Personnel are not Benevolence

Personnel are not Benevolence

Church staff members have the most important job in the world – teaching and leading church members to tell others the Good News of God’s love. Since church staff have the most important job in the world, there should be some pretty high performance expectations of some pretty qualified and capable people. Church work is not for sissies – it demands the best and brightest. To have less is to imply that God’s message is not that important, that anyone can do it, even caustic personalities.

Churches are commanded to help everyone: those with emotional scars, the hurting and even those who do the hurting. But too often I’ve seen churches decide that the only way they can help is to actually hire that person as church staff. That is wrong.

  • That person’s problems will NOT be resolved by working for a church (in fact, they might be made worse)
  • Existing staff will see that the church hire “just about anyone” and it will degrade employee morale
  • Members who know the situation will continue to feel pity for this person (and have the same feelings toward other staff) and members who don’t know will wonder why the church continues to hire “5s and 6s when they should have 9s and 10s”
  • Society will see the church as a place for “losers” and want nothing to do with it.

I realize these statements are generalizations but there is some truth to them.

I challenge church leaders to stop hiring charity cases and instead hire the most outstanding people they can find. The church can and must continue to help people in need by giving them food, paying for rent and utilities, helping with medical bills, providing counseling and comfort. But the church cannot and must never be an employment agency.

The church, more than ever, needs quality and charisma (and by inference must be willing to pay appropriate compensation). The church must set exceedingly high standards for its employees but also for its members. That kind of expectations will naturally draw other high-standard people (both as staff and members) because people inherently want to be part of something really great.


Lead On!