Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
What the Bible says about selecting workers is critical for leadership. It is easy to hire people, and often very hard to eliminate poor helpers. Like someone said, “It’s easier to get married than divorced.”
Consequently, to avoid conflict, hard feelings, incompetence, poor fits between people and the job, and uprisings against the leader, care should be given to choosing people for key positions.
If you are a leader – great! If you want to become a better leader – then read on.
Leaders must possess a relatively good sense of human character. They need to recognize talent, potential skill, and loyalty in others. The leader must be able to attract workers with the right values, skills, capabilities, potential, then develop, motivate, and retain them.
One adage is that the leader should surround themselves with the best people possible, and then let the workers do what they do best – and be loyal to those people. Some leaders are fearful of others better than they, and hire only those “yes people” who are inferior to the leader.
Here are seven qualities to look for in selecting workers to fill positions in your organization. However, there is one thing you must remember to do.
Follow Jesus’ pattern. Luke writes, “And it was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. And when the day came, He called His disciples to Him; and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles” (Luke 6:12, 13; 10:2). Here we highlight <b>seven important qualities</b> selecting workers.
Take Paul’s lead as you begin selecting workers to help you accomplish your objectives. Paul wrote, “And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be about to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).
Good Christian workers need to be loyal to Christ, the leader, organization, the job allotted to them, and to other workers.
A second important qulity to look for in selecting workers is the worker's availability. They must show up for training and work. One can hear the disappointment in Paul’s words when he wrote Timothy, “You are aware of the fact that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes” (2 Timothy 1:15).
Christian worker’s heads, hearts and bodies must be in the work. One must be patient with those who make promises and commitments, but don’t show up and give excuses. Don’t select them for key positions.
Christian workers must be teachable, open to new ideas and different ways of doing things. Paul told Titus, “For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers” (Titus 1:10). We live in a world of constant change, and we must be able to change with it.
Plans change, new technology appears, circumstances change; consequently, when you select workers, pick the ones who will listen and learn. Find those who will quickly accept responsibility when they make mistakes, and make corrections.
Don’t pick drunkards, losers and thieves for key positions. Workers must have integrity, honesty, and be solid in character. This is especially important in leadership positions. Paul said that pastor’s must have a good reputation within the community (1 Timothy 3:7).
Christian workers should have proven skill sets as shown by their experience, credentials, education, and interests. Paul said, “but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?” (1 Timothy 3:5). Again, he said that leaders, “may be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict” (Titus 1:9).
The skill sets in view with Paul is that Christian workers must have management skills, a good intellectual grasp of the Bible, and good communication skills.
Workers need good people skills, and are a good fit with the rest of the workers. Trouble makers and fault finders only cause trouble and conflict. They must display the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23). Gossip and meanness will divide the workers, and discourage the work. Paul affirmed this when he wrote, “But if you bite and devour one another, take care lest you be consumed by one another” (Galatians 5:15).
Christian workers vitally need a good attitude that reflects a positive willingness to work hard and go the extra mile, practice courtesy to all, and be able to take correction well. An “attitude of gratitude” will work wonders with other people, and with God. Look for those who smile, are happy, use people’s names, and are willing to volunteer and follow through. Look for sincerity, gentleness, courage, and humility.
Finding the Right Qualities
The critical question arises in hiring or selecting workers, “How does one know the qualities of a person before they are hired?” There are many ways such as resumes, college or professional credentials, references, interviews, and tests. However, there are two basic approaches that are at the core of the search.
Observe How People Function
As the Christian leader, give people little jobs, assignments, tasks, and see how they do. As they perform, check out how the people match up to the seven qualities. Create opportunities and training for workers, and see who takes advantage of the chances you provide. Look for consistency in selecting workers.
It is fine, and required, for you to evaluate people. Luke wrote, “But select from among you, brethren, seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task” (Acts 6:3; cf. 2 Timothy 3:10). The selection assumes some sort of evaluation.
Review their Track Record
The best way to determine what a person will do in the future is to see what they have done in the past. However, in looking at a person’s track record, one needs to look for patterns, rather than a single incident. That is why it is important for one to check and verify their previous work record, talk to their previous supervisors/employers and check their references.
For example, if a person has made a mistake, as everyone does, but overall throughout their life they have performed and lived well, then judge the person by their life pattern and motivation. Also, see if the potential worker has a track record of consistent success in their life. If so, then you can guess that that quality will continue in the future. Winners normally stay winners, even if they suffer a few defeats along the way.
With this study on what the Bible says about selecting workers, Esmie and I wish you all the best – and that your ministry will bloom and prosper as you select and train great workers for the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Dr. Willis and Esmie Newman
BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS
1. Read 1 Timothy 3:1-13. Write down and discuss how many times you can find the seven qualities in these verses.
2. In selecting workers, what did Jesus do first?
3. Read Ephesians 4:25-5:2. How important do you think people skills are? Explain.
4. How does Romans 12:3-8 apply to skill sets and team building?
5. Why do you think it is important for Christian workers and leaders to know the Bible well (Acts 20:25-32)?
6. How should leaders treat their workers (1 Peter 5:1-5)? Explain. Give an example.
7. What are some specific ways that you can give people opportunity for service, and to examine their progress, commitment and ability?
8. Explain in your own words what it means to be teachable.
9. Why do you suppose good attitudes are important in workers?
10. What stands out to you the most in this study in what the Bible says about selecting workers?
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