate and give generously to the church. Its failure was a loss. The pastor and his wife lived in a VA suburb, wanted something that would appeal to their tastes, which included "praise music". There was a professional piano teacher and several people who had sung in choirs in the area. Their suggestions were completely ignored. Forget that there was joyous participation in singing hymns and silence by many for the praise music. The experienced church leaders that were attending were expected to seek the wisdom of the pastor who did not live in the area rather than have any role in leadership. There is another church plant in Northern Virginia that seems to be going the same way. My take: the pastors should get past their high-school and college days culture and get to know and appreciate the people of the community. Do not try to reproduce Intervarsity or Campus Crusade. Hymns are not a sin and "uneducated" (never graduated from college) should not be ignored as uninformed or stupid. People who have served in and/or live in the area are needed in leadership and not just to serve coffee and give. We all need to pray together and serve God in the community in which there is to be a plant. Glenna Hendricks
 
— Glenna Hendricks
 

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