How to Fill the Demand for Technical and Creative Arts

The demand for talent in worship, production, communications, and marketing is increasing, and so is the need to recognize real talent. | by Dustin Smith

Churches depend on hiring help for worship, production, communications, and marketing. How do you find those technical and creative arts? More importantly, how do you fill those positions with a staff member or an outside company without later being disappointed? Here are four points to look for when you’re searching for the right person or people.

1. Team Building/People Developing

The first and most basic rule in team building is to “promote from within.”
In any organization people are the most important resource, so we need to continually feed into them and build our bench.

When you have an opening, the first thing to look at is if there is someone you already have on your team who could move into the position you need. Who has been growing and is ready for a new opportunity? Who is a strong contributor but possibly in the wrong role? At what point will you need to look outside the organization?

2. Avoid Hiring the Most Convenient Person

Often leaders look at the people closest to them and give them a job or promotion based on proximity or ease of filling the position. While I am all for investing in people (see point one), this is the wrong approach when looking to hire a leader. Don’t just hire the most convenient person and think your job is done.

First of all, if you hire someone out of convenience instead of competence, you are setting the person up to fail. If you are expecting them to create what you have seen at the last megachurch you visited, you are setting them up to fail. If the person does not already have the skillset you need, you are setting them up to fail. Every time you set someone up to fail, you will both end up frustrated.

You may find yourself dealing with the paradox that goes, “If you don't promote someone, you will have no one.” This is where perseverance and strategy come in. If you have an immediate need, contract with an outside source to give you and your team time to find the right person.

3. Strategic Agility

Strategic agility is a tough competency to teach someone. The person with strategic agility can look at an organization and find its vision and purpose. They can understand how to navigate throughout and implement strategic and measurable plans for growth.

Your ideal candidate for creative or technical arts can

    • create relevant strategies that complement the vision of the organization, business, or church.

(“Relevancy is a moving target, so they also need to be driven to track trends and be creative enough not to try to copy everything they see.)

  • anticipate future trends and potential roadblocks.
  • clearly articulate vision for future possibilities.

4. What to Ask to Identify this Person?

In your interview or conversation with a candidate, ask for specific examples about how they have created, implemented, and launched strategic plans. If their answers start with “I/we typically do XYZ,” they probably do not yet have the skillset you need. Or at least, they do not know how to articulate the process, which can hinder their success in leading a team.

Ask the person about their approach for building and developing teams. The journey is the important part. Anyone can tell you they took a team from five to fifty people, but if they cannot clearly explain how they did it, you may want to assume the best, but they may not have been the one building the team.

The demand for more and more ability in worship, production, communications, and marketing is only increasing. By asking the right questions and going for the right people, you can build a team that moves your church right where you need to be to reach the people God has called you to reach.

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