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June 23rd, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

29 comments (+ Add)

Picking People

Selecting the right people to serve around you is one of the most important things you’ll do in ministry. The right people can help you reach many more for Christ. The wrong people can hold you back like a thousand-pound anchor.

This week, let’s discuss how to pick the right people.

Today I’ll list ten of the biggest lessons I’ve learned on selecting great people:

  1. Character is more important than giftedness.
  2. God often uses those others overlook.
  3. My wife is almost always a better judge about people than I am.
  4. Past success is a good indicator of future success.
  5. There is often a reason someone is looking for a job.
  6. Teach-ability is non-negotiable.
  7. When I’m trying to talk myself into liking someone, it’s best to move on.
  8. People from within the organization typically have a huge advantage over those who are from without.
  9. One of the best ways to attract better leaders is to become a better leader.
  10. We’re all better off when we pray, listen, and obey.

Which one(s) speak to you? What would you add?

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there are a total of29
  1. Jun 23, 2008 at 7:12 am

    Can you elaborate on #5? Yes, I have seen this in action so many times. Two times I’ve been burned the greatest were with people very anxious to step into a role - actually they were downright pushy. They were both talented, but both ended up in a big mess for me. Now I work with all volunteers under me but I think it can still apply.

  2. Jun 23, 2008 at 7:24 am

    I think that #1 and #6 are the very important. I am new in my position and am now going through the process of find people to serve within our student ministry. Character and teachability are what I’m looking for the most.

  3. Jun 23, 2008 at 7:46 am

    #2. I believe this to be so true. Sometimes you will see people who haven’t been successful in the business world, try to be successful in the church. They are “making a name” for themselves there. I always notice the ones who are doing things no one else does. I want to be more like them. I am only a volunteer at my church, but the people who are just serving because they love Jesus and only want to further His kingdom are the ones who encourage me to serve to the best of my ability.

  4. Jun 23, 2008 at 7:59 am

    I think #8 is huge! I see this in the business and not-for-profit world. And I think I would add TEAM DYNAMICS- they serve in such a way to contribute to the overall ministry of the church to advance the Kingdom, not their own agenda or to bolster their reputation.

  5. Jun 23, 2008 at 8:04 am

    I had a specific question, so I hope you don’t mind. I am in a situation where there is someone on lay leadership and they are that 1,000 pound weight to me personally. They are constantly negative (and bring the group down by asking pessimistic questions) and just not fun to be around-what do I do with them?


  6. 7Judy
    Jun 23, 2008 at 8:08 am

    I like number 3 lol… a team player is always good…

  7. Jun 23, 2008 at 8:47 am

    #9…I am experiencing that one at the moment. Never thought of it that way!

  8. Jun 23, 2008 at 8:59 am

    When I’m looking for leaders for a specific area I look around to see if there is someone who is already doing what we are looking for. If they are doing the work without being put into a position they will usually do it well when apponited.

  9. Jun 23, 2008 at 9:17 am

    Regarding number 5, the reason they may be looking for a job is because they cannot keep a job for various reasons. I would investigate their past track record, do they seem to be bouncing around from position to position? Always someone else’s fault? Always some wild thing that happened? Not taking responsibility for past mistakes?

  10. Jun 23, 2008 at 9:47 am

    I definitely agree that Teach-ability is non-negotiable, and I would add that they must also have the ability to wholeheartedly follow the vision for the church that that lead guy has. That to me is non-negotiable.

  11. Jun 23, 2008 at 10:10 am

    “People from within the organization typically have a huge advantage over those who are from without.”

    Jim Collins once said that his research found that more than 70% of leadership hires from outside an organization fail.

    Those organizations that build leaders from within have a huge advantage.

    Think of Christ’s model. Instead of choosing the leaders of the day, he chose ordinary guys - then built them into leaders.

  12. Jun 23, 2008 at 10:16 am

    My experience serving on different teams revealed to me that it’s important to find people that are willing to do the grunt work as well as the more visible tasks. Having people on the team that think that they’re “too good” to do certain things is very much a downer for everybody else.

  13. Jun 23, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Craig, I like #6(Being Teachable is a non-negotiable). In a fast paced forward looking environment we find ourselves in, someone who can not receive feedback (being teachable) and process it quickly with a Christ like attitude will slow us and the whole organization down to a crawl. Jesus said “Follow Me”…to be a good leader you have to First be a great follower which means talking less and listening a whole lot more. Thanks again for hosting the CP forum at this weekend…great learning from your incredible staff that you have surrounded yourself with.

  14. 16Judy
    Jun 23, 2008 at 10:33 am

    Scott….do you consider THE 12 inside guys..within guys….or…just guys that crossed the path of Christ along His journey…lives that God put together for a greater purpose

  15. Jun 23, 2008 at 11:05 am

    #6 Stands out. Lord make us Teachable. Luke 8:18 shows the importance of being willing to be teachable.
    How many times is the word “willing” used in God’s Word?

    This is the biggest thermostat for humility.


  16. Jun 23, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Judy…I was speaking in relation to THE 12, but there are examples of using “ordinary” men to do extraordinary things.

  17. 19Judy
    Jun 23, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Scott….I agree with the ordinary people…was wondering if you thought the picking of the 12 as coming from an inside or within source…I also read an interview with Collins and Andy Stanley where Collins said he could not see the aspects of his book working in the church at all….not sure I agree, as we have used the One Thing idea and found it to be a real base of ministry…

  18. 20JIM
    Jun 23, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    To me number 8 can go both ways - someone from within might not have “fresh eyes” and see things as running status quo. I also see the advantages to it.

  19. 21J.D.
    Jun 23, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    I know what you are saying in number 8, however I sometimes feel that caution/discernment/perspective needs to be looked at. I have seen Christian organizations that consistently hire from within creating a very incestuous (lack of better term) environment, and that can be very unhealthy. Sometimes we need to look outside for refreshment and new people with new ideas that will push us in leadership on areas that we are maybe to firm on. I love your thoughts on this and agree with you but also offer caution. Does that make any sense? Thanks Man!!!

  20. 22J.D.
    Jun 23, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    Sorry, I am an idiot…didn’t read Jim’s post above…I will now be quiet.

  21. Jun 24, 2008 at 5:21 am

    I like them all but I would have to go with #1. What good is a talented person if he has no character and integrity? All the good done is wiped out by a life not worth following.

  22. Jun 24, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    I’m with you Bill on liking them all, the first 9 are really good but all come together under number 10….pray , listen , obey.
    Really thought about # 2, God has sent me some great leaders in our Guest Services Team whom I wouldn’t have approached if I wouldn’t have prayed about it and listened and then acted on. God is good!

  23. Jun 25, 2008 at 4:03 am

    [...] Picking People - : swerve [...]

  24. 26Farris
    Jun 30, 2008 at 10:14 am

    #4 is important to me as a business owner, and I am sure the same applies in doing “God’s business”. What I look for specifically is not the complete lack of failures, but the ability to improve after failures. We will all fail at something eventually, but not everyone has the ability to rationally look at the situation, evaluate what went wrong, and formulate a new plan to accomplish the original goal. Ingenuity plays a big role in that, in my opinion. Great comments from everyone.

  25. Jul 7, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you more! Before coming on staff at a church, I did HR for over 25 years. I learned it better to be “slow to hire and fast to fire”; that might sound pretty cold to some, but it’s like you said at the beginning….the wrong people can hold you back; keep you from doing what God intended us to do!

  26. Jul 10, 2008 at 8:57 am

    [...] Picking People - : swerve [...]

  27. Aug 7, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    [...] Picking People - : swerve [...]