Maybe your church is in the process of hiring staff or enlisting new lay leaders. In addition to basic theological questions we must ask when enlisting leaders, I encourage churches to consider asking these questions, too:
- Please tell me the story of how you became a believer. It’s encouraging to hear a testimony, and it’s sometimes enlightening when the explanation of the gospel is unclear.
- Tell me what the Lord has been teaching you lately in your Bible reading. It doesn’t take long to determine if the person has a reading plan, if he’s been reading, and if he actually reflects on the Word.
- What are the last 3 books you’ve read? The person who can name no books, or who can name books but give no more details, may not be a learner.
- Please share the gospel with me as if I were a non-believer. I doubt you want to hire or enlist a leader who can’t explain the gospel. Frankly, you may even question this person’s salvation.
- Tell me about the last time you shared the gospel with a non-believer. Someone who cannot easily respond to this request isn’t likely to suddenly become evangelistic after being hired.
- If I were to see your life non-stop for the next week, would I want to pray like you pray? This simple question usually leads to uncovering more detail about the potential leader’s prayer life.
- What do you believe about sexuality and marriage? I doubt I need to say much more here. The world does not look to the Scriptures for guidance here.
- When was the last time you looked at pornography? This problem is so pervasive that I’ve almost stopped asking, “Have you ever . . . ?”
- If you’re married, is your spouse supportive of your doing this role? I want service in the Lord’s work to strengthen our homes, not hurt them.
- Explain your understanding of Christian liberty when making lifestyle choices. Some leaders lock themselves into legalism while others border on abusing their liberties. Either response can hinder the gospel.
- A person somewhere in the world dies without having heard the name of Jesus. What do you believe happens to that person? I admit my bias in the exclusivity of the gospel (that Jesus is the only way to God, and we need to have a personal relationship with Him to be saved); I hope, in fact, that this question would already be included among the necessary theological questions.
- How do you determine how much to give financially to the church? I’ve known some leaders who give so little to the church that it’s almost embarrassing.
- If you could write a job description to do exactly what you’d like to do, what would that description say? My goal here is to determine any gap between a candidate’s desire and the reality of this potential role.
- Is your resume completely true? Even potential church leaders have been known to deceive a committee about their track record, their educational background, etc.
What other questions might you add to this list?