There’s a movie entitled “Miracle” that came out in 2004 that tells the story of the 1980 USA hockey team and their journey to winning a gold medal at the Olympics. Towards the beginning of the movie, the head coach, Herb Brooks, is in the process of choosing his team for the Olympics. There are plenty of people on the Olympic committee offering their opinions on who Coach Brooks should add to the roster. They suggest the best scorers, the best defenders, and the best passers. But finally, Coach Brooks silences them all with one line. He says, “I’m not looking for the best players. I’m looking for the right ones.”
I truly believe this concept is a great one to implement when it comes to building teams and hiring staff within a church. Sure someone can be “the best” at something, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best fit for your team, your staff, your culture, and your church.
When it comes to hiring people on your church staff, you want to make sure you’re doing your due diligence as you interview, making sure you choose the right people for the right roles. As you go about the interview process, there are three specific categories I believe you should be looking at as you evaluate potential candidates for your church staff. Let’s look at those three categories now.Character
I would argue that the most important thing you should be paying attention to in someone you’re interviewing is their character. You can teach someone to acquire skills. You can help them adapt to your culture to a certain extent, but someone’s character should already be established and well-rooted in Christ. This being said, make sure you’re working questions into your interview process that helps you learn more about someone’s character. These are usually scenario-based or story-based questions, so you can get examples from someone’s past experiences to get a good picture of their character.Competency
Obviously, because this is a job interview, you’re looking for someone who has a track record of competency in the role they’re interviewing for. You want to make sure they have most of the skills that are needed to do the job well, and that their past work experience is helpful and relevant to the position they’re considering. But remember, just because you’re looking for someone competent doesn’t mean you are looking for someone perfect. Maybe the candidates you’re considering don’t have every single skill you’re looking for. This is when you realize you can teach them if they’re willing to learn. The important thing is that they have a strong sense of competency.Culture
Each church, and even more specifically, each church staff, has a very specific culture. This culture will be made up of the environment in your church staff, the values of your staff, and the relationships that exist between your church and your staff. It might be difficult for you to come up with specific questions to figure out if someone will fit in your culture well. This is more of an area that you are looking at as you listen to their responses in the interview, as you introduce candidates to other staff members, and as you observe the behavioral and conversational patterns of the candidate. I know it sounds like a gut-instinct kind of thing because that’s exactly what it is. Usually, you’ll know rather quickly if someone is going to be a good culture fit or not.
I hope that the next time you interview someone for an open position in your church staff, you’ll consider their character, their competency, and their culture-adaptability. This way, you can take Coach Brooks’ advice and find someone who is the right fit for your staff and your church as a whole.