It's been a long couple of years for the people of Long Hollow Baptist Church. In May, 2013, their pastor, David Landrith, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. He died in November of last year at the age of 51.
Choosing a new senior pastor is never easy, especially when your church is grieving. But Long Hollow is doing things right. In fact, they are doing something very well that many churches don't during a staff search: communication.
Here's what I think Long Hollow did right in their communication:
I am so glad to have you here with us on staff. I know that you and your family will be a great addition to our team here at [your church name]. On your first day, I wanted to share a few things that may help you feel a little more at home with us as a church, and with me, personally:
1. My most important priority is your happiness and ministry here at the church. If there’s anything I can do to make you happier and more efficient, tell me right away. This isn’t idealism, it’s good ministry, because happy and fulfilled people are more productive in their Kingdom work.
2. I will not burden you with endless rules and regulations. You’re an adult. I trust you to use your best judgment.
3. You have my full permission to screw up, as long as you own up to it, apologize to those affected and learn from it.
4. Please tell me when I screw up so I can apologize and learn from it.
5. Please make sure to hunt down people who do great work and praise them for it. I will do this as much as humanly possible, but I can’t do it alone.
6. If I get it right occasionally, I’d love to hear about it from you, too :o)
7. I will always have time for you. My calendar will never be so full that my next free time to talk to you is three weeks from next Friday.
8. I want to know about you as an employee AND as a human being. I DO care about your private life, about you and your family’s health and well-being.
9. Life is more than work. If you’re regularly working overtime, you’re just making yourself less happy and more stressed. Don’t join the cult of overwork, it’s bad for you and the company.
10. I expect you to take responsibility for your own well-being at work. If you can do something today to make yourself, a co-worker or me a little happier at work,“ do it!
I’m looking forward to getting to know you and your family, and to you having many fruitful years of ministry here with us. Welcome!
[Your name]If you sent this letter to a new employee, and actually held to it, would it make a difference? I think it would. I’ve seen many a church that didn’t value their employees. This letter sets the standard that people on staff are valued. It gives permission to fail. It expects that the staff person will lead. And it perfectly balances work and family as well as employee and team player. A few of questions for you today… 1. What do you think of the letter? Could you honestly send this to your new employees? Does your church practice what this letter preaches? 2. Would this letter have made a difference in your employment if you had received it? 3. What would you add or take away from this letter? 4. Is this type of thing a great or horrible idea? I’d love hear your input… Todd This post was inspired by Alexander Kjerulf’s Chief Happiness Officer Blog, who revised it from Michael Wade’s post over at ExecuPundit called Note from boss to employees.
- Transactional relationships:
- You focus on what needs to happen.
- You’re concerned with the appearance of non-failure.
- You spend your time one-upping each other.
- Transformational relationships:
- You focus on who each person is becoming.
- You’re concerned with the health of people.
- You spend your time sacrificing for each other.
- T: Take the initiative in your own life first – become the person you want others to be.
- R: Raise your eyes – set your focus on things above versus things of the earth (Col 3:1-4)
- A: Ask others questions – find out who they are and what they’re most concerned about in life.
- N: Nurture conversation – set up regular lunch times where everyone gets together to chat.
- S: Say the mission – don’t just nod your head at what’s on the wall, but use it in conversation.
- F: Face people – don’t multitask during conversations (close the laptop and turn off your phone).
- O: Own mistakes – if you know you did something wrong, apologize right away.
- R: Raise standards – stop using the phrase “That was good enough.”
- M: Mind your mind – introduce people to new thoughts and ideas that can lead to change.
- Title: Parent, spouse, employer, employee, customer, teacher, student, pastor, tither, guest, regular, etc
- Influence: Your integrity, your passion, your relationship with God, etc
The most important [commandment], answered Jesus, is this: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: â€˜Love your neighbor as yourself.â€™ There is no commandment greater than these.â€ (Mark 12:29-31)By: Tony Myles
- How do we reorganize reporting structures and current responsibilities, and develop staff to minimize multiple hats?
- How do we staff for need vs. growth, using metrics to operate by principle rather than pressure?
- When do you move someone? (It’s the leadership’s responsibility to train and develop; point to vision and communicate clearly and honestly; do it with honor)
- How do we define discipleship?
- Groups – managing the tension between rows and circles; it’s a “both and”.
- What are the onramps to leadership?
- What do you centralize/decentralize?
- How much variety in sites is ok?
- What are the advantages to video sites vs. live preaching?
- What is the key issue for site success? (Staffing!)
“If you want the people you work with to do extraordinary things, you really have to understand what they value. I’m trying to get people to remain confident in their creative ability. In order for them to have that kind of creativity, you have to be very transparent. Understand them and involve them in the decisions being made…The worst thing you can do to a creative person is have commands come down from the top so they don’t see their role and don’t see the trade offs.”Thoughts? SOURCE
When you first walk in to my office, I am expecting you to be one of the 99%+ people who I know I won’t hire in the first 5 minutes. I am hoping I will be proven wrong, because I really want to hire you and be done interviewing. Unfortunately, most people looking for jobs don’t deserve them.Here are some of the reasons: 1. You send me a stupidly long resume 2. You can’t tell me why you like your current job 3. You have no career plans or vision 4. You have no skills 5. You answer my questions with conjecture. Then Charlie goes on to tell you how to win with your interview. If you’re looking for a new church job, this article will be helpful to you. And hey… while you’re at it… post your resume at my new churchjobs.tv website. It’s free!