These FAQs are geared towards pastoral and ministry positions, but they may be helpful to any potential employee.
When looking for people who may become part of our team, we rely on the well-known adage of “The 4 Cs.” “The Four Cs” are: Character, Competency, Chemistry, and Culture. The first two, character and competency, are baseline measurements required to even begin the conversation. If there are glaring character issues, it’s going to be tough to be a minister. Competency depends on the job in question and is typically outlined in our “Qualifications and Requirements” on every job description. In the initial screening process, these two “Cs” are the ones we are looking for early on.
This is what the interview process is all about. We want, first and foremost, to spend time getting to know you. Like any healthy relationship, chemistry is evaluated and developed by spending time with one another. We want to approach the process a little less like we’re hiring for a government position and more like a dating relationship. So, we’re going to want to talk to you in person as quickly as we possibly can in the process. This means you are going to need to come in for a visit to see if Harris Creek is even a culture you would enjoy. Where you work in ministry affects your entire life, and the worst thing that could happen would be to bring someone on staff only to find out a year later that they really don’t fit here.
We would love for you to come for a visit and get a chance to meet you, particularly early in the process. Again, we want to make sure there’s chemistry between us, and that cannot happen online (despite what eHarmony tells you)! There are a few things we would ask before you come. First, we would love for you to check with us before coming, just to make sure someone is available to meet with you. Second, there are some processes that may require you to wait so that we can give each candidate a fair shot to do the same. Not everyone lives close to Waco, so it may be more difficult for some candidates to arrange a trip. Third, please make sure that if you come, you are not coming “to get a leg up” on the process. If you’re just looking for a job and wanting us to hire you quickly, we can save you a trip by telling you that’s not going to happen.
This is something we have figured out the importance of the hard way. There are certain habits that we’ve found directly contribute to the success or failure of the employees of Harris Creek. We have developed a list of practices we call our Leadership Practices in which our staff strive towards and are reviewed by. Our Lead Pastor wrote a blog giving more insight about our staff culture and practices. Our Leadership Practices are:
ACT LIKE AN OWNER
A leader is someone who thinks and acts on behalf of the entire organization, not just their own ministry area. To act like an owner means you are able to:
- Think about the health of the whole, even before your specific ministry area
- Take personal responsibility for creating a healthy and productive culture
- Act decisively to get a problem fixed if you see something is broken
- Do the little things without complaining because you take pride in what you own
- Work to understand what you don't know to be a better manager of the resources entrusted to you
SHOW YOUR WORK
A leader is someone who can deliver tangible and measurable results in a timely manner. To show your work means you are able to:
- Point to quantifiable results in your ministry area
- Place a completed project in someone's hand from the last 30 days at any given point
- Demonstrate attention to detail, a focus on quality, and a healthy work ethic
- Document when, where, and how you have spent your time
SPEAK WITH CANDOR
A leader is someone who is capable of speaking with candor in all situations. To speak with candor means you are able to:
- Say the last 10% that needs to be said
- Address any "elephants" in the room head-on
- Season your language with both grace and truth
- Speak your mind, even at the risk of disagreement, without being a jerk
A leader is someone who is aware of both their strengths and weaknesses. To display self-awareness means you are able to:
- Be vocally self-critical when necessary and appropriate
- Acknowledge your mistakes before others are forced to bring them up
- Actively work to identify and correct any mistakes you've made
- Put systems and structures in place to offset any weaknesses
- Respond in the moment by saying "thank you" when presented with criticism
CREATE EXCELLENT ENVIRONMENTS
A leader is someone who pays attention to detail and works to create intentional and excellent environments. To create excellent environments means you are able to:
- Prepare the space you are responsible for before people arrive
- Take hospitality and hosting our guests to a new level
- Focus on even the smallest details because they communicate your level of preparation to lead
- Engage as many of the five senses as possible in a positive way with the environments you create
Our approach to discipleship is clearly outlined on our Discipleship Philosophy page. While this model is fleshed out thousands of unique ways, we believe the pathway is similar for all of us. We need to be connected to biblical community, participating from time to time in equipping, worshipping regularly together, and living on mission daily.
What you may also notice is that we are not a “program heavy” church. We want to be intentional with our discipleship process and do a few things really well. A goal of ours is to do things that other churches aren’t currently doing in the Waco area. This isn’t “to be different” or to set ourselves apart from other churches; this is because we believe that we’re called to play a unique role in the Body of Christ. We often say we feel called to be “the left hand” of churches in Waco, which means we’re willing to try and do things others aren’t currently doing. If this approach makes your heart sing, Harris Creek might be a good fit for you.
Our denomination is one that was historically a very broad term that described people who held to a few central distinctives like believer’s baptism, autonomy of the local church, priesthood of the believer, and the fight for religious freedom. Over the years, Baptists, particularly Baptists in the South, have gained a reputation for being only a certain “flavor” or kind. While we are a church that still holds to historical, Baptist distinctives, we also strive to be ecumenical (honoring traditions of many denominations and being part of the global Church). The best way to describe our culture is that we are a church that works hard to embrace both the old and the new. We understand that Harris Creek didn’t start this movement called Christianity. We also understand that God calls each generation to take the unchangeable message of the Gospel and put it into practice in ways that our culture can understand. You can get a really good feel for our culture when it comes to this question by watching a few sermon podcasts or reading through our Worship page on our website.
First, there is a deep sense of knowing without a doubt that this growth is due to God’s grace. This is not the obligatory “chalk it up to God then brag on yourself” statement. When our growth began, we were in the middle of a pastoral transition and didn’t know what we were doing. While we’re a little older and wiser (emphasis on “a little”), we still feel as though God has swept our congregation up into something much larger than we could manufacture on our own.
Since we talked earlier about the need to make “something out of nothing,” there are a few tangible things you could point to that God has used in the process. Our Sunwest Campus is located in one of the faster growing regions in the Waco area, so we get “first crack” at many people looking for a new church home. We also have a worship style that speaks to a broad range of people, including people in different generations. Again, we work hard to embrace both the old and the new, which we think is, sadly, a rarity in today’s world. Finally, we try not to take ourselves too seriously, which people seem to enjoy. We love the opportunities we get to try something new, and when we fall flat on our face, our congregation is great about encouraging us to try again. This has led to us being in a position where we can do things others can’t, which seems to connect with a large segment of the population today. Oh, and we have really good coffee.
So long? You just got to the FAQs! Be patient, cowboy. While it might seem like we are slow, we are really being very thorough and deliberate in this process. Remember, we’re approaching this like a dating relationship. We want both sides to be sure of what they're getting into before making "the leap" (maybe we've taken the analogy too far?).