The 4 C’s of Church Staffing

Having the right team of top-level volunteers and/or paid staff is crucial to church growth. But how do you find the right people? It starts with asking the right questions.


Over the years I’ve been responsible for getting leaders in place, both paid and volunteer. Many of them have worked out great, but there are a few I’ve missed on.

I wish I could say I have this incredible interview process that separates the good candidates from the bad, but the truth is, I basically just went with my gut instinct.

There has to be a better way, right? Well, I think I’ve found one. Samuel Chand in his book Cracking Your Church’s Culture Code suggests asking these four questions.

  1. Competence: Can you do the job?

One of the seemingly easiest questions to answer is one of competence. However, this gets complicated because ministry is different than any other occupation. Most ministry positions require getting people to do things who aren’t getting paid to do them. I suggest looking for people who are leading others as a volunteer before you think about putting them on staff.

  1. Character: Can I trust you?

Character and trust are always important, but they’re exponentially important within a church. One person can easily destroy a church of thousands. Make sure you go above and beyond to find any character issues before you place someone in a position. This means checking references, stalking them on social media, and asking important questions to those who know them best.

  1. Chemistry: Can you fit in our culture?

There’s nothing more frustrating for a church staff than a person who doesn’t fit within the culture. On our staff, you have to know how to have fun, otherwise you’re not going to be hired or placed in a high-level volunteer position. Want to know if someone fits within your culture before you hire them? Take them on a weekend retreat with the staff and see how it goes.

  1. Capacity: Can you grow with us?

When you’re part of a growing organization, you can’t just hire for the here and now. You have to think long term. Is this a person who is going to be willing to put in the work to grow with us? A great indicator of this is what are they doing now to grow themselves? If they’re not reading books, blogs, and listening to podcasts, they’re probably not interested in growing.

Even though I’ve not used this method before, I can tell you that I can look at this list of questions and the people we’ve hired or put in volunteer positions and see why they’ve been successful or why they’ve been a failure.

These will definitely be four questions I will be asking in the future.

Are there any other questions you would add to this list? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below, and make sure to subscribe to the blog to get tips on leadership, church growth, and more delivered to your inbox each week.

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