How to Spot a Bad Church Staff Opportunity

by Bob Sutton, Vanderbloemen Search Group

“…Know when to walk away, and know when to run.”  - The Gambler by Kenny Rogers

Let’s face it, not all church staff opportunities are worth taking. Have you ever noticed that certain fast food places always have a "Help Wanted" sign in the window? That should be some indicator that the problem isn’t with the employee but with the employer. Here are a few warning signs that might help you avoid taking a position that's not a good fit on a church staff:

1) The prospective church doesn’t treat you with the respect you deserve during the interview process.

This is a very telling sign in regards to how people are treated within the organization. A church staff that makes unreasonable demands about interview times, locations, etc., are giving you a view of the culture within.

2) Your interview/background questions are met with vague answers or they are unwilling to answer.

If you pose a question about the role that the interviewer can’t or doesn’t answer, make sure to follow up and dig when appropriate. Make sure to get a clear answer about why this role is needed. Ask what happened to the previous person in the role. The answer to that question may give you insight into if you will be a good fit or not.

3) The committee you meet with can’t agree on the vision for the position.

If the church staff and leadership don't agree, first watch the interaction and see if the disagreement is dealt with healthily. Secondly, if it is not resolved, don’t move forward! Don’t subject yourself to divided leadership. A divided church staff can create a confusing and frustrating work environment and hinder your ministry.

4) When researching, you discover the church has a high rate of turnover.

Does this church staff have a reputation of burning through employees? This is a question that must be asked, and a sufficient answer must be given. If not, do you want to join the list of those who formerly worked at this church? Ask the leadership about the high turnover rate.

Of course this is not an exhaustive list, so use your discernment as you work through the interview process.

Posted in Search Tips