10 Guidelines to Help You Find Staff and Build Culture

Recently I had the opportunity to teach at Exponential West. There were leaders from all over the country, churches small and large, and we talked about how to build a great team, and then how to keep a great team by paying attention to culture.

Here is the short version of what we talked about (and you don’t even have pay!)…

When Looking for Staff… 

  1. A Resume is Worthless — most of what matters in hiring someone is not found on a resume.
  2. You Can’t Train Character — Give your life to helping people find Jesus and reform their character. But when you are hiring, you need people who have proven integrity, especially with their tongue, money, and sex.
  3. Social Media is Your Friend — I’m giving you permission to stalk your next employee! If it’s on the internet, it is public. Look at their online persona to see how they think, what they think is funny, and how they treat others.
  4. Hire From Within — You know what you are getting; you know they understand your vision and philosophy; you know that the “chemistry” question has already been answered.
  5. Find Fresh Eyes — Occasionally you should not hire from within because you need a fresh infusion of ideas.
  6. Find Leaders, Not Doers — You have limited dollars, so you should typically spend your staff dollars on leaders who can build teams, inspire followers, and reproduce themselves over and over again.
  7. Pay Well — you don’t want people to come because of money, stay because of money, or leave because of money.

Building a Great Culture… 

  1. Make Time for the Three S’s — every week, carve time with your staff or leadership team to do three things: A) Tell Stories of what God is doing through His people, B) Spotlight an individual to let them get to know them and celebrate their unique contribution, and C) Give inside information (Stuff) or training that will add value to your team.
  2. Offer Employees Flexibility — Some positions need set hours (i.e. facility care shifts or preschool teachers). However, most positions should be flexible, focusing on outcomes (did you accomplish your job?) and not on specific hours (how long did you sit at your desk?).
  3. Being Fair is Not a Priority — Make decisions based on your vision and priorities–not based on fairness. News alert: I spend more time with my wife than any other woman. Why? Because she is my priority.

What would you add to either of these lists?

I’ll be expanding on each of these topics in my upcoming book (to be published by Thomas Nelson in July 2014). 

Read more from Tim here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tim Stevens

Tim Stevens

For more than 17 years, I have been on staff with Granger Community Church. It has been a privilege to watch the church grow from a congregation of 350 meeting in a movie theater–to a world-impact ministry reaching more than 6,000 locally and tens of thousands around the world. Outside of my family, the most important place I invest my leadership, time and energy is to the staff and congregation at Granger.

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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
 
— Ken
 
Thank you for this article! I'm the pastor of a small church. My gifting is in teaching and we are known for aiding Christians in becoming Biblically literate. Visitor's often comment on God's presence being very real in our services. But we just don't seem to be growing. I have some soul-searching, etc. to do and this article provides some solid ground from which to proceed. Thank you again.
 
— Jonathan Schultheis
 

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