A note from Justin Gerhardt:

Dear church,

As we make these hires for our Discipleship Minister and Student Minister roles, the elders, hiring teams, and I thought some of you may be interested in understanding more about the hiring processes we’re utilizing.

Everything below pertains to the Discipleship Minister hiring process in particular, but the Student Minister process is very similar.


The process began with intentional prayer and an initial clarification and assessment of the role and necessary gifting. As candidates applied, the process included resume and philosophy of ministry evaluation, multiple rounds of written questions, Skype interviews, reference checks, personality assessment tests, and visits which include in-person interviews, work scenario assessments, and input across various church ministries. And, as always, lots of prayer.


I’ll warn you up front: this is a lot of information--so if you’re not all that interested, feel free to not read it. That’s okay! :)

For those who’d like to know more, though, here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the process:


We began with a lot of prayer, resolving to continue bathing the hiring process in prayer and asking God to give us wisdom and unity, and lead us into an excellent hire.


Before we posted the job, elders, staff, and deacons/ministry leaders in the Small Groups and Welcome Home ministries gathered to determine our priorities for the hire: What work do we need accomplished? Where do we need leadership? And what skills will the next hire need to have? A job description was then collaboratively created to reflect the above data.


Next, our elders asked me to lead the hiring process and choose a small team to facilitate the process. We desired a small team in order to enable efficiency, communication, and a high amount of collaboration. I worked with the elders to choose Luke Cochran, Patty Merkord, and Kallie Ray.


Once the priorities were confirmed and the team selected, the elders and I hired a management and hiring consultant to examine the job description we’d outlined, help us identify what personality types would be good in this particular role, and create a profile of the ideal candidate. In order to help determine fit, we also had this consultant run assessments on a few key individuals this person would be working in close proximity with--myself, a few of the elders, staff, key volunteers, etc.


Armed with a precise job description and a clear understanding of the type of person we were hiring, we posted the job online in ministry job forums, through Facebook, and reached out to others in ministry for names of those who may be looking and would be a good match. From this, we received applications from all across the country.


Once an application is received, candidates receive an email thanking them for applying and asking them to answer a few questions to help the team gauge their spiritual maturity, passion for the work, and potential fit.


If the application and answers received pique the team's interest, two team members will conduct a Skype interview with the candidate (it's recorded - the other committee members will watch the interview on their own time). Skype interviews are evaluated and candidates who show promise are ushered into the next phase: calling references.


We view reference calls as extremely valuable in getting a sense of character, past work performance and what we can expect from the person if they join the team here. After references are called, the team meets to discuss those calls and decide whether to move a candidate on to the next phase.


Promising candidates are put through multiple personality/strengths assessments (our consultant utilizes the TTI Success Insights® Behaviors and Motivators assessment, which includes DISC profiling and the StrengthsFinder test) to determine their fit for the role. The consultant then shares the results of the assessment with us and also provides the team with detailed follow up questions based on each candidate's specific personality traits in relation to the requirements of the role and the ideal profile.


If the assessment results are favorable, candidates are brought in for two days of intentional (and, honestly, intense) exploration, including (among other several things) a 2-3 hour live interview with the hiring team and various scenario-based tests that require candidates to do the job of a discipleship minister under the observation of the team. [For example, the candidate is put into my office, given a set of prompts/exercises, and given 90 minutes to complete as many of them as possible. (If you’re interested, you can view a sample of similar prompts here. These are intended to be seen for the first time that day by candidates--so please do not share them with anyone. Thanks!) After that particular exercise, we evaluate their work and debrief with them for 30-45 minutes about what they did and why.] During that visit, the candidate also meets the staff and some of our elders.


If a candidate rises through all these levels, we'll ask him or her to visit again with their spouse over a weekend so they can meet the church on a Sunday and more intentionally connect with elders, staff, and small group leaders.

At this point we'll have as much information as we can hope to gather about the candidate, which means prayerfully considering whether or not to proceed with an offer.


Our goal with this hire has been to move candidates along at whatever pace makes sense. We have not waited for all candidates to make it through one phase before we begin a new phase with an individual candidate. As of a few weeks ago, we have stopped taking applications, and have led several applicants through multiple levels of assessment.

In the end, the hiring team will have thoroughly evaluated every candidate (with the assistance of the elders, staff, and discipleship-related ministry leaders). By the grace of God and as a result of rigorous, varied assessment, we’re confident that whoever emerges from the process will certainly be an excellent fit.

We expect this process to result in a hire that both blesses this church and blesses the man or woman we welcome into the Round Rock family.

Again, this can’t be emphasized enough: Before we did anything, we began this process with prayer. We prayed that God would bring us someone who would help us live love, someone who would embrace our core behaviors, someone who help us reach our city for Christ and shape us into the image of Christ. We trust God heard those prayers, and we trust He'll answer them.

I’d be very grateful if you’d continue to join us in prayer for this hire and for our Student Minister hire.

As always, if you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to ask. You can reach out to me or any of the elders and we’ll do our best to explain anything you’re wondering about.

Grateful to be living love alongside you,
Justin Gerhardt
Preaching Minister, RRCOC