When Leaders Fall

This year has been another year marked by headlines of church leaders being removed from their leadership positions due to misconduct. However, this year the stories have been even more notable because of the prominence of many of these pastors and also the nature of the misconduct. These abuses of power and misconduct hurt not […]

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Give Thanks

1 Thessalonians 5:15-18 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Coming back from the Gospel Alliance gathering, most of […]

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The theme of this year’s Gospel Alliance gathering hosted at Faith Church was “Love and Justice.” The gathering consisted of sessions that encouraged church leaders to keep the call of the church to be inclusive of all ethnic groups (Revelation 5:9-10; Ephesians 2:13-16) and marked by love and justice while waiting continually for our God (Hosea 12:6). There […]

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Disability Ministry: The Church’s Great Frontier

I write this month not only as a worship leader in a congregation, but also as the provider of Spiritual Services for an organization that offers services for people with mental and physical disabilities. One of my responsibilities in this position is to stay in conversation with congregations and leaders about ministering to people with […]

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Strengthening Churches

Sitting in the middle of a church one night as a young girl, I watched as passionate people yelled and argued, some cried, as their church unity had weakened. These people could not get along. A split followed, a new church planted and young children looked around wondering why people could not just love one […]

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Don’t Give Up

I just passed the 30-year mark of full-time ministry to my calling from the Lord. I cannot believe I just wrote the number 30! Often times over the past 30 years I have wanted to quit, bail, run, hide, stop, move, etc. Ministry is hard. However, I can now say with confidence, quitting is almost […]

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Strong Leadership Development Systems

Encouraging Reminders for Effective Leaders Here are some simple reminders a mentor gave to me years ago as snapshots of some of the things effective leaders do. Please share these ideas with younger leaders in your sphere of influence and share your stories connected to these ideas.Have fun! Know the difference between leading and managing.Warren […]

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Singleness, Marriage, and the Church

Through the years I have heard many people claim that the contemporary American church does not know “what to do” with single people and often either intentionally or unintentionally marginalizes them. Sermons on marriage are preached and special marriage classes are offered, and churches have numerous ministries that focus on children and families; these are […]

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Do Something Dangerous

One of our family’s favorite movies is “Dudley Do-Right” based on a cartoon with a Canadian Mountie as the main character. The Canadian Mountie is a legendary figure with “Maintien le Droit,” or “uphold the right” as his motto. The responsibilities of the Mountie called for bravery, heroism, and strength. They were fearless and they […]

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How to Make Smart Staffing Decisions

Three weeks ago I participated in my first Purpose Driven Church Conference in Lake Forest, CA with Pastor Rich Warren as the host.  Wow! Practical, purposeful, encouraging and inspiring with lots of ideas shared. In this post I simply share one of the 45 minute breakout sessions dealing with choosing the right leaders as staff. […]

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Three weeks ago I participated in my first Purpose Driven Church Conference in Lake Forest, CA with Pastor Rich Warren as the host.  Wow! Practical, purposeful, encouraging and inspiring with lots of ideas shared. In this post I simply share one of the 45 minute breakout sessions dealing with choosing the right leaders as staff.  

“An employer who hires any fool that comes along is only hurting everybody concerned.”  Pr. 26:10

“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.”  Pr. 21: 5 (NLT)



  • Hire slow, fire fast.

“The stupidest leadership mistake I’ve made is hiring too fast and waiting too long to fire.”  -Tony Morgan.

  • Hire internally motivated, low maintenance staff!
    • Problem solvers
    • People magnets
    • Proactive
    • Probe your process (look internal first; “re-potting” of employees if you can; then look outside you leadership development pipeline)
    • Pioneer New Ideas
  • Bad hiring decisions are common and costly.

“As much as 80% of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions.  If the mistake is caught within six months, the cost of replacing that employee is still going to cost you two and one-half times the person’s salary and you’ve succeeded at lowering staff morale.”  (Saddleback HR Director)

  • Understand the pay me now or pay me later principle. (Pray and perform due diligence with candidates)
  • Never make a hiring decision by yourself.  (Be especially vigilant when hiring friends and family members into your system)

  • Understand the 6 C’s of smart staffing decisions.
    • Calling from God (can they really articulate it?)
    • Character (Integrity, honesty, humility, EQ, soft skills)
    • Competency (Job skills, hard skills)
    • Capacity (Leadership lid, coachable, capacity to learn and grow)
    • Chemistry (Cringe test, fit with existing team – trust your first impression)
    • Culture (DNA of church, vision, values)
  • Hire from within if at all possible.
    • Get a known quantity
    • Already on board with the vision



    1. Start with the end in mind (right to left thinking).  Use a written process that…
      • Describes the job description
      • Explains the expectations of the job
      • Is clear about key responsibility areas
      • Lists the competencies needed to fulfill the job
      • Has a scorecard – What does success look like?
    2. Develop an interviewing process.
      • Ask tough questions (moral and ethical)
      • Ask behavioral questions (what have they actually accomplished?)
      • Meet sooner rather than later to keep your process moving (respects all parties)
      • Hidden secret – Interview the spouse
    3. Never negotiate the critical issues.  (Values, culture, character, doctrine, ministry philosophy)
    4. Always assess the candidate.
      • Test them (MMPI, DISC, SF 2.0, CDAT, Myers-Briggs, Thinking Wave Length, LEAD etc)
      • Things your organization needs to know about them (Wiring, background, work style, passions, personality, values, work pace, internal or external motivation, MAC or PC?)
      • You are looking for people who are strong where you are weak
    5. Always check background references.
      • Go 2-3 deep from original names given
      • Ask the most important question:  Would you hire them again?
    6. Observe the candidate in action at their current environment and at yours.
      • Casual, social, competitive and spiritual
      • Have them perform 
    7. Use the larger network.
      • Find someone you know who can vouch for them.
      • Beware of “He’s a good guy”

I hope you received a nugget or two to apply to your ministry context as you hire more leaders.

(Minor Edits Keith Korver)
(Purpose Driven Church Conference June 2018)