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5 Podcasts to Help You Hire Better

by Krista Bontrager

Many people write to the ministry expressing concern or sadness about the progressive creep of their favorite Christian institution. After sitting through many, many calls with Christian leaders over the last three years, Monique and I have come to a very firm conclusion: the number one way that doctrinal drift happens is through indiscriminate hiring.

Most ministries, churches, and schools will ask an applicant about their personal testimony at some point in their interview process. But the reality is, very few Christian organizations have a process in place to probe the details of an applicant’s theology. Now, you might wonder: Why does this matter? Because we live in an age when key biblical terms such as love, justice, marriage, the oppressed, and racism are being redefined––even by Christians. While we may be using the same vocabulary, it’s not uncommon to discover that Christians are using entirely different dictionaries. This means that extra steps will be needed to preserve the institution’s legacy over the long haul.

These steps include publicly posting a mission statement that directly connects to the institution’s faith-based foundation, statement of faith, and position statements on “hot button” cultural issues such as marriage and sexuality. It also requires putting intentional processes into the interview process to ensure that new hires hold personal beliefs consistent with the ministry’s core values. At minimum, these ought to include having each employee, volunteer, and board member sign the institution’s statement of faith, position statements, and behavioral code of conduct.

The reverse is also true: strategic hiring is also the number one way to turn around an institution after doctrinal drift has set in. In such situations, it’s not uncommon for us to ask a leadership team, “What are you willing to lose in order to get your ministry back on course?” Sometimes change comes by simply not renewing contracts. Sometimes it comes in the form of hiring a key senior-level manager who will abolish unbiblical policies and implement replacements. This kind of hire can often have a domino effect, causing progressive-leaning employees to opt out of continued employment. Occasionally, it may even require parting ways with someone in upper management. In our experience, however, a willingness to part ways with employees who aren’t in alignment with the ministry’s theology is the only path to save a ministry’s legacy. But only a few are willing to do this difficult work. 

In a previous article, I outlined some practical steps in the hiring process that we recommend all Christian institutions take to prevent drift. Since then, we’ve had several conversations that will help your team develop hiring processes that are more congruently aligned with your ministry’s statement of faith and mission, processes that will lay the groundwork to preserve your ministry’s legacy. Here are five podcasts to help your leadership think more biblically about hiring. Think of this as a free mini-training.


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