Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

Employee or Evangelist?

In my posts about our two open web positions at Fellowship, I have failed to emphasize that membership is part of the deal. Most of the time we will only interview people who are already members, but occasionally we will consider people who feel called to the church as well as the position. Obviously, this whole discussion assumes the person has a true heart for Christ and reaching the lost.

This has provoked some interesting comments from people who think that it is strange to expect someone to leave their church for a job. You'll find my answers in the thread, but the general idea is that this is a ministry, not a job. You need to be truly connected to the life-change that is happening all around you. You need to see the connection between the weekend and what we do everyday.

Could a staff member be effective and not be part of FC? Of course. Could they be as effective as someone with similar skills who is part of the day-to-day life of the church? Absolutely not.

Though this presents serious challenges during the hiring process, life is too short and this work too demanding to not pursue people who are as passionate about FC as they are about what they do.

So, here's the question. Many of you work at other churches, both large and small. Is Fellowship unique in this? Does your church hire people who are not members and are not interested in becoming members? I know that some churches have one standard for people in front-line ministry and another for support staff who work behind-the-scenes (of course, I have a biased view - I think of web work as a creative, artistic endeavor, not support). I'd love to hear what you do and what you've learned from your experiences.

But this question does not just involve the church world. If Scoble wasn't passionate about Microsoft and it's products, if he in fact preferred Apple hardware and software, could he still do his job? Maybe. Would he be even half as good at what he does? No way. [Quick side note: I would love to have his title - Technical Evangelist. Perfect!]

I imagine that corporate cultures vary quite a bit in this. Apple strikes me as someplace where the majority of its employees think of it as a mission more than a job. And I think this is reflected in what they produce.

Do GM employees drive Hondas? Do Coke employees prefer Pepsi? Do Fidelity employees use E*Trade when they go home? Obviously many do. And, of course, the best people, like Scoble, love to learn from competitors and give them full credit for their successes. We're not looking for people who ignore the rest of the world, and we constantly learn from other churches (and sometimes companies as well).

But I think every organization wants people who see themselves as evangelists, not employees.