How do you recruit and retain the kind of stellar, gifted people that can make your ministry thrive? The answer, as one executive pastor discovered, may surprise you.
Four years ago, Fielder Church in Arlington, Texas was feeling strong winds of change. Says, Executive Pastor Michael Wierick, “Our neighborhood in the center of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex was rapidly becoming more urbanized and ethnically diverse. Plus, we had lost several quality team members to respected, well-known mega churches. With the new challenge of reaching a changing demographic we had to find a way to attract and keep talented new tacticians and strategic thinkers who could rally the church around our vision to reach people for Christ. The new leaders we hired have already excelled at being “the difference makers” that’s added up to continued growth.
“Purposeful ministry was the key,” says Wierick. Three essentials made it work. First, I invited each ministry leader to set purposeful goals for the coming year. For instance, in the area of outreach, I asked, ‘What would excite you the most about more people coming to Jesus?’ I let them decide. And because we often underestimate our God-given gifts, I challenged them to raise the bar of expectation for reaching our community for Christ.
“Purposeful relationships make up the second essential in outreach. It’s all about intentionally reaching out, befriending others and earning their trust to hear the Gospel. I like how Bill Hybels puts it: Bar-b-cue first.” Purposeful relationships for us means actually setting goals and logging names of the people we meet, setting relationship building appointments and then work a strategy to introduce them to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“The third essential is purposeful compensation. It’s not enough to say, ‘Job well done.’ Achievement should be rewarded. We’ve tracked 27 churches of similar size and created a pay range at the 75% compensation average that rewards measurable performance not just in evangelism but in all of our ministry goals. Our staff is ‘all in’ because they embrace robust goal-setting and we reward those who reach their goals.”
In the past four years, Fielder Church membership has grown 6-12%, annually. “Through purposeful relationships, the youth ministry is exploding. “And,” says Wierick, “there’s a clear measure of joy and an excitement among the entire staff.