The Unstuck Group has a new team member, and we wanted to help you get to know her. Sarah Bouma joined the team in January and has already hit the ground running using her extensive experience in HR to help churches get unstuck in the area of staffing and structure. Read on to learn more about Sarah!
TIFFANY: Tell me about how your background and experience led you to become a part of The Unstuck Group team?
SARAH: My first job after college was on the Life Development team at Granger Community Church where I supported high school, young adult and outreach ministries. Being around a great team of leaders (staff and volunteer) ignited my passion for leadership development and led me to pursue my master’s degree in Human Resource Development.
In grad school, I focused on leadership, training, organization development and talent management. After finishing my degree, I spent two years consulting at the University of Minnesota and then seven years at the Kellogg Company with roles as a Global Learning & Development Consultant and a Global Organization Effectiveness Consultant.
TIFFANY: How/when did you discover you had a passion for helping churches get unstuck?
SARAH: I have been passionate about being part of a healthy local church ever since my experience at GCC. Throughout my journey, I have been involved in a diverse representation of churches. My passion is to see every unique church growing so it can reach its full potential for changing lives and communities.
TIFFANY: What is the most prevalent staffing/structure problem you see in churches and other organizations?
SARAH: The most prevalent staffing and structure problem I see is lack of role clarity – both in responsibilities and in reporting relationships. When hiring or designing an organization, each position should have a clear description and reporting structure prior to being filled. However, positions often evolve based on church growth and change.
TIFFANY: How can churches fix that problem?
SARAH: To increase role clarity, leaders need to ensure communication between each employee and manager is frequent and clear. Managers need to set clear goals and expectations with job descriptions. Also, it is vital that each individual on the team sees how his or her specific role aligns with the overall mission and vision of the church.
TIFFANY: What tips can you share for helping pastors make good hiring decisions?
SARAH: First, start looking for your next hire before you need them. Continuously look for talent in your volunteer and church community, and create a pipeline of great individuals who believe in your mission and vision. Mentor and invest in potential future staff.
Hire for more than just technical talent. Though I would never underestimate the importance of hiring an individual with the right skills for the job, leadership capacity is of utmost importance.
Understand what makes your church culture unique. Ensure any potential hire will be a good fit for your team. Include discussion of your mission and vision in the interview process.