Why does it seem so difficult to find and hire the right people for church staff teams?
There are a number of relevant factors, from the latest trend of “Quiet Quitting” to the overall economy connected to the realities of supply and demand.
But one big reason is that it’s increasingly difficult for church leaders to confidently settle the job they believe is right for them.
Perhaps finding the right person for the right job has always been challenging for churches. Still, the complexity increases dramatically when the leaders are uncertain about what they are looking for.
Further, enough major cultural changes and impacts have occurred in recent years that it’s become far more difficult to know what the job really is (or will become) because positions keep changing.
It’s not because the church is wishy-washy; it’s because culture continually changes, so the position needs to adapt with it.
This is why the environment (the church and staff culture) is equally if not more important than the actual job.
A healthy church staff environment is worth its weight in gold for meaning, community, productivity, and enjoyment of your work.
Bottom line – It’s smart to seek the right church environment and staff culture over the perfect job.
Yet, the right job matters. So, of course, it does, but never underestimate the value of the overall environment.
Far too many church staff are miserable in their perfect job because the staff culture isn’t healthy.
Here’s the point:
It’s taking longer for sharp leaders to identify and find the right job that fits their calling, gifts, and passion. So how can we help them do that?
The following is a list of five ways to help you know if you are in the right job.
5 ways to know if it’s the right job for you.
Note: There are two ways to write this list.
- From the perspective of your current job
- From the perspective of the job you are seeking
I’m writing from the perspective of your current job, and you can easily translate that to a role you might be searching for.
1) You have a sense of peace and trust in a transparent environment.
No church staff culture is perfect, but if you instinctively trust the leaders and have peace about the level of transparency, you are in a place where you can thrive.
There are environments where things seem to be hidden, not maliciously or on purpose, but lacking open and transparent communication.
The problem with this kind of environment is that it’s difficult to cultivate trust.
As I indicated in the introduction, you can have the “perfect” job but be totally miserable if the environment is unhealthy or even toxic.
Tip: Assess the environment rather than critique or evaluate it.
Here’s what I mean, starting with a positive attitude (believing and looking for the best), what are the virtues and characteristics you value? Are they present? If they are there, there is no great value in focusing on the minor traits and small imperfections that all teams have.
2) You remain curious and hungry to learn.
Remember how many questions you asked when you first started your current job? Part of that is learning how things work, true, but the better part is your genuine curiosity.
Good logic asks, “How do things work here?” Genuine curiosity asks: “Why do they work this way?”
Both are good questions, but one leans toward function the other leans toward creativity.
The jobs that are best suited for you stimulate your curiosity and inspire you to want to learn more.
If you are bored, comfortable, or have stopped asking questions and taking risks, your job may once have been ideal for you, but it isn’t now.
It’s possible that it may be a personal struggle or some temporary funk, but sometimes as life changes, so do you, and it’s no longer the right job.
3) Your energy level matches the pace and the load of the job.
Each of us is wired differently; the right job for you will match your personal energy level. In addition, your job should actually energize you.
That doesn’t mean you don’t get tired by the end of the day, but that’s different than drained.
You are tired at the end of the day because of the energy you expend doing your work. That’s normal, and you are replenished and ready to go the next day. But when you start the day drained of energy, you need to assess why.
Every job has a different pace and load. That refers to the speed of the job and the weight you carry on your shoulders. Both determine the amount of pressure your job inherently carries with it. Does your job match your wiring?
There are other factors to consider, such as your physical health or personal life, but overall, it’s important that the pace and load of the job are well-suited for you.
4) Your calling, gifts, and passion align with your responsibilities, but you love the vision even more so!
There is no perfect job description. There are always a few responsibilities that you don’t prefer or like to do. But it can still match your calling, gifts, and passion.
You may be a “Jack of all trades but master of none.” I know a good number of “Jacks and Jills,” and they are highly valuable teammates. They happily thrive in several positions and do them all well.
But it’s more likely that you are wired for something uniquely suited for you.
The younger you are, it can take more time to find the job just right for you; give yourself some time. Try different things, don’t be in a rush. In what roles are you both productive and happy?
Above all, seek God’s voice as you prayerfully pursue the job that is just right for you. God gave you your calling and gifts, and the Holy Spirit fires up your passion, so it only makes sense to wait upon Him.
Your sense that God’s hand is on you in your work gives you confidence, resilience, joy, and Kingdom outcomes.
5) Your level of productivity and level of joy run in tandem.
I’ve already hinted at this one, but let’s drill down further.
Two important questions:
- How long can you do a job if you are productive but unhappy?
- What great value is there if you enjoy your work but not much happens because of it?
Both productivity and joy are important if you want to engage in meaningful work.
There are those days, of course, maybe even a season, where joy or productivity is lacking, but these times should not be sustained.
If they are, it’s important to discern why. And what can you do to change that?
Such as coaching, a change of perspective, specific training, an honest conversation, or rest?
If I could pray a blessing over you and your work, I’d pray that God’s hand be upon you in a healthy environment of trust and belief and that you are curious and hungry to learn and experience both productivity and joy! Amen!