Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Hey Fletch … I have a question about hiring a new staff member. I am the lead pastor at my church and have never been on this side of the hiring process. I know that there are questions which are illegal to ask applicants under the equal opportunity employment act (such as I can’t ask if they are married or have a family). My understanding that churches are bound by this law as well. Is that correct?

DRF—When hiring pastors, you can ask virtually any question. As religious leaders, pastors are essentially exempt from those rules and regulations.

When hiring all other staff, you need to follow the normal rules of business. There are some special considerations as well. You can ask if they can affirm your statement of faith. You have the right to hire people of like faith. You can also ask if they can support the moral positions of your church as defined in your bylaws and policies.

A way to ask about personal things is to ask open-ended questions, such as “tell me about yourself?” or “As a church, our faith journey is important, what has yours been like?” Most people will introduce their spouse and children into the conversation. When they have done this, you can ask about those people. In describing their faith journey, you can see if they are an active Christian and meet your standards.

Great to visit on this. You can learn more in my book, Smart Money for Church Salaries, and in the video series on the same title.