Why Church Leaders Should Hire Entrepreneurial Staff Members
Entrepreneurs are some of the most unique and effective minds, both in the ministry and secular world. The legendary entrepreneur Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Now, millions of children and families take part in his dream each year.
What if the church could think the way Walt did, even on a micro level? Hiring staff members who are entrepreneurial by nature could bring a lot to the table for your ministry. However, it could also create some potential tension.
Our digital age has increased our overall awareness of the need for staff to be a healthy mix of entrepreneurial and agile. COVID-19 further magnified this need by showing us how quickly our everyday processes can change and how the leaders who were able to adjust and be nimble saw success in that unsettling time. As your team considers whether or not to hire someone who fits this profile, consider these pros and cons.
PRO: They care about the big picture, not just their own ministry focus.
Entrepreneurial staff members will often take the wide-angle view to solve problems that may not fall into their own ministries. They can spot potential issues or opportunities and work a plan around them. Assuming your church is open to change and flexibility, hiring an entrepreneurial staff member could be a great way to improve processes across the whole church.
CON: Others might feel like they are becoming involved in other people’s business.
On the flip side of the point above, other staff members could often feel like they are getting their toes stepped on in this process. Hiring an entrepreneurial staff members might stir up conflict because they typically speak their minds and are open to debate. If there are sacred cows, they are going to need a good defense.
Don't let this possible conflict prevent you from making a certain hire. The best teams are made up of complimentary staff that use their unique skills and talents to create a well-rounded team. Opposing mindsets, if treated with mutual respect and appreciation, will help your church in the long-run because you'll see more perspectives and viewpoints with differing mindsets.
PRO: They are doers.
Conrad Hilton, founder of Hilton hotels, once said “Achievement seems to be connected with action. Successful men and women keep moving. They make mistakes but they don’t quit.” Entrepreneurs are action-oriented and often fill vacuums where others haven’t stepped in. This will have a natural positive effect on the vitality of your ministry.
CON: They may have to learn to delegate.
Because they are action-oriented, entrepreneurial staff members may have not learned the art of delegation. They may be compelled to fill every possible need even though it takes away from something else they are working on. Successful entrepreneurs must learn to delegate and let go, especially in a church setting.
PRO: They are great at getting projects off the ground and moving the ball forward.
Management guru Peter Drucker said, “Successful entrepreneurs do not wait until ‘the Muse kisses them’ and gives them a bright idea; they go to work.” Entrepreneurial people get things moving and don’t wait for others to take initiative. This quality is incredibly valuable to a growing ministry that wants to continue to thrive.
CON: They may struggle to see things to completion.
Because they are quick to try new things, entrepreneurial staff can struggle to complete long-term projects, especially if tasks get tedious or monotonous. Note: consider also hiring a direct report to this staff member that would be able to execute and complete the initiatives put into place.
PRO: They take things to the next level.
If you are ready for change and growth, an entrepreneurial staff person might be exactly what you need to get there. Entrepreneurial-minded people are highly skilled at growing a ministry or meeting specific goals.
CON: After an achievement, they often want to move onto a new challenge.
Be prepared for the reality that after a goal has been met, entrepreneurial-minded people will want to move to something new to conquer. Either your church provides that challenge, or this person will look somewhere else.
As mentioned above, many entrepreneurial people have side projects. Here’s a great article by William Vanderbloemen about the benefit of hiring people with "8 slash careers."
How would an entrepreneurial-minded staff member impact your ministry?
This article was originally published on April 12, 2018 and was updated and republished on April 24, 2020.