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Hiring The Right Staff

You’ve no doubt heard of the 3 C’s when building a team or hiring a new staff member.

They are often listed in this order: Character, Competency, and Chemistry. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a staff hire or a key volunteer leader joining a team—the 3 C’s are critical.


Character is obviously about a person’s integrity as a whole person: do they walk their talk? Some have defined character as who you are when no one is around. Too often we hire people for their competencies and ultimately fire them for their character. Author and clinical psychologist Henry Cloud writes, “Who a person is will ultimately determine if their brains, talents, competencies, energy, effort, deal-making abilities, and opportunities will succeed.”


Competency is a person’s ability to use their knowledge, abilities, experience, and skill to do a job well, or at the very least, the capability to grow into doing a particular job well. In other words, there’s a solid match between their abilities and the specific role they’re in.


Chemistry has to do with emotional intelligence and how well a person works with a particular team as well as fitting in the corporate culture. There is a high level of self-awareness and understanding of how their behaviors affect those around them. It’s a challenging, intangible quality that is best measured when a church or organization has taken the time to identify their core values and culture. These three attributes are critical when onboarding a new person to an organization or team. But I would like to add a fourth C…and this one is particularly relevant to churches. It is: Calling. And in the way I want to use it, not only a sense of “this-is-what-I’m-supposed-to-be-doing”, but also a sense of spiritual geography. Here’s what I mean and why that was important to us.


For many years our church was slow to get into global missions. Part of the reason was because we saw our church as a missional outpost in the city we loved. We assumed that God placed us here because there were many, many people who had distanced themselves from Christianity, Christians, and the Church. For some there were valid reasons—hypocrisy, irrelevance, intolerance, judgmentalism, etcetera—and for others, it was simply disinterest or ignorance of what a dynamic spirituality could be. And so when we were looking for leaders and staffing, we could find someone who was an “expert” in, say, youth ministry, but what we really wanted was someone whose heart was focused on the people of our city…or even more dramatically, be broken for this city. If they were an expert in their ministry field, they could do their expertise in Peoria or Albuquerque, but we needed people who were all about our city…and sensed a geographical calling here.

What’s your criteria for bringing new people on? Does your church or organization have a clear sense of why you exist where you are?

Just asking for a friend. Or maybe a spiritually lost friend in your city.


Struggling with "Mission Drift"? EnVision is a unique gamified tool to help your team clarify your core values, vision, and mission.


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