Episode 158: The Art of Church Staffing: Insights for Finding the Right Candidate

In this episode, we discuss the challenges and opportunities of finding church staff in the post-pandemic era while sharing plenty of helpful insight along the way.


  • There are far fewer candidates looking for roles than there were before the pandemic. Many people were killing themselves during the pandemic and they were burnt out afterward.
  • Before the pandemic, searches would average around 4 months, now they tend to run 6-9 months on average.
    • Because of these new timelines, it’s vital that churches create a plan for how ministry will continue functioning WHILE they are looking for candidates. New people may need to be involved, ministry offerings may need to be temporarily scaled back. Churches need to be realistic about what is possible.
  • Sometimes churches want to change or compromise their initial thoughts on what kind of candidate they’re looking for. This isn’t necessarily bad, but it must be done with intentionality while being fully aware of which areas should not be changed no matter what AND what other shifts may need to take place to fill gaps created by those shifts.
  • Candidate care means that we are working with candidates to help get them into a place where they can effectively contribute to the kingdom of God. That might mean helping them work on their resume or their interview answers or even connecting them with other search firms.
  • Up to 90% of the people who apply for the position would most likely not be a qualified candidate for the position. This can be difficult for church search teams to handle because it can feel hurtful to eliminate applicants from the pile.
  • In every search, it’s important to have a careful conversation about compensation. Churches need to be aware of where they live, what they’re looking for, and so on, and get realistic about what kind of compensation would be best in order to recruit the kind of person that they are envisioning to fill their role.
  • During a search, it’s also important to consider how other staff members are being compensated. Not doing this will hurt the culture of the staff.
  • Take your time during a search. There may be people who are qualified but aren’t the right fit for you church or culture. Don’t rush, be patient. Trust God’s timing and stick with it.
  • And for candidates, take your time! Make sure you’re a good theological and cultural fit. And BE RESPONSIVE during the search process!