Promoting Talent Over Integrity

For chapter 5 of Geoff Suratt’s book “Ten Stupid Things That Keep Churches From Growing”, we look at a chapter that I’m not completely familiar with as far as the situation is concerned.  That’s not to say that I don’t know of churches who have promoted talent over integrity, but I have not dealt with it that much.

This chapter really looked at some examples such as worship leader/band leader for a denominational church, which I don’t have too much familiarity with.  However, the best example the book refers to is the Duck Test.  This refers to the duck test in the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, when people were trying to figure out if a lady was a witch or not.  Ultimately, the conclusion was that if she weighed the same as a duck, then she was a witch.

I don’t believe churches spend enough time really hiring ministers.  When I was hired at Guntersville, it was a marathon.  While I didn’t appreciate it at the time, I look back at it and realize that it was a good thing.  They wanted to make sure I wanted it, and that they wanted me.  We interviewed there 4 different times before we were offered the job.

But for most churches, they bring the group of selected individuals in for a try out, and after all of them try out, they bring back the one candidate they like the most.  All this is, typically, is a chance for these candidates to show off, try out, and show how much talent they have.  You really can’t learn a lot about who a minister is by one or two weekends with the church.  This is typically placing talent at the top of the list.

This doesn’t always bite you in the rear end, but it can.  I’ve known churches to fire someone a year or even 6 months after they are hired, because the had the ability, or the talent, to preach and teach, but did not have the integrity behind it.

If you are in a church where a minister lacks integrity, maybe because they have had an affair or hurt the church in some way, this chapter would be a great read.  However, like I mentioned, this chapter did not deal with any real situation I’ve ever been in.

Coming up tomorrow is the chapter on “Clinging to a Bad Location”.

2 comments on “Promoting Talent Over Integrity

  1. This is a hard one. How are you supposed to know if the minister you’re hiring has “integrity” or not? All of his references are going to say great things about him. If he doesn’t stumble in the interview process, then you pretty much hire him. I just don’t know how integrity can be revealed in a short interview process. It seems like integrity has to be proven over the course of several years. You know?

    • I totally agree. This is just one area where I suppose we have a trial and error approach. I mean, I visited here once and was offered the job. I was the first guy, and came once. I showed my talent, and enough integrity I suppose.

      This was a hard chapter to look at.

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