Well, every time I’ve had to hire and fill a full-time children’s ministry position, God has opened up the door and provided just the right person… and usually in just the right time. The two children’s pastors I hired last year were already attending our church. The elementary coordinator I just hired I actually found on a website. So, let me share with you where I looked and what tools I used. I’ll wrap up this post with a personal opinion and kick it back to you for your thoughts.
One site I particularly like is www.churchstaffing.com. The thing I like about this one is the volume of traffic this site gets. I posted the position (I think it cost about $200 for 2-3 months)Ã‚Â I was hiring here and got close to 40 resumes within 6 weeks. In addition to the emails I got from prospects, I also had access to the resume database.
Another great site is www.youthspecialties.com. It also has high volume. The only downside is that the majority of people who post for a children’s ministry job also posted for every other job available and for me that’s a turnoff (I know, I’m a idealist snob). This is; however, where I found my elementary coordinator.
Other decent sites include www.churchjobs.net, www.ministrysearch.comÃ‚Â as well as www.kidology.org. There are others that you can find with a simple google search.
Okay, here is my opinion though. I realize that there may be some people who whole-heartedly disagree with me, but I’m open to a discussion. I feel that if you are hiring for a high capacity staff member, you best bet is to hire someone who is already plugged in and serving somewhere. I don’t think that it’s okay to start shopping for a staff person at all the churches down the street (that’s just too close). I know this isn’t always the case, but sometimes there are reasons that people are “looking for a new job” and it’s not the best. Initially I tend to think that it’s wrong to steal someone away from another church since we’re all on the same team. However, I know that if I was happily plugging away at a church, I would at least want to know if the opportunity of a lifetime is available and not be disqualified from the chance just because I’m already at a church. If I’m really looking for the best, more than likely the best aren’t sitting around looking for a new job… they’re out there doing it!
My brother is an international consultant. Two years ago he had the privilege of helping start Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, a multi-billion dollar start-up. Part of his job was to place CEO’s CFO’s, COO’s for this new organization. I know that their strategy was to find the absolute best leaders in the business world by recruiting them away from their current post. I know that the business world can be a little more cold and… well… business like, but I feel the same strategy can be used when looking to fill a high capacity ministry position while being sensitive to the fact that recruiting a candidate may put another church in a bind until a replacement is found.
I’d be interested in your thoughts? Did I cross a line? Let me know.
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As a missionary, we often run into the same problem here on the field. Nearly always, the best and most qualified national workers are already working for another ministry. There is often a reason why someone is unemployed or looking around (no experience, personality issues, etc..) I currently need to bring someone in for our “Give a Kid a Christmas” project and it is very touchy.
I recently met with someone who is working at a church and asked him to tell me about his vision for ministry and his call without telling him why I was interested. Then, I did not talk about money or any “perks”, just the vision, to see if it matched up, and I told him about the opening. I then asked him to get back to me if he was interested, to talk about the details. This way I didn’t feel I was manipulating.
It is a fine line, and I have seen it done the wrong way…
Seminaries are also a great place to find staff, even if you are not looking for someone fresh out of seminary. Usually the seminaries have a database of alumni that are looking for positions.
The best may not be yet in a paid position, but may be working in a volunteer capacity. Everyone has to start somewhere and you can’t get the experience needed without someone giving you you’re first position.
I sincerely wonder how people become “high-capacity” and “well-qualified” if no one will hire them because they are not already working in full-time ministry. Someone gave you your first position. What makes you think that your ministry is so important that you are excluded from investing in and creating the next generation of leadership?
My two cents: If you want to find someone dedicated to YOUR ministry, and YOUR church, and you don’t want them leaving YOU at the drop of a hat, don’t try to hire people who are already employed by churches. If you require full-time experience, you require someone who has been willing to leave a church before. And they will certainly be willing to do it again. Nothing wrong with that, but most potential employers seem to want to have it both ways. It doesn’t work that way, and in this circumstance it is you, and not the job-seekers, who are entitled
I hire both types. Actually, my last 3-4 hires were high capacity volunteers who were going above and beyond in their role. When the positions became available, they were at the top of my list. However, I’ve also had great success hiring someone who was already employed elsewhere. It’s perfectly normal and one was isn’t better than the other. Honestly, we all should be on the same team. Over the last 5 years, I’ve had dozens of offers to explore. I had glad to get the offers – it wasn’t weird or secretive. I often shared the offers with my manager because that’s the kind of relationship I had with him. I just recently left my church of 8 years to go to a church in AZ. I left in good standing with my church in TX and love the staff/leaders there. I don’t think that anyone in AZ is concerned that I’ll walk away… it just happens. People stay and people go. If it’s time for someone on my team to go, we celebrate it. This is normal/healthy (but I know every church doesn’t act like this).