What am I looking for? (5Cs)

Leaders need to appoint leaders.  One of the key things that Paul tells Timothy to do is appoint leaders (1 Tim 3).  Titus is left in Crete for the main purpose of appointing leaders (Titus 1:3).  But what are we looking for?  Is character enough or is there more to specific contexts that practically we need to address.

Here is my formula, which I have called the 5 Cs.  In order from the most important and least controversial to the least important and most controversial:

1. Character

This is the most important and it is what Paul outlines for Timothy (1 Tim 3:1-7) and Titus (Titus 1:3-9) to look for.  If the character of the person is not godly, there is no point looking any further no matter how competent they are.  A competent person who is not godly will cause a ministry more pain that good.

2. Conviction

Conviction is the theological stance of the person.  I should point out that no-one agrees 100% with anyone else on everything, but is there agreement on the main issues in theology.  Disagreement on a major issue will come out later in working together.

3. Competency

Competency is measured by HR experts all over the place and in other jobs this is the main priority, but in Christian ministry often someone with the right character and right convictions will develop the right competencies out of a love to for God’s people.

But we should point out that God gives different people different gifts and this, I think, includes desires.  God has built into people the desire to serve in different ways and this in turn will develop people’s competency.

All this being said, some people are simply better at somethings than others.  This is a matter of getting people in the ‘right seats on the bus’ as Jim Collins would put it.

4. Capacity

The previous 3 have been used by others in ministry, but the next to are my contribution to the discussion.  Does the person have the capacity to carry out the ministry?  One question I need to ask if someone is looking for a professional position, is “Can this person carry the weight of ministry full time for the whole week?”  Because God has made different people differently, capacity will vary.  This means that there will be people who have the desire to do a ministry but not the capacity.  Being able to identify that means saving people from burnout.

5. Chemistry

Finally I have added a last ‘C’ and that is chemistry.  This is particularly important if someone is working with other people in ministry (and I can’t think of any examples of where that doesn’t happen).  But does the person get on with other people.  Friction in a team will stop it’s effectiveness.  I am not suggesting that we should avoid all friction, but I am saying we need to address unnecessary personality clashes.  One ministry I consulted about this puts chemistry over competency.  They were going to appoint someone who was very good at project management, but found that the person had little chemistry with the rest of the team.  They chose a less competent person with better chemistry and did not regret the decision.

Any thing I have forgotten or should add?

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2 thoughts on “What am I looking for? (5Cs)

  1. I would add to the conviction piece not just theology but also ministry philosophy.
    Surprisingly, alot of conflict in Christian leadership is not over doctrinal statements but practicalities (eg. Is house church better than mega church, how slick will our services be, how many services, what sort of music, etc., etc.)

  2. I think you are right, and that is helpful comment. You can have the same theology in principles but different ways of working it out in philosophy of ministry. Thanks.

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