Thanks for joining us on Season 6 of The Flourishing Culture Podcast, brought to you by The Best Christian Workplaces Institute. You’ll learn how to build a flourishing workplace culture that drives the ministry impact of your organization, your church, or your company brought to you by the Best Christian Workplaces Institute. Now here’s your host, BCWI CEO, Al Lopus.
Is your organization in a position where it needs to hire a new senior leader? Is your recruiting and selection approach proven to select the best candidate for the role? Well, listen in to today’s episode, as we discuss an innovative approach where our guest describes how his organization conducted an internally led, professionally supported senior leader selection process.
Listen to the Audio
Turnover in the top positions of our churches, Christian non-profits, and Christian-owned businesses have accelerated during the COVID pandemic.
Today’s conversation is about an alternative, well-thought-through approach to selecting a highly capable new leader with a strong culture alignment. Can this be done without the expense of an executive search firm? Join me as we lean in to learn from this high-profile case study.
I’m delighted to welcome in Bob Smith, Pastor of Church Planting and Expansion of 2|42 Church, with 7 locations in Southeastern Michigan. Bob, it’s great to visit with you. Welcome to the Flourishing Culture Podcast.
The Internally lead and professionally supported model or process was very appealing. We had already built a great relationship with Best Christian Workplaces Institute (BCWI). We were also very familiar with the assessment process and wanted to incorporate the behavioral assessment into our process.”
In this episode, you’ll hear about:
- Bob’s story of starting with 2/42 as a new church (02:57)
- 2/42 Church is based on Acts 2:42-47 (03:10)
- After 2/42’s Sr. Pastor let the church leaders know he was leaving for another senior pastor role, some discussion ensued about how they were going to fill the hole (03:35)
- 2/42 Church was confident with their network and that they could recruit qualified applicants themselves (04:37)
- Tools to create the systems and the analysis was lacking (04:39)
- “We also felt strongly that a behavioral assessment would play an important role in helping the search team decide who to call.” (04:55)
- 2/42 Church’s search committee agreed on an “internally led and professionally supported” process. Bob describes it and shares some of the reasons for choosing this option (05:26)
- “Developing and managing the search entirely internally seemed to us that we were leaving valuable experience and resources behind.” (0621)
- “Hiring a search firm to manage the search and bring candidates to us, well it seemed as if we would not have the level of oversight or involvement in the recruitment and evaluation of the initial applicants that we desired.” (06:29)
- “The Internally lead and professionally supported model or process was very appealing. We had already built a great relationship with Best Christian Workplaces Institute (BCWI). We were also very familiar with the assessment process and wanted to incorporate the behavioral assessment into our process.” (06:47)
- “I also want to make sure that your audience knows of the depth of prayer, fasting, and seeking God’s wisdom that permeated the entire process.” (07:21)
- Creating a church profile is a key step in a Sr. Pastor search process. Why 2/42 Church felt it was important to leverage the results of their BCWI engagement survey results in the culture profile (07:45)
- “We have benefited from each BCWI survey and debriefs we have conducted. Tara VanderSande has been a valuable partner to help us understand what we should be asking and how to use the survey results to address the concerns of our staff.” (07:59)
- “There are times we think we know what we need, but really understanding what is best and better yet having a strong understanding as to the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities that an organizational culture has is really the gold standard.” (08:21)
- The early steps were s to identify the criteria for selecting suitable candidates for the role. (08:55)
- The four core areas (09:19):
- Senior Leadership Preferred Future Exercise
- Church Profile
- Senior Pastor Profile
- Competencies (Skills and Attributes)
- A rundown of 2/42’s Culture Code and significant culture markers (13:38)
- Helping people take their next steps with God, Ethos, Values, Vision and Standards, Valuing the fringe more than the core, A discipleship model we call the Nine, Killing the celebrity of the church (15:13)
- 2/42 built a position profile. As they finished this step there was a unique outcome that might have been different than they originally expected (18:24)
- “We found two valuable outcomes – first we wanted applicants to understand what the Leadership Advisory Teams expectations would be for the first year for the next senior pastor.” (18:47)
- “Leadership wanted to create an expectation of a healthy pace. Our hope is that creating the 12-month expectations would allow the next Senior Pastor to learn about our communities, staff, attenders and the distinct culture of our campuses, slower and more relationally” (18:57)
- There were 17 total competencies, 9 skills/experiences, and 7 attributes/behaviors (20:59)
- A quick review of the ones 2/42 developed and how they were used in the selection process (21:07)
- “This is one of the biggest benefits we received by working with BCWI. We wanted to define and be able to identify skills and abilities (Competencies) we were seeking in our applicants.” (21:15)
- Visioning Capacity, Ministry Empowerment, People Developer, Inclusive Integrator, Innovation Manager, Leadership Gravitas, Relationship Builder, Apostolic Motivation, Relates to the Unchurched (22:21)
- “Applicants can often tell you how they would demonstrate the skills and attributes we were seeking, but the key is to have them tell you about a time where the skills and attributes were evident in their actions.” (23:20)
- Key steps in the candidate assessment process (24:07)
- “Let me first say that BCWI’s help went far beyond providing survey tools. The wealth of HR knowledge and senior staff hiring was incredibly valuable.” (24:15)
- “We created guidelines for what type of minimum experience we would expect from an applicant” (24:27)
- “Creation of a questionnaire that allowed the applicants to provide the first evidence of the competencies we were looking for, including an introductory video from the applicant.” (24:41)
- “Training of the search team in interviewing skills (mining for evidence of the established competencies in a candidate’s life)” (25:40)
- “BCWI really leaned in and developed the questions the search team would be asking (26:55)
- “It is a mix of science and art, the development of these questions.” (27:48)
- “Our goal was always to get from the bulk of candidates and move through a process that would allow for the search team to narrow the candidates’ list to a final two individuals.” (28:41)
- How did 2/42’s culture work with BCWI give 2/42 confidence in their selection? (29:49)
- “We have had the benefit of conducting several annual surveys of our staff. In each case, it was an exercise in self-discovery. We loved hearing where we were considered a Certified Best Christian Workplace. But to leave it there would be a significant disservice to our staff.” (29:59)
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