Whether looking for volunteers in the church or hiring paid staff, we need to get staffing right — the right person for the right ministry at the right time. We need to ask if this is not only the person of God’s choosing but also the ministry He wants our church to do. When it is, staffing will be about more than filling positions.
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Let’s break church staffing down to make sure we get it right:
1) The Right Person
Is the person spiritually gifted for this type of ministry? Is it not only a good fit, but the best fit for both the person and the ministry? Is the person passionate about serving in this ministry? If not, you could be looking at frustration, disillusionment, burnout, and a low retention rate. People will put more into what they are doing when there’s a fit.
Is this the person of God’s choosing? Remember that God doesn’t always choose whom we would think. See 1 Samuel 16:1-12 and 1 Corinthians 1:20-31. Learn from Jesus who spent time in prayer before choosing the twelve disciples (Lk. 6:12-13).
2) The Right Ministry
Is the ministry needed? Does it have a purpose? Is it something God wants you to do, not merely something you’ve always done? If not, you may be spending a lot of time, energy and resources on something with a low spiritual yield. People are more prone to willingly serve when they feel it is a good cause and will make an eternal difference.
3) The Right Time
You could have the right person but at the wrong time due to the season of their lives, their schedule, other responsibilities or something else God has for them now. You could have the right ministry but at the wrong time. Sometimes we can rush ahead of God and people and then wonder why nobody wants to come on-board for such a good endeavor. Is the timing right? If not, you could be facing a low approval rating with God and man. People are more likely to join in when they sense God is leading both them and the church.
Looking for the right person for the right ministry at the right time elevates the way we do staffing as it is no longer about merely filling a position. We will understand that pleas of desperation from the pulpit and begging people to serve aren’t necessary. We will not make threats (i.e., discontinuing a ministry if no volunteers come forward). We will guard against pulling people in out of obligation or guilt. We will no longer nab people in the parking lot. Rather, we will put the time and personal touch into recruiting. We will pray it through until God raises up people to serve. We will communicate higher expectations and lay out a vision.
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