Finding Leaders That Fit Your Church Culture with Tim Foot

Modern Church Leader feat. Tim Foot
Finding Leaders That Fit Your Church Culture with Tim Foot on Modern Church Leader

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Finding a Leader That Fits Your Church Culture

One of the most critical factors in the success of a church is finding the right leaders. When a congregation has a leader who fits into their culture, they can grow and thrive.  And if a leader doesn’t fit into that culture, things can go south very quickly. 

Church leaders are responsible for so many undertakings—from making decisions to managing people and resources and everything in between. Having someone who fits in well with your congregation is crucial to maintaining harmony within your church community and ensuring growth over time.

As a church, you may have given a lot of thought to how to find the best candidates for your church’s leadership positions. Finding and hiring good leaders is a time-consuming and difficult process, especially for smaller congregations.

That's why a church staffing agency can be a valuable resource for churches.

Having an agency in place to help you find qualified leaders will save you time, energy, and resources while keeping your focus on what matters most: making sure your church is growing and being spiritually nourished.

This is exactly what Slingshot Group does. They believe that when finding good leaders for churches, there's no substitute for personal relationships. 

That's why they work with each client one-on-one to help them find the right fit for their team members—and not just by asking questions like "What are your goals?" or "What do you want this person to accomplish?" but  most importantly by asking, "Who is this person?" 

With that, we are super excited to have the CEO of Slingshot Group, Tim Foot, join us on this episode to share his insights on church leadership and how churches can make better hires through more personalized processes. 

When God aligns the mission, and the leader's unique wiring, with the organization's vision and mission, there’s nothing better than that. -Tim Foot

Tim Foot brings a diverse background in church, nonprofit, and for-profit environments to his role as CEO/President of Slingshot Group. Throughout his time at Slingshot, Tim and the teams he’s led have staffed and coached well over a thousand churches, organizations, and leaders. 

Having a well-staffed church is critical to the ongoing success of your church. If you feel you could benefit from some advice on this topic, listen in!

By the end of this episode, you will learn:

  • How your church can make better hires
  • How the church is dealing with the Great Resignation
  • Relationship fundamentals for better church leadership
  • How to find leaders that fit your church culture
  • Slingshot Group's method for hiring church leaders and staff

Resources Mentioned:

Know more about Slingshot Group: slingshotgroup.org
Like Slingshot Group on Facebook: @slingshotgroup
Follow Slingshot Group on Instagram: slingshotgroup

Other Episodes You May be Interested In:

How to Impact the Community with Ministry Resources with John Craft
The Role of a Pastor As a Shepherd with Tom Nelson
What It Means to Be a Christian Leader with Richard Stearns

Here’s a glance at this episode…

[14:32] I believe that churches are catching up. During the last couple of years of the pandemic, people have gotten new rhythms. 

[20:57] When God aligns the mission, and the leader's unique wiring, with the organization's vision and mission, there’s nothing better than that.

[23:11] There are things like story mining, which is when we really dig deeply into a person's story. Because who you are, determines function, it determines direction.

[25:27] What they love most about our team is just the team culture. It's so important to invest in your people and to invest in that culture.

[26:17] I would say there are no failures, even when the process has gone off the rails, because you've got to believe that God's writing about your story. We're doing the work because God is trusting us to be faithful to his ultimate story even when the organization might not be entirely satisfied with the outcome. 

podcast transcript

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Tim Foot (00:00):

If I had to point to one, it would be how unique every church and organization is, and how unique every leader is, and that's the holy work. We talk about our values being spirit led, because God's leading the process, and we're innovative, relational, determined, winsome, we want you to enjoy the journey with any of our people. But it's when God aligns the mission and the unique wiring of the leader with the vision and mission of the organization, there's nothing better than that.

Narrator (00:39):

Welcome to The Modern Church Leader, where you'll hear executive pastors share practical tactics and strategies that churches are using right now to thrive in our digital world and advance the kingdom of God. Here's your host, Frank Barry.

Frank Barry (00:53):

Hey, guys, Frank here with another episode of Modern Church Leader. Super excited about today. Actually, we've not had a guest like this on the show yet, so super excited to have this conversation. I'm joined by Mr. Tim Foot. Did I say that last name the right way?

Tim Foot (01:10):

You did indeed. It's a hard one to get wrong Frank.

Frank Barry (01:14):

I mean it is, but sometimes last names you say it in a way that doesn't make sense. You know what I'm saying?

Tim Foot (01:20):

And it's actually spelled, for your listeners, it's spelled the right way.

Frank Barry (01:24):

It is.

Tim Foot (01:24):

No offense to people who spell it the other way. There's no E on the end of Foot.

Frank Barry (01:28):

Yeah, it's just F-O-O-T. So, Tim Foot, CEO-

Tim Foot (01:31):

I don't have two first names. Do you ever get that? People mix that up.

Frank Barry (01:34):

I get it all the time.

Tim Foot (01:35):

I'm sure that's annoying.

Frank Barry (01:36):

They call me Barry. Yeah, absolutely. It's a whole thing.

Tim Foot (01:40):

Sorry, mate.

Frank Barry (01:41):

You just roll with it when it starts happening.

Tim Foot (01:43):

Sorry on behalf of humanity.

Frank Barry (01:46):

Well, Tim, it's great to have you on. You're the CEO of the Slingshot Group. Would you describe you guys as you're a staffing agency for churches? Is that the-

Tim Foot (01:56):

We would say, basically, what we do and why we do it is, we build remarkable teams and healthy culture through staffing and coaching. So coaching, Frank, is a huge part of what we do, and as we staff, there's a ton of coaching embedded and involved in the whole process. We do individual coaching, but it's all in order to build healthy teams, remarkable teams and healthy culture.

Frank Barry (02:21):

Yeah. And you guys, obviously, you're on the show and we focus on churches, so you do that for churches, but you do it for nonprofits and-

Tim Foot (02:29):

Correct.

Frank Barry (02:29):

Do you go outside of the church nonprofit space at all, and go into the for-profit world?

Tim Foot (02:34):

Now and then we'll serve a faith forward or faith focused for-profit company that aligns with who we are, but mainly it's church and nonprofit.

Frank Barry (02:44):

Gotcha, gotcha. Well, I mean, tell everyone a little bit about your journey into becoming the CEO there.

Tim Foot (02:50):

For me, I've been with Slingshot now for, I'm in my 12th year, and came on board when we were just a handful of associates with a handful of coaching and staffing engagements and took over the worship arts division, that was my ministry focus area back then. And watched that grow, with an amazing team, from being worship arts to experience, which covered production, worship, digital marketing communications so that grew into the experience division. Then as my ministry trajectory changed and my leadership continued to evolve, I moved into leading our senior leadership division, and then nonprofit came and camped out with us during the pandemic, for various reasons, then January 1st of this year, stepped into the CEO role. So it's been amazing to watch it grow from a handful to now over 60 team members nationwide and we're serving close to 400 organizations a year.

Frank Barry (03:58):

Wow. That's super cool. Now, you're obviously not from the U.S.

Tim Foot (04:02):

No, I'm not. [inaudible 00:04:04].

Frank Barry (04:03):

And I got it wrong when I guessed, which is really sad, because one of my best buds is Australian, but you're from Australia.

Tim Foot (04:10):

I am Australian. And I think if I'd been talking for a little longer, you would've gotten it.

Frank Barry (04:14):

Yeah, I might've tuned in.

Tim Foot (04:16):

I'd give you the benefit of the doubt on that one. But yeah, moved from Australia, Tasmanian born and raised, then I was in Sydney for nearly 10 years, doing ministry and, actually, music business work. Then moved to the Denver area in 2002 to be on the exec team and worship pastor at a church called LifeBridge Christian Church in Longmont, Colorado, which is Boulder County. And that's still home church for me 20 years later. My full time and a half job, I say, is running Slingshot and leading that team, but I still get to be involved on a local church level, teaching regularly. Well, semi-regularly. I mean, there's only so much you can do, right?

Frank Barry (04:57):

Yeah.

Tim Foot (04:57):

But I say to people, I love keeping my fingers in the dirt of local church ministry, because it's my first love.

Frank Barry (05:02):

Yeah, yeah.

Tim Foot (05:03):

After Jesus and my family, just get that in perspective.

Frank Barry (05:05):

100%, yep. Jesus, wife, kids, got to have it in the right order. So you moved to the U.S. for the position at the church out there. Was that the-

Tim Foot (05:17):

Indeed, yes.

Frank Barry (05:18):

... main reason for coming out here? Because that's a big move. You're leaving your home for a long period of time and moving-

Tim Foot (05:24):

Leaving community, home, culture, everything. And here I am 20 years later. So yeah, the lead pastor of LifeBridge, he transitioned a few years ago and is now on the exec leadership team at Gloo, which you would know, big data company out of the Boulder area.

Frank Barry (05:40):

I was talking with Gloo yesterday.

Tim Foot (05:43):

Who were you talking with from Gloo?

Frank Barry (05:46):

The head dude.

Tim Foot (05:48):

Scott Beck.

Frank Barry (05:49):

Mr. Beck, yes.

Tim Foot (05:50):

So, Rick Rusaw works closely with Scott, and Rick was then lead pastor of LifeBridge. Back in '99, he was at a conference, guest speaker, I was guest worship leader, we hit it off, stayed in touch. I was over here doing some other work, he said, "You need to come join the team here." I said, "No way." And that went back and forth, and God got involved, and his calling became evident, and the rest is history, but I ended up here in 2002.

Frank Barry (06:17):

Yeah, wow. And stayed.

Tim Foot (06:18):

With my wife. We'd been married a couple years.

Frank Barry (06:19):

Yeah, that's awesome. Now, kids, family, did you bring more over with you? What's [inaudible 00:06:26]?

Tim Foot (06:26):

Well, that's an interesting story. My wife is British born, Australian raised, and now an American citizen [inaudible 00:06:33].

Frank Barry (06:32):

See that's where I picked up on the British part. I think it's because your wife has influenced your accent.

Tim Foot (06:37):

Got nothing to do with it.

Frank Barry (06:38):

No, I think that's-

Tim Foot (06:39):

She doesn't have a British accent.

Frank Barry (06:41):

Oh, darn.

Tim Foot (06:41):

She grew up in Melbourne, Australia. She immigrated with her family to Melbourne when she was three.

Frank Barry (06:47):

Oh, okay.

Tim Foot (06:47):

So she has triple citizenship. That's what's interesting about Mandy. Well, there's lots more that's interesting about Mandy, but triple citizenship is pretty unique. Then we grew our family, actually, through adoption, and we adopted both of our boys, who are now 14 and 12, at birth.

Frank Barry (07:04):

Nice.

Tim Foot (07:05):

They're biological siblings, we adopted them two years apart from the South Side of Chicago. So we are quite the family, because I'm from Tasmania, Mandy was born in the UK, our boys are from the South Side of Chicago, and we're all different colors and we all talk a little differently, and hopefully it's a bit of a picture of the kingdom.

Frank Barry (07:25):

Yeah, amen. That's cool, that's super cool. Well, I mean, let's jump in, right. It's fun getting to know you.

Tim Foot (07:32):

You too, Frank.

Frank Barry (07:32):

So I guess we could have that and listeners can just listen to us ramble on.

Tim Foot (07:36):

Hopefully they'll enjoy that.

Frank Barry (07:37):

Yeah. So on the coaching and training, and leadership development, staffing for churches, I mean, describe Slingshot a little bit more for folks, so they have maybe a better sense of how you guys are really helping churches. Then I'd love maybe the tail end of that, how things have changed over the last two plus years, with pandemics and all the other stuff that's been going on.

Tim Foot (08:05):

Yeah. Our co-founders were good friends of mine before Slingshot even began, and the felt need was helping leaders stay longer in local church settings, walk more fully in their God given calling, and then to help organizations stay on mission with people. We love to solve problems, and most of the time problems can be traced back to a person, or the need for a person. And so if a person is on staff and needs to break through any kind of way, or needs to get better, we can come alongside. Then if a team needs a new leader to help grow culture, then we can come alongside and help find that leader.

Tim Foot (08:49):

I think one of the unique things about our team is we're all practitioners or have been practitioners, and so we can add value every step of the way in the search process and the coaching process. We don't want to just manage a process that a church or nonprofit could manage on their own. We don't want to just save time, and it absolutely will save time and money, we want to bring value to that process. So as we're coaching an individual leader, or indeed a whole team, we want there to be added value with the associate that's working with that organization. As we're looking for staff, we want there to be added value in that whole process, that we can bring expertise to the team, that we can really understand the unique culture of each church, so that we can find the right leader, that's the right match to help that team move forward.

Tim Foot (09:40):

It's really interesting, Frank, because culture, we're seeing, is so, so important right now. I think that's really been revealed even more throughout the last couple of years. If [inaudible 00:09:52]-

Frank Barry (09:52):

When did... Sorry, real quick, just interject it. When do people come to someone like you guys for help? When does a church realize, "Oh, I should bring a third party in who has expertise in this area"? Oftentimes, churches raise up leaders from within and then move them around. I guess it just depends, you might be in a network or in a denomination, and they have their own ways of staffing things. I guess I'm asking that because I think you guys are somewhat unique, in the sense of you're not in a denomination doing this thing, or in a network, you're this outside thing that people can... Now, it's normal in the business world, right?

Tim Foot (10:37):

Right.

Frank Barry (10:37):

There's all kinds of staffing stuff. But I just think it's interesting in the church, and how do people learn about you and realize, "Oh, I need somebody to come in and help me, that would make [inaudible 00:10:46] better for me"?

Tim Foot (10:47):

I think there's been a huge raising of awareness of the need to outsource staffing and coaching. To help a leader lift their eyes up in a local context by bringing in an outside voice that has a national view of the landscape of ministry, even international view, and can help a leader think differently. I always struggle with the title consultant, I prefer coach, because consultant suggests that you're going to be prescriptive and tell somebody what to do. I know consultants don't always do that, but we're all about curiosity and asking questions. I believe I can learn something from anybody I'm talking to, but we want to ask great questions that unleashes the unique leadership that God has placed in each leader and each team, so that when we're doing the staffing process, we can ask the right questions to really understand culture in a way that we can go out and find the exact right leader to bring in, to propel that team forward and to be a culture add.

Tim Foot (11:50):

And so, as you're talking about, when did this come about, or when do people become aware of it? I think now there's a felt need because, denominationally, people are hitting a wall, they can't find leaders. Then also, just internally in a given church, even if you're not part of a denom, you don't have time to run your own staffing search anymore. I mean, there's so many things now, with the advancement of the digital age, and that we've been catapulted probably a decade in the last couple of years, there's so many things we have to do in ministry that it's actually not good stewardship, Frank, to be running our own search. We need to be about the work of ministry, and then bringing in a team that is living and breathing this. I mean, one of our biggest value adds is that we're going to connect you to potential candidates that you couldn't connect to on your own. And in our coaching, we're going to bring expertise from the outside, from our experience, that you can't see when you've got your head down in ministry every day.

Frank Barry (12:55):

Mm-hmm, yeah. You mentioned something about people not being able to find leaders. I've heard that a few times over the last couple of years, that finding great leaders, especially great young leaders, has become incredibly challenging.

Tim Foot (13:17):

Yes.

Frank Barry (13:17):

As we've gone through all of the political stuff and social stuff, and the pandemic, and masks and no masks, just all of that stuff stacking up, young leaders are running for the hills. I've just heard that a few times talking to senior leaders of big churches, and I'm just wondering, give us your take on just staffing as we've gone through the pandemic and all of this, and what you're seeing there.

Tim Foot (13:45):

The church often will lag behind what's happening in the secular space and the market space. We see that in times of recession, the church will often follow behind what you see is happening in the secular marketplace. You mentioned that in the marketplace they've outsourced search for years. Well, I think the church is catching up now and seeing the value add of that. I mean, anybody who logs onto a news website, or picks up a newspaper, who does that anymore, will be reading about what's being called the great resignation or the big quit, and I think the church is-

Frank Barry (14:22):

I try not to watch the news anymore. I'm just like, "Forget about it."

Tim Foot (14:25):

Good choice. When you got middle schoolers in your house, it's a really good choice. But yeah, I believe the church is catching up. I think during the last couple of years, in the pandemic, people have gotten new rhythms, they've they've set new priorities. But you alluded to it, we had a culture crisis, and I think Gen Z, and even some of the millennial generation are questioning the relevance of the church. We're talking a lot internally with our team members about, how do we tell a beautiful story about what it means to work on the front lines of ministry again? But then I know lots of people are saying, "What are all these workers are doing? I mean, did they just disappear? Where have they gone?" I think there are so many different ways now to earn a living that allow you to be self sufficient. I mean, we're seeing crypto, and we're seeing all kinds of things, that people can-

Frank Barry (15:26):

They're making money doing TikTok reels and Instagram Stories and YouTube.

Tim Foot (15:29):

Yes.

Frank Barry (15:29):

There's people finding ways to make money all over the place.

Tim Foot (15:33):

And what generation-

Frank Barry (15:34):

And maybe they don't need to make as much money.

Tim Foot (15:36):

Yeah, exactly.

Frank Barry (15:36):

They're okay making a little less just to live a great lifestyle.

Tim Foot (15:39):

Lifestyle. Yeah, it's lifestyle choices, and the innovative way in which the younger generation are utilizing digital tools to make a living. Then also the church is competing with, gosh, Walmart, who, I saw an article recently, they're paying truck drivers 90,000 to 110,000 to drive a truck. I think I heard a McDonald's in Midland, Texas was paying $22 an hour to work at McDonald's. And you've got a youth pastor, who could see that as their mission field, and be able to shut off at the end of the day, that's not willing to work for what a church will pay anymore. So it's like, how do we tell a beautiful story? I continue to say, Frank, that our work has never been more challenging, but never have we been more committed to it, and never has the church needed us more.

Frank Barry (16:41):

Right. Yeah, I hear that. How do you find leaders? How do you find the people when you're... I mean, I'm guessing people put their resumes out there and so there's the natural, or maybe the easy stuff, right, that comes your way, but how do you source great talent for the church, and figure out that they're great talent?

Tim Foot (17:05):

The first way is my favorite way, and that is just good old fashioned hustle. I mean, that's why I love this work to begin with. It's like being a journalist and sniffing out the story. That's why we have over 60 ministry practitioners across the country who have developed networks. And we always say, "You get one of us, you get all of us." We leverage our collective networks to turn over every rock, to sensitively find the right leader. Because we do not poach, we're not going to go after people that are involved in vibrant ministry and are sure of their call, but we're absolutely going to talk to people in our network to say, "We love this church or nonprofit we're working with. The profile we're looking is so similar to yours. We do not want to get in the way with what God's doing, but we would love you to help us find the right leader for this role, if you know of someone in your network." So I think, for us, the number one is good, old fashioned hustle and really getting after our networks.

Tim Foot (18:06):

But also, now we've been doing this nearly 15 years, and I think we're in our 15th year, so we've been doing it as long as anybody, and now we've got such a developed job board that the great leaders are hitting that page more than any other page on our website. Probably more than standalone staffing web pages, because they know that churches that are growing and are healthy are outsourcing search, so they're also coming to us.

Tim Foot (18:36):

And it's general, top of mind awareness. We really focus deeply on our candidate care and our leader care. We've got a whole division that looks after and develops people that come to us and say, "We sense the Holy Spirit is leading us somewhere new, we need you to help us navigate that. We see Slingshot as safe harbor. Can you help develop us and walk the journey with us?"

Tim Foot (19:02):

So really, I mean, those are the three main tributaries, if you like, into the pool of talented leaders. It's our network and our ministry practitioners and hustle, and then it's our job board and the awareness of that, and then it's our general database, which has thousands and thousands and thousands of people in it. But you know, I mean every place is unique, Frank, so you know that there's only probably three to five leaders, when you take all the filters on any given role. Calling, chemistry, you know all of the Cs and all of that. When you put all of that in place, it really filters it down to just a few people. And that's our job, is to do the legwork and move the rock to get to those people.

Frank Barry (19:49):

Right. I mean, you've been there 15 years, what's one of the biggest learnings from 15 years of getting the right people in the right roles in the church?

Tim Foot (20:03):

Hmm.

Frank Barry (20:04):

Do you have something where you're like, "Man, this is the key to the whole thing", or, "This is one of the biggest things I've learned over 15 years of doing this job"?

Tim Foot (20:12):

It's interesting, and just to clarify, for me, it's coming up 12.

Frank Barry (20:16):

12, okay.

Tim Foot (20:17):

But I was connected to our founders when they started it. And I got to admit, I remember, when they started it, thinking, "Is this going to work?" And now I'm dedicating my life to it. But seriously, Frank, there are so many learnings, and if I had to point to one, it would be how unique every church and organization is, and how unique every leader is. And that's the holy work. We talk about our values being spirit led, because God's leading the process, and we're innovative, relational, determined, winsome, we want you to enjoy the journey with any of our people, but it's when God aligns the mission and the unique wiring of the leader with the vision and mission of the organization, there's nothing better than that.

Frank Barry (21:09):

Yeah, and you see it somehow, somewhere along the journey, right, you'll notice, "Ah, there's a fit here. I can see it happening in front of me."

Tim Foot (21:18):

Oh, totally. And don't get me wrong, this is messy work. I always say to anybody considering us as a partner for coaching or staffing, "Yes, there are other groups doing this, there aren't many that have done it a long time, but align with the group that matches who you are, because this is messy, honest work." One of our big commitments is, when it gets messy, usually when not if, but when it gets messy, we're always going to lean in. We're going to do the right thing, we're going to take the high road, we're going to come alongside you, we're going to be in it with you.

Tim Foot (21:53):

But there is that moment when you see breakthrough with coaching, and you see connection with a leader and a search team or a hiring manager, and you go, "I can see God's fingerprints all over this." And then when you hear stories, when you've been around for 15 years, like we have, as a company, you hear the stories now of long term ministry that's happened, and multiple leadership placements, or multiple coaching journeys at the same church, or the same nonprofit-

Frank Barry (22:23):

Yeah, yeah, [inaudible 00:22:24]

Tim Foot (22:24):

... there's nothing better than hearing those stories.

Frank Barry (22:26):

Right. You help them with somebody, it just goes amazing, and then next time they need the next person they're going to come back to you guys, because you really helped them find the right fit.

Tim Foot (22:37):

Right.

Frank Barry (22:38):

Is there something that you do in the process of trying to find that right connection? The right question isn't, "What's an interview question you ask them?", but maybe is there some kind of thing that you're doing in the process that really helps you identify the right person for the right job?

Tim Foot (22:57):

We have a proprietary form of coaching called improv leadership, and there's a bunch of steps or competencies in that. We call it stepping stones to healthy culture or healthy leadership, and we draw upon those a lot. But there's things like story mining, which is when we really dig deeply into a person's story, because that really informs their leadership. It's like when we're working with an organization, Frank, and our big question to an organization is, "Who are you?" Because who you are determines function, it determines direction, it determines the [inaudible 00:23:31]-

Frank Barry (23:30):

Do you help them identify their own core values in a sense? Is that part of what you do?

Tim Foot (23:36):

Absolutely, yeah.

Frank Barry (23:38):

Helping a person realize these are the things that [inaudible 00:23:42]-

Tim Foot (23:42):

Yeah, we'll do health assessments, team assessments, we do a discovery visit, which is probably not as deep a dive as some of those coaching engagements, but all of it is about getting to know the organization, and then getting to know each particular leader as well. Then other competencies, like lobbing forward on a leader when we're coaching, or we're talking in the interview process, and that is basically helping them see beyond, about what is possible, and opening their eyes to that kind of thing. Then pulling out their strengths too, and seeing how that could compliment the culture and the direction of a given team.

Frank Barry (24:18):

Yeah. I mean, it's amazing. Hiring the right people or finding the right people for the job, it's extremely important, right?

Tim Foot (24:30):

Yeah.

Frank Barry (24:30):

Having people that are on the mission with you, and excited about the work you're doing, and fit culturally, it's mission critical to get everybody on your team, if possible, to check all those boxes and fit. But it's a lot of work, it takes a lot of work. And the bigger you get, the more critical it is almost for that next person to fit well. So, I mean, the work you do is big.

Tim Foot (25:00):

Thanks, Frank. And it's so critical to future growth, health, mission clarity of an organization. But for me, it was a beautiful alignment of one, I just love people, and two, I love putting teams together. What anybody on our team, I think, would say at Slingshot is what they love most about our team is just the team culture. It's so, so important to invest in your people, invest in that culture, and then what we hope happens is that that rubs off on any organization that we work with, or any leader that we're coaching.

Frank Barry (25:38):

Yeah, I love that. One last normal question, then I want to hit some real rapid fire ones.

Tim Foot (25:44):

Right.

Frank Barry (25:48):

Have you had any situations completely fail, and what'd you learn from it? Placements that you're, "Oh, this is perfect", but somehow something went wrong. And you don't have to share like who or where or whatever, but just stuff like that. Something that, "Man, this one didn't work", and what'd you pull out, what'd you learn from that?

Tim Foot (26:06):

So, you know what the answer to that question is because we're in the people business.

Frank Barry (26:10):

Yeah, totally. It's a layup.

Tim Foot (26:11):

I always say we're in the people business, we're not making widgets. But I would say there's no failures, even when the process has gone off the rails, or even when somebody didn't stay around, because you've got to believe that God's writing a bigger story. What is he revealing that needs to be addressed in the organization? What was he doing in the life of that leader? Or maybe that leader was meant to come for a shorter amount of time, just to be a catalyst for some kind of change.

Tim Foot (26:42):

Also, if there's an internal placement that happens, I always say to our team, "We're doing the work we're doing because God is trusting us to be faithful to his ultimate story." Even when the organization mightn't be entirely satisfied with the outcome, as long as we're leaning fully into the story that God's writing, and trusting that he's writing a bigger story. So yeah, I mean, we've had leaders implode when they got to a place, and we've been surprised, and the organization's been disappointed, and we've reengaged to find another leader and that leader has been amazing. And they look back going, "Yeah, we see now that we needed to go through what we went through to get to this leader and here's what we learned from the process." I think if there's a mismatch in chemistry between us and an organization, we missed that in the exploration process, then that can get revealed. But all in all, Frank, we're learning what God is doing, and God works in any kind of messy situation.

Frank Barry (27:43):

Mm-hmm. Yeah, that's very cool. Well, man, this is cool, you guys are doing amazing work, so it's been great to chat. I want to ask you a couple quick, rapid fire questions to wrap us up. Hopefully they're easy.

Frank Barry (27:55):

What's a book that you've read that everybody needs to read? Doesn't have to be recent, it could be any book ever, but something you've read that you're just like-

Tim Foot (28:02):

I wonder if you've heard this one before, The Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards.

Frank Barry (28:06):

I know of the book, I've heard of the book, all the things, but no one's ever said it on the podcast, that I can remember, I've done a lot of these.

Tim Foot (28:13):

Unbelievable, unbelievable leadership book.

Frank Barry (28:16):

Yeah, The Tale of Three Kings.

Tim Foot (28:16):

Very formative for me.

Frank Barry (28:18):

Yeah. I'm pretty sure I read that one in college, but yeah, no one's brought it up on the show. So, love it. Okay, second one, what's a podcast that you're listening to right now?

Tim Foot (28:32):

Masters of Scale.

Frank Barry (28:33):

Doesn't have to be Christian, okay. [inaudible 00:28:35]-

Tim Foot (28:35):

Well, I immediately went to a non-Christian one, Masters of Scale.

Frank Barry (28:39):

Oh, I love it, I love it. That podcast is both really awesome and irritating at the same time to me.

Tim Foot (28:47):

Huh?

Frank Barry (28:48):

Something about the format of it kind of gets me, but the guests and the content, it's next level, right, in terms of-

Tim Foot (28:55):

And I'll give you two. You said I'm not allowed to give you two, I'm going to give you two.

Frank Barry (28:58):

You can give me two.

Tim Foot (28:59):

And neither of them are Christian, so sorry about that. I'll usually listen to preachers rather than podcasts. But the second one is, and you said it, I find it better not to watch the news these days, especially when you got middle schoolers in the house. I love The Daily from the New York Times, because I can look at what they're talking about, they dig into a subject and take 25 to 30 minutes to do it, and it's really, really insightful if I'm on a drive somewhere just to dig into a topic.

Frank Barry (29:26):

Yeah. Love that, love that. Okay, last thing. Where can folks go to find out more about Slingshot Group, and you if they want to connect with you personally?

Tim Foot (29:33):

Slingshotgroup.org, we would love to have you. Shoot us an email and we'll follow up. We love making new relationships.

Frank Barry (29:43):

Love it, love it. Well, Tim, this has been great, man. Thanks for coming on the show, thanks for spending some time. And everybody listening, go to Slingshotgroup.org and check them out.

Tim Foot (29:52):

Thanks, Frank.

Frank Barry (29:53):

Yeah, I'm sure we'll have you on again someday.

Tim Foot (29:56):

Love to be.

Frank Barry (29:57):

We'll talk about things in another year. But thanks for listening everybody, we'll catch you next week on another episode of Modern Church Leader. Bye-bye.

Narrator (30:03):

If you enjoyed this episode of The Modern Church Leader, consider sharing it with the pastor or minister you think would benefit the most from listening to this conversation. You can send them to modernchurchleader.com, or share this episode directly from your podcast app. Be sure to subscribe for free on YouTube, Apple Podcasts or Spotify, so you never miss an episode. We'll see you again next week with another conversation here on The Modern Church Leader.

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Finding Leaders That Fit Your Church Culture with Tim Foot

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Finding Leaders That Fit Your Church Culture with Tim Foot

Having a well-staffed church is critical to the ongoing success of your church. If you feel you could benefit from some advice on this topic, listen in!

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Finding a Leader That Fits Your Church Culture

One of the most critical factors in the success of a church is finding the right leaders. When a congregation has a leader who fits into their culture, they can grow and thrive.  And if a leader doesn’t fit into that culture, things can go south very quickly. 

Church leaders are responsible for so many undertakings—from making decisions to managing people and resources and everything in between. Having someone who fits in well with your congregation is crucial to maintaining harmony within your church community and ensuring growth over time.

As a church, you may have given a lot of thought to how to find the best candidates for your church’s leadership positions. Finding and hiring good leaders is a time-consuming and difficult process, especially for smaller congregations.

That's why a church staffing agency can be a valuable resource for churches.

Having an agency in place to help you find qualified leaders will save you time, energy, and resources while keeping your focus on what matters most: making sure your church is growing and being spiritually nourished.

This is exactly what Slingshot Group does. They believe that when finding good leaders for churches, there's no substitute for personal relationships. 

That's why they work with each client one-on-one to help them find the right fit for their team members—and not just by asking questions like "What are your goals?" or "What do you want this person to accomplish?" but  most importantly by asking, "Who is this person?" 

With that, we are super excited to have the CEO of Slingshot Group, Tim Foot, join us on this episode to share his insights on church leadership and how churches can make better hires through more personalized processes. 

When God aligns the mission, and the leader's unique wiring, with the organization's vision and mission, there’s nothing better than that. -Tim Foot

Tim Foot brings a diverse background in church, nonprofit, and for-profit environments to his role as CEO/President of Slingshot Group. Throughout his time at Slingshot, Tim and the teams he’s led have staffed and coached well over a thousand churches, organizations, and leaders. 

Having a well-staffed church is critical to the ongoing success of your church. If you feel you could benefit from some advice on this topic, listen in!

By the end of this episode, you will learn:

  • How your church can make better hires
  • How the church is dealing with the Great Resignation
  • Relationship fundamentals for better church leadership
  • How to find leaders that fit your church culture
  • Slingshot Group's method for hiring church leaders and staff

Resources Mentioned:

Know more about Slingshot Group: slingshotgroup.org
Like Slingshot Group on Facebook: @slingshotgroup
Follow Slingshot Group on Instagram: slingshotgroup

Other Episodes You May be Interested In:

How to Impact the Community with Ministry Resources with John Craft
The Role of a Pastor As a Shepherd with Tom Nelson
What It Means to Be a Christian Leader with Richard Stearns

Here’s a glance at this episode…

[14:32] I believe that churches are catching up. During the last couple of years of the pandemic, people have gotten new rhythms. 

[20:57] When God aligns the mission, and the leader's unique wiring, with the organization's vision and mission, there’s nothing better than that.

[23:11] There are things like story mining, which is when we really dig deeply into a person's story. Because who you are, determines function, it determines direction.

[25:27] What they love most about our team is just the team culture. It's so important to invest in your people and to invest in that culture.

[26:17] I would say there are no failures, even when the process has gone off the rails, because you've got to believe that God's writing about your story. We're doing the work because God is trusting us to be faithful to his ultimate story even when the organization might not be entirely satisfied with the outcome. 

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