categories: church, hiring, leadership, team
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July 29th, 2009

by Craig Groeschel

13 comments (+ Add)

Hiring From Other Ministries

Hiring From Other Ministries

When done with integrity, hiring from other ministries can be a big win for everyone involved.

The advantages include:

  1. Observing a proven ministry track record. When hiring from within, there are many ministry unknowns. Those who have served somewhere else in ministry have often honed their gifts and have a proven track record to observe, minimizing some of the risks.
  2. Deeper biblical knowledge. This isn’t always true, but when someone is trained by a strong seminary or has served for years under a great Bible teacher, they are often more theologically grounded than a lay person.
  3. Placing under-challenged leaders in a place to maximize their gifts. If a gifted leader isn’t fulfilled, he or she can be a huge blessing to another ministry when they are allowed to fully use their gifts and passions to make a difference.

More tomorrow on the disadvantages. What are your thoughts?

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  1. Jul 29, 2009 at 6:56 am

    One thing my mentor says about hiring from outside is a fresh perspective. Given that they jive with vision, mission, values, etc, an outside person can give a perspective that someone inside the organization can miss because they’ve been there. A forest//trees issue.

    Granted, this could become a hinderance:)

  2. Jul 29, 2009 at 10:44 am

    the vision harmony thing always scares me when dealing with outsiders - even people comming from other churches to attend. With biblical admonition to “dont lay hands on someone suddenly (dave version)” how can you hire from outside without knowing if they “get” the vision? Could you expand on this some more - and when do you know you made a mistake?

  3. Jul 29, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Hopefully it keeps us all Kingdom-minded too. We’re in this to advance the gospel, right? So if a Kids’ Pastor is a better fit at the church across town we should all be able to agree on making a change, no?

  4. 4Manu Reyes
    Jul 29, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    I read somewhere that when hiring from another ministry, you have to consider that they work a certain way, also because they work in a certain environment. You have to consider that this person worked with a team too… And that team brought in the work too. Example, you can hire a worship leader but you better keep in mind that a big factor of his product is directly related to his whole worship team… So you might as well hire his whole team. Ü hahaha!!

  5. Jul 29, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Chance to fully onboard into the present reality instead of perpetual incrementalism. Sometimes a home-grown leader is mired in years past and is not as fully moved into the present vision and circumstance. onboarding a new person lets you set Ground Zero at your current circumstances with the horizon truly set on vision.

    It’s like when you draw a paradigm with pencil, erase, re-draw, erase, re-draw, erase and re-draw…if all done on the same paper often times while the current drawing is certainly visible and discernable, the blurriness of former drawing shadows compete for visual attention and mental resolve. A fresh sheet of paper with a virgin drawing is crisp, focused, and un-entangled with previous drawings. The same plays out quite often in leadership.

    I experience tremendously better performance along missional lines from newly onboarded leaders into our current vision framework than 1st generation leaders who are somewhat numbed by “round 4.”

    Fresh eyes also bring a perspective on what’s possible not predefined by what’s been tried or denied previously. Everything is “possible.”

  6. 6Ryan
    Jul 29, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    being someone who feels like they fit into category number 3, what is the best thing to do then? I am encountering the fact that many churches with whom I identify and resonate with their vision are mainly interested in hiring from within…it’s tough to find a way into that enviornment. quit my ministry job and just start going to a church I fit with seems like the only option…

  7. 7Postscript
    Jul 29, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    The advantage could be that you get someone who’s been where you want to go. I’ve been on staff at THE largest churches in America and I can bring a lot to a church staff. It isn’t just that I know what I’m doing, but I can blend with just about any DNA - and face it, most churches aren’t all that different.

  8. Jul 29, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Craig, I’m glad you included the first four words of this post: “When done with integrity….”

    Too often in the workplace, hiring managers (including pastors) pull sneak-attack tactics and “steal” away staff members of other companies/organizations. How do they do this? By contacting the prospective employee personally, and keeping it hidden from the prospect’s current employer. For some reason, those who hire think it’s more appropriate to keep things a secret.

    The proper way to hire from another company/organization is to first contact that organization and ask permission to speak with the prospect (provided the prospect hasn’t made first contact with you by sending a resume). I work in the broadcast industry where “stealing” an employee away from their current company is all too common. The end result is the creation of an enemy company that didn’t need to be an enemy. Those kinds of things eventually come back to bite you.

    The same goes for churches. Pastors, it’s more professional and appropriate to contact the employer of a prospect to request permission to interview that prospect. Sure, they may say “no,” but it’s more honorable to pay that employer proper respect. In the end, that employer becomes a potential friend who will be more willing to help you out down the road.

  9. 9jimmy k
    Jul 29, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    It can often bring encouragement to your existing team when a new person comes from another team and appreciates the things you are doing right but you had forgotten about because you may be focused to fix what is not going right.

  10. Jul 29, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    I am curious Craig, you mentioned hiring integrity. How would you move forward in hiring someone from another church? What are some clear etiquette or guidelines in approaching them or the leadership? I have had some people try to hire people from our staff and actually had to sit down with one pastor and confront him about it.

    BTW, Our executive pastor met you on your way back from Hillsong, she was there, she really enjoyed talking with you. Thanks.

  11. Jul 30, 2009 at 6:58 am

    When a church has a strong volunteer core process, great leadership I think the path to find staff people from within is a great situation, however Gods army is huge and he has his people placed everywhere so I’d hope that every fruitful passionate ministry would always be looking to land the ” right person in the right seat of the bus” everyone wins in that scenario.

  12. Feb 7, 2011 at 7:52 am

    [...] is a church we work closely with. They are big believers of hiring from within as well. I love the post Craig did several years back though on the advantages he has seen from hiring [...]