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Discerning If an Outside Candidate is a Good Fit

By New Churches Team

If your church is facing a situation where your leadership pipeline is running dry and you need to start considering outside candidates to fulfill your staff roles, you will need to contemplate how to best select someone who fits your church’s vision and culture. This can be tricky, and you will need to make sure you prepare well to interview and get to know your candidates.

More Than the First Impression

Almost anybody can match your vision, values, and culture in a conversation. Especially if they interview well and have done any research about your organization. But it can take several months to know if they are really a good fit. Selection is incredibly important because two to three years after the campus launches, it will take on the personality of the campus pastor. Whatever they are passionate about, the congregation will become passionate about – marriage, missions, local outreach, etc. – because the pastor will have more personal stories about that passion and stories are powerful from the pulpit. Make sure you select someone who is passionate about the culture and values that are important to your church.

Discerning in the Interview

  1. Don’t ask questions in the form of the statement. Sometimes we have a tendency to reveal the answer we desire by the way we ask the question. 
  2. The top questions should be about vision fit. What do you know about our organization? How did you find out about the position? Why are you interested in our church and this particular role? 
  3. Asking what other churches they are interviewing with and why they are leaving their current church can be very telling. This can help you discern if their values line up with yours.
  4. Ask questions that get to their behavior. Such as, “If you had 20 additional staff hours to allocate but saw that another ministry needed it more than yours, what would you do?” Or, “How have you been generous outside of your tithe?” Also, “Tell me a story about this value that is important to our church. How have you developed your team? How are you spending your time?”


New Churches Team

NewChurches.com wants to help you build a strong foundation by connecting you with top experts in the field of church planting and multisite ministry, and by regularly providing you with the resources, information, and community you need to thrive as you multiply the mission of Matthew 28.


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