When my wife and I started the first Victory Church in Calgary we had 278 people show up for the very first service and we desperately needed help. I asked the Lord how I could screen leaders quickly and yet still make good choices and He dropped five questions into my heart:
1. Can this vision—the Victory vision—be their vision?
2. Can you have an open honest relationship with them?
3. Do they have the calling of God on their life in the area of need, and is it sufficiently developed to warrant a full time, paid staff position?
4. Do they have good character with a proven record?
5. Do they have a Victory spirit? The Bible says that Joshua and Caleb had a different spirit. I call this spirit the victory spirit and not everybody has it.
I can find out three of these things (Vision, Relationship and Spirit) in a very short period of time. What I can’t do quickly is develop a person’s character and gifting to the place they would warrant a paid staff position. But if someone came into the church with a developed gifting and strong proven character, then all I have to do is check out the other three areas. This isn’t fool proof but it has helped me to make some really good choices in times of fast growth and desperate need.
Ten things I look for in selecting team members
1. Faithfulness. It makes me nervous when I speak to someone who has no close, long-lasting friendships. Remember that storms will come and when they do, sacrifices have to be made and you will need faithful, loyal people. “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint” (Proverbs 25:19 NKJ).
2. A teachable spirit. Do they have a willingness to learn and grow? What is his or her character like? Does their life line up to the standards set in 1 Timothy 3:1-13?
3. They must love the Word of God and people. Some say, “God has called me to be a teacher and a preacher” but they have no love for the sheep. That’s a warning sign that they are not a team player.
4. They must be flexible and adjustable. “If the spirit of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your post; for conciliation pacifies great offenses” (Ecclesiastes 10:4). In other words, How does that person respond when he is subjected to correction? What is his attitude? ‘Well, that’s your opinion and I have mine.’ Unity is impossible when you have team members bumping one another all the time. They must be flexible and yielding.
5. A servant’s heart. When a group of people come into a room; watch for the one with the servant’s heart. He will count the chairs to see if there are enough. He will check the temperature to see if it's too hot or too cold. It’s just in his spirit. Watch him, he may be the one God wants to stand by your side.
6. A willing spirit. There’s a difference between willingness and obedience. A willing person is one who responds quickly when help is needed (Isaiah 1:18).
7. Diligence and Enthusiasm. Some people are always grumbling and griping. They may be smart, but they won’t help you. I don’t mind hearing negative things, but it’s the attitude in which they are given. For example, good communication is respectful, and genuinely wants to help: ‘Pastor, have you thought about this?’ Bad communication does not offer any solutions, it only magnifies a problem: ‘That will never work; it’s a stupid idea.’
8. Motivation a self-starter. I don’t think I should have to tell any of our staff about regular weekly staff meetings. If you always have to prime his pump, he won’t make a good team player. In fact, he will discourage the whole team.
9. Don’t be afraid of diversity on the team. A good team is made up of people with complementary gifts and abilities. Learn to lovingly confront and come into unity and agreement.
10. Consistent. Consistency in quality of life gives security to others. Some people are up and down all the time. People like this are going to hurt you if you put them up front in leadership. Leaders come before the people as representatives of Christ and must be able rise above disappointment or pain.
Yours for the Miracle of Teamwork,
Dr George Hill
Victory Churches International