For Kingdom leaders, personnel decisions can be the most time-consuming and challenging of all the decisions you make. The complexity of these decisions is due to the many considerations involved: What’s best for the strategic mission? or What’s best for the person / their family?
Below are some guiding principles and ideas on how to make wise personnel placement decisions.
Staffing Change / Placement / Move decisions
- Kingdom leaders lead in the midst of a tension. At times we have competing values between a staff person’s needs and desires vs the mission’s (God-given task) needs and desires. We do value both the individual staff person and an awareness of our stewardship of the mission God has asked us to carry out. In staffing and placement decisions these tensions can be very real and seem unsolvable so that both are addressed.
- A guiding principle to help us in this dilemma would be – we want to have a bias towards the person and their needs (not necessarily their desires), knowing that the Lord will provide all the resources needed to accomplish anything He asks us to do.
- We must acknowledge that in some situations it may be more strategic to stay a longer time in one location, rather than move. Role changes and physical moves are made in light of fulfilling our strategic mission.
- When making staffing decisions, there are some issues that we must be very considerate about – personal health needs, children’s development and education, extended family concerns (i.e. caring for aging parents), financial budgets (city budgets vs rural budgets), personal ‘fit’ for the new assignment, etc.
- But, while we do consider the above, we must not shrink back from asking for sacrifice or going against one’s personal desires. Sacrifice is the lifestyle of a follower of Jesus and certainly a part of laboring for Him. In Mark 10:29-30 the Lord speaks of reward for those who leave behind (sacrifice) family relationships, homes and vocations (fields) for His sake and the gospel. We are all called to labor for Christ, not ‘vacation’ for Christ!
- If one is asked to make a strategic job change or physical move for the sake of contributing to the advancement of the gospel and helping fulfill our God-given mission, there may be reasons for not accepting the invitation. These reasons must be more than, “I just don’t want to move or do this.” Or, “I don’t sense that this is best.” Just as the reason for suggesting the change should be more than, “You’ve been there a long time and need a new challenge.”
- If there are sound reasons for saying ‘no’ and we decide to withdraw an invitation, we must not hesitate to return and make a different ask at some time in the future. We will want to discern if it truly was a wrong ‘fit’ issue or just a personal desire not to change or move. World-changing mission will require sacrifice, change and mobility to advance the gospel among the lost.
And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.” Luke 18:29-30 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1 ESV