[If God talks to you regularly in an audible voice or writes instructions in the sky for you…then you can just skip this one].

I was recently in a conversation with a search team leader at a local church.  It is a conversation that I have often, and it centered around the question what will it take for God to call someone to join our team? He was frustrated, as they had already been searching a long time before I walked into their conference room.

This individual was a sharp middle manager of a large technology company.  I asked him what would it take to get him to move his family cross-country to join someone else’s team? He answered that God would have to get him to do that because he loved where he was.

I said, “Great, but what would God use in your life to get you to think that it was time to move on?”  We quickly brainstormed a short list of what it would take him to move in no certain order:

1. A great zip code
Locating closer to family or perhaps a better climate might entice him.

2. A better salary or compensation package
He has three kids and is beginning to think about college and their futures. Salary isn’t everything, but he can’t afford to make a dumb move right now.

3. Team fit
Could he hang with these people over a burger and a Frisbee? Relationships are a high priority for him – number one on his list, actually.

4. Potential for influence
He’d want more influence in the new role. And he’d want the company to be making an impact in their business space.

5. Season
The organization would either need to be headed into a season of growth OR need him to help influence it to turn around. Mainly, he just wouldn’t want to join an organization that was stuck or on the way down.

6. Opportunity for development & challenge
He said he’d want to be on a team that made him better, and he’d want a big challenge. He is still looking for mountains to climb.

I asked him, “So, if an opportunity fell out of the sky with the right combination of three or four of these six things, might that be the Lord trying to move you elsewhere?”

He answered, “I don’t know, but if that happened I’d definitely have to start praying about it.”

Are you looking for a staff member? If you are a pastor or a search team leader for your church, I’d challenge you to think through how God might use your unique circumstances to find the right candidate to join your team.  How do you score your current situation in the  six factors listed above? Some you cannot change (like your zip code), but some are in your control.

In my work with Slingshot, as we do search and placement for church staffs, we ultimately want to determine if a particular candidate is “called” or not.  What I often see is how many things off this list align to help make this happen.

My point is that it’s rarely (I mean 'never') just one thing.

I believe in a God who could ring your phone tonight with the perfect candidate, but what I regularly see Him doing is working through natural circumstances and accommodating a few of these core things. THEN candidates begin to say, “Okay, I couldn’t sleep last night! We should talk more about that role. I am beginning to think God is calling us…”