When hiring for a position on your ministry staff team, what are the key attributes you look for?

How you answer this question as a leader in ministry will dictate the type of team and culture you hope to build within your ministry. If you are not clear on what kind teammate you want, you’ll hire just about anyone that looks good on paper and can say the right things.

To help you get some insight into how we hire here in Summit Family Ministries, I’ve provided a few insights to the process and some of the attributes we look for. This list is in no way exhaustive, but you get the point.

  1. Mission Alignment: Do they align with your core values? Not only do they align with those values, but does it excite them? Even if it’s new to them, does the idea of jumping in with a new approach get them excited about learning?
  2. Team Player. Do they care more about a movement of the gospel in the next generation than they do their movement up the leadership ladder? Nothing will suffocate the culture of a team more than an isolated staff member trying to do their own thing.
  3. Will they be emotionally invested in the position? Will they own their role or are they managing someone else’s vision? You know that kid that doesn’t take care of his brand new car he got for his 16th birthday because his parents bought it for him? Yeah, that kid drives me crazy. But then there’s the kid that drives a 1986 Chevy Blazer that he purchased with his own money…and it’s 100% spotless. It’s because he’s invested in the vehicle. If they’re going to be on the team, we want them invested heart and soul.
  4. Are they willing to empower God’s people to do the work of the ministry, or do they want to try to do it all themselves? (See Ephesians 4) Our model of ministry is not “build a ministry around one great leader”(the Student/Kid Pastor), but build a great ministry around a team of leaders (volunteers!). We want a mindset of “we’re in the trenches together.” A true leader empowers the people to lead well, not stifles them.
  5. Do they take care of themselves spiritually, emotionally and physically? I think most pastors would agree with the first two (caring for themselves both spiritually and emotionally), but for some reason we tend to leave the 3rd off the list. It’s possibly because 1/3 of us aren’t taking care of ourselves either. I recently read an article from my friend Jesse Jones that would be worth your time reading on this from a business standpoint. To quote Jesse but re-word it just a bit “building a successful ministry won’t do you any good if you ruin your life in the process.”
  6. Look at their family. How they lead their family will be an amazing reflection of how they’ll lead the ministry. If they can’t lead in the home, anything they do within the ministry will ultimately be a facade that will come crashing down at some point.
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