I love our Family Ministry Team/Staff! I love our FM team! I can’t say this enough. I am incredibly honored to be leading a team with such passion and dedication for the glory of God in how we equip parents to be the primary spiritual providers of their families.
We have been building our FM team for the last three years. When I started as the family pastor, I had a lot to learn about leading a team, and still do. When I was the student pastor I was responsible of leading a team of 2 and now a team of 10 -11. There were more mistakes than I can ever count in the beginning. There have also been some amazing lessons learned in the midst of those mistakes.
This year our team has been rocked by PCS season. For those of you not familiar with PCS; it simply means that the Marine Corps moves a person or family to a new base (Permanent Change of duty Station). This year the Marine Corps will be moving over 90% of our #KidsMin staff. That was not a typo nor was it expected. Most of the PCS announcements were completely unexpected. In the midst of this crazy season God has given us a great opportunity to improve on the foundation that has already been laid by so many great leaders/servants.
One of the advantages that came from this “adventure” is it gave us the freedom to reevaluate how we hire our staff/team members. In the past we would hire a person to fill a position. Like most leaders/churches, when we discovered a staff would be leaving, we would look for someone to replace them. This model served us well for many years but we believe there could be a better way. We decided to spend more time hiring team members not position fillers.
We adjusted our interview process to compliment our new way of thinking. The first two interviews/conversations are designed to see if the person will be a good fit for the team. We do not discuss specifics of the job, pay, or specifics about the position. Instead, we spend our time hearing their story, discovering how God has gifted them and what their passions are. In the end, I might find someone is more than qualified to do the “job” but if they are not a good fit for the team then they will hate their job and the entire team will be miserable.
This is not a new idea… Jim Collins, author of Good to Great popularized the idea that before leaders can move their companies in the right direction, they need to make sure they have the right leadership team in place. Before I can fill the positions with the right people we have to first get the right people on the bus. This is the change.
I have learned that it is easier to teach a position than to teach a passion for the mission. I can’t teach someone to value what we value. But if they value what we value, then they will be willing to learn anything because they believe in where the church is going.
This sounds great in theory but is it difficult to accomplish? Yes! The tendency is always to start with, “what can you do for me”. But, if we can slow down the WHAT conversations and spend more time helping them understand our values and vision then both parties can make a more informed decision.
BE UPFRONT: Let the interviewee know from the beginning about your interview process. The first conversation we have is to let them know that “we do things a little different”. It’s fair for them to know upfront that we are looking for team members not position fillers. I want someone on our team that cares enough about the mission to trust the leadership to place them in the right place.
CARE MORE ABOUT THE PERSON THAN THE POSITION: Spend time getting to know their gifts, their strengths, their passions and the call that God has placed on their lives.
TAKE A FIELD TRIP: One of the best ways we determine if a person is a good fit for the team is by them spending time with the team. Earth shattering information, I know. Create moments for the potential new team member to spend time with your key team members. If you have the right people on your team, then they will probably do a better job at championing the mission and vision than the primary leader. I have learned that most of our staff decided to join our team because of a conversation they had with another team member.
SERVE B4 YOU LEAD: In order to determine if a person is the right fit for the team, we ask for them to be a regular volunteer in our family ministry. One of our staff values is that they have a servant’s heart. Its hard to determine their servant nature if they are not serving.
This is something that works for our team at this particular moment. I am sure that we will continue to tweek the process or even completely change it in the future. Find what works for your team and use it for the Glory of God.