I recently had an interesting conversation with a leader from a church of about 500. Their senior pastor had left and they wanted outside counsel to help determine whether a recent staff hire would be suitable to serve as the next senior leader. Their desire is to become a regional church of several thousand - which they may have the potential to be.

I agreed to help them and laid out a suggested process which included some testing to determine the wiring of the potential new senior leader. It was about $2,000. After board discussion they decided they didn't want to spend the money on testing - it was too expensive. In turn, I suggested that I was not the right person to help them.

This board is making a classic mistake. They are hoping for the right fit but are unwilling to make the small investment to determine that fit. In trying to save a few dollars they put their future at risk because if the fit is not right it is very painful to undo.

There is a principle at play here in hiring. You either pay now to determine whether an individual is the right one for the spot you are hiring for - or you pay more later - in pain, frustration or severance. Which is wiser? As one who has had to deal with poor fits on a number of occasions I know how painful it is to move someone out of a position where they didn't fit.

Getting the right fit is hard enough. Complicating it by not doing due diligence when one can is foolish - but frequently done. I hope my friends get it right! On becoming a regional church of several thousand? Unlikely with that kind of thinking.
  • Feb 16, 2013
  • Category: News
  • Comments: 0
Leave a comment