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Staffing, Staffing, Start Here
How do you stay effective in one church for a very long time?  To be honest, not many people know!  So we’ll ask someone who’s ‘been there, done that’!  David Yearick writes of his 39 year journey as a pastor in one church over at Christianity.com.  Here are some of his suggestions for long-term impact for a long-term pastorate… 1.  Preach the Word — A large congregation can be built with little attention given to the Word of God, but the Bible must be primary in order to build a solid fundamental church. While some pastors have more sermon ideas than they can ever develop into messages, that was not the case for me. I believe the Lord performed three miracles for me every week, for He never left me without something to give to my people. I am living proof that a pastor does not need to be a great preacher to be effective. 2.  Keep finances under control — Paul, speaking of the handling of money given by the churches of Macedonia, says in II Corinthians 8:20–21, “Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance [the offering] which is administered by us: Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.” Many a pastor has had his ministry in a church cut short because of improper handling of funds. The cause could be a lack of accountability, misappropriation, overspending, or outright thievery. Large building campaign debts are among the main reasons that pastors willingly or unwillingly leave churches.  It is imperative to have a budget and to follow it. 3.  Watch your relationships — Most men who leave the ministry do not leave for doctrinal reasons but because of moral failure. Well-meaning pastors often develop inappropriate relationships with women within the context of ministry. Often this downfall comes about through counseling sessions. Counseling without getting emotionally involved is difficult, and runaway emotions often lead to immoral entanglements. Paul tells us about proper relationships that pastors should have with ladies in their congregations: “The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity” (I Timothy 5:2). 4.  Develop a sense of humor — Do not take yourself too seriously. I am not suggesting that you be frivolous, but that you see humor in situations which otherwise could be tense or embarrassing. Learn to laugh at yourself. You are human; let your humanity show through. If you take everything seriously, you will become a person of sour disposition; and no one, including your wife, will want to be around you. There are plenty of things to be serious about — but do not be afraid to let up a little on things that are not. You must laugh a lot in order to survive. 5.  Be grateful for the opportunity — One danger of a long same-church ministry is that the pastor may come to the point where he almost thinks he owns the church rather than seeing his tenure as a gracious opportunity offered him by the Lord and the people of the congregation. Just as love can cover a multitude of sins, so can gratitude — for it is an outpouring of love. Where there is genuine love of a pastor for his Lord and his people, there will be an attitude of gratitude and rejoicing. 6.  Know when you have been there long enough —  When your health or your effectiveness begins to wane, it may be time to leave that ministry. Sadly, some pastors cling to their pulpits too long. Perhaps they are comfortable and well taken care of and too old to become senior pastor at another church.  Perhaps it is difficult to consider leaving. You can kill a church by hanging on. It is better to leave when the congregation wants you to stay than it is to stay when they wish you would leave. Any other ‘long-termers’ out there?  What would you add to his list? todd Read more from David here…
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Staffing, Staffing, Start Here

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:

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Staffing, Staffing, Start Here
Do you like filling out questionnaires? I don’t. The only time I fill them out is when I have no other choice. But what about when it comes to hiring? Is it a good idea to have candidates for your open ministry positions fill out a questionnaire? Traditional churches often like questionnaires since they get the idea that they can learn a lot about a candidate this way. Let me tell you why I disagree and why questionnaires are less than effective. Here are five reasons to avoid questionnaires when it comes to the hiring process: 1. The questions asked are typically not specific enough for the candidate to understand exactly what you’re looking for. 2. Written communication is wonderful for certain tasks, but when it comes to hiring, a questionnaire is not dynamic. It doesn’t allow for the writer to communicate their passions as clearly as other forms of communication, such as over the phone, a Skype videoconference, or in person. A questionnaire doesn’t allow you to grasp the depth of the candidate’s knowledge or understanding. Also, it limits or sometimes even eliminates emotion, especially since a questionnaire can’t allow for back and forth interaction. 3. The questions you have in mind for a questionnaire function better as dialogue within an interview context. In an interview the questions can serve both the candidate and your search or leadership team. Both sides can interact and discuss the questions, which allows you to gain more insights than a static questionnaire. 4. You’re not hiring a candidate to fill out paperwork. Also, asking candidates to spend another 3-5 hours laboring over a lengthy questionnaire isn’t fair considering, at this point, you’ve given them very little. Consider, too, that the interview process is not just one way. The candidate is also interviewing the church. Yes, you are being interviewed and should actually expect that of a good candidate. J It’s only fair to allow some give and take and discussion in the interview process. This also shows that you’re willing to invest in them as the process unfolds. 5. In certain instances a questionnaire will simply turn away a potential candidate—especially in cases where a church is looking for a leader who is relevant with modern church culture. In such circumstances the candidates you are looking for aren’t used to filling out questionnaires. They probably will find them “old school,” which may also lead them to consider another opportunity. Because of these reasons, it’s been years since any MinisterSearch clients have used questionnaires. Now, with that said, in no way am I suggesting that the important questions you have in mind for a questionnaire not be asked. Remember, though, that the best place for you to ask most questions is during an interview, not on pages and pages of paper. This allows everyone involved to get an idea of how you and the candidate would work together, communicate, and handle different viewpoints. One last thing – to begin your process by asking deep theological or personal questions before establishing any relationship with the candidate will communicate something less than desirable. Think of dating, for example. In dating there are lots of questions that need to be asked before a couple gets married, but there are appropriate times and places for such questions. Do your best to make sure that the first date is memorable – in a “good” way. What are your experiences and/or thoughts on questionnaires? David Lyons, President of MinisterSearch More from David here…
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Staffing, Staffing, Start Here
What if you could create the perfect work atmostphere at your church?  One that made your staff really happy and really successful?  An atmosphere that promoted teamwork, taking risk, and enabling leadership?  What if…? I think much of what your staff thinks about you (personally) and your church (corporately), they’ll learn in the first few months.  It’s important for the senior leader to set the tone and make a great first impression.  In fact, if you don’t get off to a great start in the first few months, the chances of having a well-rounded, long-term staff member are reduced significantly.  They’ll simply find another place to serve after a couple of years.  It happens all the time. But how do you start off a good relationship with a new employee?  What if you send something like this to your new staff member.  In this case, we’ll call him Bob.

Dear Bob,

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.
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Leadership
Tony Myles writes:  I once worked in a job where I feared for my job… everyday. And I wasn’t alone. It wasn’t because of the economy, and it wasn’t because we were all bad employees. It was because our boss was insecure and came across like a lion to everyone. He was someone who only cared about the idea of success than in creating the environment for it. I’ve been in the exact opposite situation, though. I’ve served in church staff teams where we were so inspired by the character and direction of our main leader that we climbed over ourselves to be a part of what he was up to. It’s the difference between transactional relationships versus transformational relationships:
  • 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.
Every relationship, organization, classroom and work environment tends to run with one of these two models dominating. You can influence that, whether you’re at the top or bottom of the totem pole.
  • 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.
In the end, you will influence others either out of your:
  • Title: Parent, spouse, employer, employee, customer, teacher, student, pastor, tither, guest, regular, etc
  • Influence: Your integrity, your passion, your relationship with God, etc
So… what is your next step to create healthy people instead of yet another power play?
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: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)
By: Tony Myles
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My colleague Tim Nations, who is heading up Leadership Network’s “Rapid Growth Churches” Leadership Community shares some insights from the fourth group of quickly growing churches that convened recently in Dallas. Here are the concerns these churches are talking about.  Tim writes: Each church came into the room with a unique set of questions, challenges, and opportunities.  However, the following three shared issues emerged that teams spent time working on together: Staffing and StructureEvery team realized that staffing and structure were key issues to ongoing, sustainable growth.  Some of the questions they wrestled with included:
  • 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)
Assimilation, Spiritual Growth, Leadership DevelopmentIn rapid growth situations, systems that move people from attendee to leader often get broken down.  Each of these churches have a strong desire to ensure newcomers and existing members are cared for, nurtured, and developed.  Key questions included:
  • How do we define discipleship?
  • Groups – managing the tension between rows and circles; it’s a “both and”.
  • What are the onramps to leadership?
Multisite Issues and OpportunitiesNot every church that was present is currently multisite, but all of them are engaged in the conversation as a potential future possibility.  Much of this discussion centered around:
  • 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!)
// read more here… As your church grows… what are the things that you are dealing with the most right now?  Do they coincide with the list above?
Todd Subscribe to me on YouTube

 

 

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Leadership
David Kelly, the founder if IDEO has this to say about motivating those you work with:
“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
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Staffing
Consultant Charlie Balmer shares over at LifeHacker the reasons that he doesn’t hire people when they come in for an interview.  Charlie writes:
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!
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Staffing
The economy is still in a hard place; and so are some churches.  So what do you do when you have valuable staff, but you’re not able to show your appreciation with a raise in salary? Liz Ryan has worked in corporate HR for over 20 years.  Recently, Matt Branaugh from Managing Your Church sat down with her and asked: What is one immediate thing many churches can do to reward staff, absent of a pay raise or a new health benefit, but might overlook? Here is her response: “We tend to think of churches or nonprofit organizations and assume they have a special burden because they don’t necessarily have the cash or fancy stuff to throw around. But even in the big corporations and organizations that you’d expect to have the cash and fancy stuff to throw around, the biggest issue is recognition and the value of employee contributions. This can come a variety of ways. For instance, it can be as simple as making it a habit to ask the front desk receptionist how to do things better in the church office. Leadership is free. Management is expensive. Having to watch people on (the management) side of the equation, making sure they don’t do the wrong thing, writing the policies—that’s expensive and time consuming. Leading people the way they’d like to be led, giving them latitude, and really recognizing their contributions—that’s pretty cheap. That’s free. People know the state of finances. But senior pastors need to understand their situation is no different than any other leader [who is] responsible for people. They say, ‘I’m a senior pastor and I have such limited chips. I’ve got so little cash, it’s hard to talk about. It’s painful.’ And they assume it’s maybe best to put everything under wraps and not talk at all. That’s the last thing they should be doing. Once a month, they should say ‘Hey Jack, you’re a great youth pastor and I hope I tell you that enough. I would pay you more. You know our finances and know we’re not in a position to do it, but I would if I could because you deserve that. Your contribution is massive.’ That’s the conversation you can have when you don’t have the cash. For many people, when it’s sincere, that’s as meaningful as the cash. If people are motivated by soul energy, give it to them! She also has some other advise for things churches can do for staff when cash is low.  They are good suggestions you should check out. Has your church ever been in this situation?  How did you handle it?
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Staffing
Here are two brand new Worship Leader ministry openings added yesterday at ChurchJobs.tv:

JOB OPENINGS

Worship Arts Pastor River City Church / Missoula, Montana River City Church is one of the newest churches in Missoula, MT. Missoula (pop. 100,000) is nestled in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of western Montana and is the home of the University of Montana, and has a growing population of college students and young families. River City Church is currently adding to its core team in preparation for a relaunch in 2012. We are looking for motivated individuals to join us in reaching Missoula in a culturally relevant way. We currently have about 30 adults and 30 children in weekly attendance. Read more. Worship Pastor Pantego Bible Church / Fort Worth, TX Pantego Bible Church is looking for a Worship Pastor.  General Responsibilities include working with the Senior Pastor, Media Director, Executive Pastor and others to create a worship “environment” each Sunday morning that invites people to meet the living God; partnering with the Media Director to create multi‐sensory experiences that engages people through all elements of a worship service; and exploring current music in order to bring fresh relevance to our church, while being sensitive to classic hymns (with contemporary arrangements) or timeless choruses. Read more. If your church is looking for a new staff member, take a few minutes to add your opportunity to our database (for free!) and we’ll include it here at the blog tomorrow!

NEW RESUMES ADDED

John is looking for a Children’s Ministry position. Bob is looking for Senior Pastor position. Rena is looking for a Stewardship posision. You can add your resume (for free!) right now! (and we’ll include it here tomorrow!) You can search and download all these resumes for free.  You just need to sign-in with your free account (it takes less than a minute to register). To get all the newest job openings as they happen, follow @churchjobs on Twitter.
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Staffing
Nelson Searcy gives his perspective on staff spouses: The key to avoiding issues with spouses (like so much else on a church staff) is 100% crystal clear communication from the beginning. In other words, no matter what you expect from the spouses of your staff, they need to know that before they’re hired. Read more here… What is your church’s policy on staff spouses?
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