There should be no other group of people on Earth who have better communication skills than the Church. Yet there is a pattern that has been sweeping through America; the local church is failing to properly communicate to candidates who are applying to their open positions. Sometimes, churches are not even responding at all to their applicants. The purpose of this article is to help the Church develop a sincere value of communication. To embrace it, uphold it, and fervently execute on it.
There are some very common interview questions that have been circling around the Church that simply should not be asked. We get to hear feedback from candidates a lot since we are daily involved with pastoral and church staffing. Recruiting pastors is a tough... but it's even tougher for them as candidates to go through this extensive process. We urge you not to ask these questions but also want to help you phrase questions in a way that gets you the information that you are seeking.
For the last six months Churchology has been working tirelessly to work out it’s calling. It has been amazing to see what that calling has turned into and how it has deepened. Initially, Churchology was started so that it could identify laborers for the harvest. What a calling! Enough for me to quit my job and slash our personal living expenses in half. Real Kingdom work and one that I am super passionate about.
But what we didn’t know is that God would lay other major callings on the shoulders of our organization. I want to provide an update to those who have been praying for us.
The Interview Process
We quickly learned that communication between local churches and candidates is lacking. Both parties are approaching the interview as if it were a first date rather than a premarital counseling session. This leads to both parties selling themselves to one another rather than getting down to the deep and dark issues of our hearts. Candidates are accepting job offers blindly without knowing who they are dealing with or what their responsibilities are. After the honeymoon phase wears off new hires realize that they are not aligned with the local church in key areas. Ministry philosophy, doctrinal beliefs and chemistry are some the areas of conflict that ultimately lead to resignations. This is a huge problem and large contributor to turnover in the Church. We’ve created an interview strategy that forces both the candidate and local church to deep dive into one another. We’re seeing fruit from this and are receiving a lot of affirmation that this tool is necessary and effective.
Other Pastoral Staffing Agencies
When I learned that every single pastoral staffing company in America operated on a 33% retained fee I about fell out of my chair. To my knowledge we are still the only 100% contingency fee organization. This model is way more lucrative and advantageous for the Church. It allows the client to incur zero risk and they are free to go about their normal recruiting efforts. The response to our model has been overwhelmingly positive from the market… or in this case the Church. Many times, churches are frustrated with our competitors because they find that the candidates they are generating are better than the service that they already paid for. They are forced to submit their own candidates to the agency and abide by their rules. Churchology’s mission is to reform the pastoral staffing industry. And to our surprise… we are already seeing results. Today we learned that three other companies have conformed to our model. One of these competitors is amongst the largest pastoral staffing agencies in the country. We are delighted that God has already used Churchology to cause this change and we are praying that He would continue to use us.
Churchology is on a mission and we’re not going to stop until we have run the race with all our energy and resources. Thank you for your prayers, thoughts and encouragement as we continue to execute on our calling. Please continue to pray that we stay strong during the race and passionately focused on this mission.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to receive a cover letter and application from a heroic and prominent leader of the Bible? The normal resume flow consists of applicants professing their accomplishments and experience. But what if your HR team received an application from someone like Peter, an original disciple who is known for his denial of Christ.
Businesses and organizations realize that they have to hire people based on the applicant mentality of "putting your best foot forward." Like you, we get it. It's easier to mask our mistakes and flaunt our accomplishments in order to show that we are the best candidate for the job. On the other hand we also understand the possible frustration that comes with having to accept that mentality.
Is it easier to fall victim to this process and turn a blind eye to the potential risks of hiring your "everyday" applicant or would you rather hear it all and have the added weight of their struggles and past failings to manage and assess the risk yourself? Is there a third option?
Take a look at this cover letter from Peter.
Would your church hire him?
Dear member of Christ,
I am extremely interested in the pastoral position that your church is looking to fill and I believe that I would make a valuable addition to your team.
I left my profession as a fisherman to follow Jesus Christ, one of the the greatest known Rabbis in all of history. As one of his 12 disciples, I gained leadership and teaching skills that align me with your beliefs and with the qualifications you are seeking.
I have a vast amount of experience when it comes to preaching the Gospel and have been personally trained and commissioned by Jesus Christ to make disciples of all nations.
I had a major role in the revival at Jerusalem where I was the keynote speaker. Three thousand were baptized and added to the community of believers that day. I also partnered with Christ to heal a man over 40 who was crippled from birth, ministered healing to the sick as my shadow fell upon them and was called a pillar of the church by Paul of Taurus.
Though I am known for these miraculous signs and wonders I am also well known for my public denial of Jesus. I have struggled with insecurity, fear and shame because of what I did but it has taught me the grace of God and the depths of His unconditional love.
I think I would be a great asset to your already blessed and established church community and hope to help you maintain your outstanding reputation and join you in reaching the world with the love of Jesus.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
Pretty impressive, right? Does his honesty about his public denial of Christ cause you to doubt or question his character? Or are you appreciative that he included that information?
Say you decide to take the next step in the application process and set up a phone interview. During the phone interview, you hear more of his heart. He tells you about his insecure and impetuous past and his impulsive tendencies. You then find out that he has a criminal past and was arrested for proclaiming the Gospel...but this led to the conversion of 5,000 people.
What do you think?
Would you hire Peter to be your pastor?
What if there were a third party in this process...
A service that could handle the good, the bad and the ugly of an applicant and assess the risk themselves. A service that would use their discernment to determine if Peter would be more of an asset than a liability to your church community?
Wouldn't that be nice?