by David Lyons

Before you begin the process of getting the word out about your open position, there are several items to consider. This is called the Discovery Phase or sometimes a needs assessment.

During this phase, a church must compile all the information necessary to support a successful search and, ultimately, a successful hire. If you proceed to hire without solidly laying the foundation for what you are doing, I can almost guarantee that you and your church will regret it later. There’s a reason construction workers building a home make sure they get the foundation right. The wise man builds his house on the rock not the sand, right?

If you don’t take the time you need in the Discovery Phase, you’ll likely pay the price later. Statistically speaking, I’ve seen a great disparity between the corporate world and the church when it comes to recruiting and retaining employees. Unfortunately, the church often has a poor track record when it comes to hiring and retaining staff. Part of the reason for this is that churches have a poor or even non-existent discovery phase. Considering that as much as half a church budget may go to personnel, it makes sense to take the time necessary to develop a strong foundation during the discovery phase.

Ideally, the Discovery Phase will help you get where you want to go. If you don’t know where you’re going as a church, how are you going to arrive there? Having a roadmap—a plan—will help tremendously, especially if it’s already in place and ready to be implemented should the need arise.

Do you have a roadmap or plan for hiring someone to fill the vacant position at your church? What are some important steps to include in the plan?