Monday, February 18, 2013 11:09 AM

Hiring Without Regrets 3

Monday, February 18, 2013 11:09 AM
Monday, February 18, 2013 11:09 AM

Over the years I have had experiences related to staffing that have taught me some sobering truths.

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Monday, February 18, 2013 11:13 AM

Hiring Without Regrets 4

Monday, February 18, 2013 11:13 AM
Monday, February 18, 2013 11:13 AM

Using A Ministry Position Analysis (part 4 of 4)

My golf instructor recently made an astute observation about my mediocre golf game. He said, “Russ, you use what I call the ‘hit and hope method’ because what you do is step and hit the ball without much consideration and you just hope it turns out alright.” [This is part 4 of Hiring Without Regrets.] There are many words that come to my mind when I think about what I’ve learned about hiring the right people nearly every time but “hope” is not one of them. However, in my coaching and consulting around the world this is the word I often hear used by a staff or team that is having some difficulty. Leaders will say things like, “Well, we did not know her well but we hoped she was the right person.”, or “No, he did not have any of the experience we needed, but we like him and we hoped he could grow into the role.”. What I pray has happened over the past four weeks is that you have grown in your understanding of what it takes to make the right hire every time.

As we discussed last week you should conduct a Ministry Position Analysis (MPA) on every position in your church, whether you are currently hiring for that position or not. An MPA is used for far more than simply hiring the right people. Once an MPA is done, you’ll use it in a variety of ways, including:

Future Staff Selection. Once you understand what a position entails, you can make an appropriate selection by matching position requirements with an applicant’s experience, spiritual gifts, and skills.

Recruitment. Where and how you find qualified staff is often dependent on what skills and qualifications are needed. For instance, a general temporary agency may not be a good recruiting source for a highly skilled position in your church.

Compensation. Compensation levels are generally based on the level of skill required to perform the position. Your position analysis will give you the foundational information necessary to set appropriate compensation levels.

Ministry Position Descriptions. Your position analysis will provide the information necessary to create a Ministry Position Description, which defines the specific duties and responsibilities of each position, eliminating confusion over who is responsible for what functions.

Performance Appraisals. A Ministry Position Analysis gives you the basis for setting performance standards and expectations. This allows you to compare what’s expected in a position with what’s actually being performed.

Training. A Ministry Position Analysis will point out areas of training new staff members will require. Or you may find you already have a staff person who could fill a position with some additional training in a specific position skill.

There are several ways to gather information for a Ministry Position Analysis. You can have existing staff members fill out questionnaires, you can observe staff members as they perform the position, or you can interview staff members about their position. Whichever method you choose, the most important thing to remember is to be thorough.

If you are considering adding a position you don’t currently have and are not very familiar with, you may want to look to other churches for a list of different ministry positions. This may help you get an idea of what’s required in the position you are considering. Ask these churches if they can describe what went into their thinking as they developed new ministry positions. Also para-church organizations often have Ministry Position Descriptions including the skill sets needed for various positions in some church settings.

Each method of gathering information has advantages and disadvantages. For example, observation may require several hours over a period of several days to see the full scope of a position, but it’s probably the most thorough and effective method of Ministry Position Analysis. Interviews can also be effective, but they can be time consuming and questionnaires might not get enough information if the wrong questions are asked or the answers aren’t complete. A combination of methods is generally required and the most effective for most positions.

You’ll want to find out information such as:

What are the objectives and goals of the ministry position?

What are the specific tasks performed in the ministry position?

How much time is spent on each task?

What specific skills and knowledge are required to do the ministry position?

What special training is required?

What special training is required for new staff members?

What previous experience is required?

What are the emotional demands of the position?

The Ministry Position Analysis Worksheet in the Ready-To-Use Forms section will assist you in conducting each Ministry Position Analysis. This training content is part of the 24/7 Online Coaching Center content. Link:

Submitted by Russ Olmon, President of Ministry Advantage


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