Thom S. Rainer on Who Should Select the Church Staff?

It is both a question and a frustration.

The question is often stated as the title of this post: Who should select the church staff?

The frustration takes place when different parties feel left out of the process. Sometimes it’s the pastor who is frustrated. Sometimes it’s a committee. Sometimes it’s the entire congregation.

After working with churches for over thirty years, I have seen these issues become points of unity, and I have seen these become points of divisiveness. As a consequence, I have developed the following guidelines. In some cases, polity determines the selection and hiring of staff, so there will obviously be exceptions.

  1. If the pastor has no say in the selection of staff, the church is asking for problems. Particularly with direct reports, the pastor will be working with these people day by day. If pastors feel they are left out of the process, tensions could naturally be the consequence. There are very few organizations anywhere other than some churches that hire direct reports for a supervisor without the supervisor’s input. It’s just not wise.
  2. If pastors do have unilateral authority, they still should seek input from others. I have been in situations where I had complete freedom to hire someone without consulting others. One of my most difficult hires took place when I did not seek counsel. I learned a painful lesson. Even if pastors can hire without the approval of others, it is good for these leaders to listen to others.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Thom S. Rainer