By Whitney George
“Where do you find good people?”
Isn’t that age-old question? Every church, whether big or small, one-site or multi-site, volunteer or full-time staff, is looking for capable, talented, and hard-working people. So where do these people come from? Or perhaps the better question is, “Can I do anything to attract them?” In my experience the answer is yes. But they may not show up overnight. If you’re willing to play the long game, I believe you can indeed attract the right people to your team. Here’s how.
1. Excellent people are attracted to excellence.
As I came away from that trip, I found myself wondering why a church of their size didn’t have better musicians. On the surface, it just didn’t make any sense. That’s when I realized excellent people want to be a part of something excellent. They generally don’t sign up for rescue projects. This church probably did have some good musicians in their congregation, but they just weren’t interested in being a part of what they saw each week on the stage. Think about it. If you were a really good drummer, would you want to be a part of really bad band?
The fact is, many of us think that excellence will only come in our situation when excellent people show up. But if you want to attract good people, you’ve got to change your mindset. You’ve got to decide that excellence starts with you, and it starts now—not just when the “talented” people show up. This is the “faithful in least shall be faithful in much” principle. If you want God to give you great people, do a great job with the people you already have. That may mean you have to challenge them in a new way or grow yourself as a leader. But start making the absolute most out of what and who you do have. Then see if God doesn’t give you more.
2. Grow them before you find them.
Here’s how you might start. Give them a voice. No doubt, one of the biggest contributors to my own personal development over the past 20 years of working at Church on the Move was the fact that I was included in the conversation of where our church was heading. Yes, I had some bad ideas, and no, I didn’t have a ton of experience or wisdom. But being included in the conversation meant the world to me, and it created buy-in that paid big dividends later on down the road.
We’ve put this idea into practice at COTM lately by inviting young people with potential into our work environment and processes. We’re working harder than ever to develop, mentor, and include new young leaders of all kinds in the day-to-day of what we do, because you never know what kinds of leaders they’ll develop into one day. And I want them to stick them around when they do!
3. Get rid of the drama.
Over the years I’ve worked really hard to keep the vision and values of our church in front of our team so that issues of ego and hurt feelings never really have a chance to set in. Our motto has always been “the best idea wins”. It doesn’t matter if it came from the lead pastor or the janitor, we don’t really care. We just want thebest idea. Creating this kind of culture is extremely attractive to new and upcoming artists, because there’s no political game that must be played. And there are no delicate relational issues to be careful of before they can really contribute. As long as their ideas are good they can be involved at a high level right away.
Unfortunately, there isn’t an Ikea warehouse out there filled with talented people—waiting to be browsed for and bought. There’s no magic wand for big churches that allows them to conjure great volunteers. But you can create a culture that attracts talented people and makes it easy for them to get involved.