Bad Help Isn’t Really Help

By Dave Anderson

Church Accounts Manager YCA

Sometimes you learn lessons the hard way.  I often do.  This is how I learned a valuable lesson about hiring people.  I once managed a large grocery store in St. Louis, MO that had almost 200 employees.  We were extremely short handed in the deli department, so I made the desperate decision to hire anyone that was interested.  The next warm bodies that walked in were going to start as soon as possible.  I couldn’t spend anymore time back there trying to help run it.

I hired three people that I normally would have never even considered.  What could go wrong? 

One nearly cut her finger off on a slicer costing me a work comp claim. Another was terrible with customers and called off more than she showed up, all of which just made my problems worse. The third warm body got upset over his paycheck and smashed a huge glass window.  He threatened to harm me and other employees before leaving the store. I had to add security until the police finally caught up with him.

In retrospect, closing the deli would have been a better option than hiring people just to fill positions.  None of them made my job any easier or helped me attract new customers.

The same is true of the church.  It is never a good idea to add staff just because you have a need, and someone is available.  Most often doing so only adds new problems.

Here are some things to consider before hiring any new staff:

1:            They will represent your church.  Everything they say in do, in person and online, how they act, and dress is a reflection     ********you and your church. 

2:            You and your church may be legally accountable for any lack of good judgement that they have.

3:            Hopefully they will draw people to your church, but a bad hire may push people out.

4:            You will be their boss. Are you prepared to mentor and correct them as needed? 

5:            Do you feel this person is really going to raise the effectiveness of your ministry or are they just an easy hire, warm body?

6:            Have they demonstrated a true call to this area of ministry and are taking steps to best equip themselves to  serve?

7:            Honestly answer this question, “Will you likely be firing or replacing this person in the next two years?”

It is better to not offer an area of ministry, than it is to have it done poorly.  Imagine parents meeting a kid’s or youth pastor that leaves a terrible impression, puts young people at risk, or posts something inappropriate online as a staff member of your church.  You will be the one to clean up the mess.

Take your time with each hire.  Don’t settle just because you feel like you desperately need help.  Bad help isn’t really help.

So, who do you hire?

1:            Candidates with education and experience are often the best option, but this is no guarantee.  Attitude and work ethic ********trump them every time.  It’s easier to train a motivated work horse than it is to push an educated stubborn mule.       ********Consider both.

2:            Find someone that feels like they would be a good fit for your team.  They won’t likely require a lot of supervision and are ********passionate about their area of responsibility.  It’s best if they are asking you for the job instead of you trying to convince ********them to take it.  I love hiring people that know more than me or those who will work harder than me to make an area of  ********ministry thrive.

3:            Ministry is hard.  It shouldn’t be just a job to them.  Their heart won’t be in it if it’s only about a paycheck. They won’t last.

I’m sure your thinking, “It’s almost impossible to find good people!” I agree.  Good help is hard to find, but dealing with the damage of poor staff is worse.  Pray for God to send staff that will elevate your ministry and truly be a help to you.

I love what Craig Groeschel says, “The best time to fire someone is before you hire them.”

Be picky.  Don’t settle. It’s better to intentionally build the Kingdom than to try and hold it together with cheap tape.

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