The #1 key to a great church hire

You’ve probably experienced the cost of a bad hire. The cost of time, loss of production, search costs, etc., can really add up quickly. That’s not even counting the emotional cost of the employee that didn’t work out, and their family, and the relationships that were built at the workplace. That makes the responsibility of hiring the right person the first time incredibly important.

There are many very important aspects to making a good hire. They include a good job posting, posting to the right places, reference calls, résumé review, the interview process, crafting the right job description, prayer, more prayer, and many more.

However, one key stands out above the others. What is it? It’s your gut.

Say what?, you’re asking. My what? That’s right: your gut.

After you’ve done your homework, after you’ve completed the interviews, after you’ve looked at evaluative tests, after you’ve prayed and prayed some more, make sure that you follow your gut. There are times when I look at a candidate and everything is perfect. They have a great résumé, great references and a great personality — but I realize that there’s something holding me back. It could be chemistry with me personally; it could be fit on the team; it could be overall organizational cultural fit — call it what you will.

But, at the end of the day, if my gut says this isn’t going to work, then I trust that’s the Holy Spirit leading and guiding me to the best decision.

Sometimes your gut will also stop you when you’re being impulsive. If you hire regularly, you know the pull to fill an open spot quickly, which leads to your willingness to lower your bar just to fill the opening. That corners-cutting tactic rarely, if ever, pays off. And your gut will tell you that.

A friend of mine hired a lady who had written down several great references, including me. She was fantastic in her interviews and had a résumé that was second to none. My HR friend hired her and then called me — one of her references — after the fact. What he didn’t know was that I knew of some major character issues with this person that would cause me to give her a very poor reference, along with a strong recommendation to not hire her. Unfortunately, it was too late for him — he had already hired her. As I spoke with him, he said: “You know, everything did seem too good to be true.”

That was my friend’s gut talking to him. How did that hire turn out? Well, those same character issues came up at my friend’s workplace, and she was fired within six months.

Friends, do your homework. Pray, and then pray some more. But then, at the end of the day, follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit through the use of … your gut.

As Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways (hires) acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Leadership 360 – Leading for Him, through you, to all.

 Eric Rojas loves his role as the executive pastor of Christ Community Church in St. Charles, IL, where he oversees a staff of 120 and serves alongside Senior Pastor Jim Nicodem. He has been on staff at CCC since 2000.

During his 20+ years of ministry, Rojas has served in churches as a youth pastor, adult ministries pastor, small groups pastor, associate pastor, worship pastor and men’s pastor. He is a contributing author for Group Publishing’s Men’s Ministry in the 21st Century and has written for various magazines and websites.

Rojas also serves the church-at-large through consulting and seminar presenting.

He has been married to his wife, Rachel, for 22 years. They have 3 children — Luke, 21; Adam, 19; and Chloe, 17. A man of faith, Rojas believes that next year is the year the Cubs will finally win the World Series.


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