Hiring Resources

By R. Paige Mathews

So, you need to hire a church worker—what is your first step? Here are some books and Web sites that will be helpful in your search.

Job Descriptions

Creating a comprehensive job description is the place to start in any church worker search. The following books provide a framework for writing a job description unique to your situation.

The Big Book of Job Descriptions for Ministry by Larry Gilbert and Cindy Spear (Gospel Light Publications, 2002).

Job Descriptions and Duties for Church Members and Workers by Herbert W. Byrne (Xulon Press, 2005).

Staff Your Church for Growth: Building Team Ministry in the 21st Century by Gary L. McIntosh (Baker Books, 2000).

Placement Services

Once the job description is prepared, you might choose to turn the search over to an organization to find candidates for your position. A placement service recommended by a number of executive pastors is Shepherds Staff. In addition, you might post your position on one or more church staff Web sites.

Shepherds Staff: www.theshepherdsstaff.com





Obtaining References

Contacting references is a must in any search. It’s also critical that you ask great questions and know the areas to explore. Two resources to assist with this are:

Ten Critical Questions to Ask When Checking References by Miriam W. Berger, available at: www.drgnyc.com/List_Serve/Jan24_2005.htm.

How to Ask Job Reference Questions, available at: www.ehow.com/how_2065251_ask-job-reference-questions.html.


There are a number of testing tools available to help you understand whether your candidate possesses the temperament and behavioral skills necessary to fulfill your job description. While this information is extremely helpful and is used in a large number of hiring contexts, no single instrument should serve as the sole basis for a hiring decision. The following resources may prove useful:

DiSC Personal Profile System is a behavioral styles indicator. A report may be purchased at www.faith-action.com/DiSC.htm.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter. These approaches to temperament analysis have been around for a long time and are based upon the work by Carl Jung. A free analysis may be obtained by having the candidate go to this Web site—www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp—answering the questions, and then forwarding you the results.

A formal Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator report may be purchased at www.mbticomplete.com.

StrengthsFinder was created by the Gallup Organization. The StrengthsFinder tool is both a book and an online assessment tool based upon the original research for the first publication, Now, Discover Your Strengths, by Marcus Buckinghham (Free Press, 2001). You must purchase the book to get the online access code to complete the instrument. The current version is titled, Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath (Gallup Press, 2007).

FIRO-B primarily is a tool for analyzing interpersonal relationships; it may be purchased and completed online. The Web site is www.discoveryourpersonality.com/Firob.html.

Background Checks

Checking a candidate’s background is an absolute must in our culture to protect the integrity of your ministry and your children. Always use a paid service; don’t try and get this done for free, and watch for scam artists. Two possible sources are:



Behavioral Interviews

Once the process moves to the interview, you will want to ask behaviorally based questions. To help prepare your behaviorally based questions, you should consult the following:

The Complete List of Behavioral Interview Questions, by Alex Rudloff. This document can be accessed at http://blog.emurse.com/2007/05/21/complete-list-of-behavioral-interview-questions/.

An additional resource can be viewed at www.quintcareers.com/sample_behavioral.html.


The final step in the hiring process is to offer a compensation package to the candidate. What is a fair salary for your area? What benefits should be offered? Again, there are some excellent resources to address these questions.

2010-2011 Compensation Handbook for Church Staff, by Richard R. Hammar (Your Church Resources/Christianity Today International, 2009). This resource provides a wealth of data based upon national surveys. You can find examples of compensation packages based upon your geographic region, church size, and various affiliations.

You may also subscribe to an online compensation comparison service provided by the National Association of Church Business Administration. This reference tool is continually updated. The Web site is www.ministrypay.com.

R. Paige Mathews is president FIA Consulting (www.faith-action.com) and director for the Church Planting Assessment Center (www.churchplanting4me.org).


A convenient, 12-page download that includes all seven articles about Hiring a New Minister–and which may be reproduced up to 10 times for church and ministry needs–can be purchased at www.standardpub.com.

You Might Also Like

1 Comment

  1. October 19, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Thanks for good stuff

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *