How to Recruit, Develop, and Keep Staff Members

David Worcester Lead Pastor Compass Church, San Diego

God has blessed me with an amazing staff of 7 people. By His grace, God has brought them to our ministry. The following insights are principles I have stumbled upon through trial and error over the last five years of campus ministry.

The Size of Your Vision, The Size of Your Staff

If you want a big staff, have a big vision. Ask yourself…

Is my vision too big for my current staff to fulfill it?

If you can fulfill your vision with your current staff, then why would you need more staff?

One strategy for implementing our vision is to start one new ministry every year. So far, by God’s grace we have been able to start four ministries on different campuses and one international ministry in five years! There is no way I could have done this by myself (and kept my sanity). As our ministry expanded, our need for more workers expanded as well.

The size of your staff will be profoundly impacted by the size of your vision.

Fill a Field or Fill A Room?

Most ministry leaders are focused on drawing a big crowd. This is a good thing, but it is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Ministries that are focused on merely filling a room won’t have much need for a big staff.

I believe we should focus on filling the mission field with gospel seed and healthy ministries. For most of us, our mission field is the campus. I don’t know if you have realized this yet, but you won’t reach the entire campus through your weekly meeting! A field-filling mentality is one that focuses on filling your campus or city with healthy communities of believers. This leaves room for you to bring more staff on until you have saturated your campus and your city with healthy ministries.

Freedom To Fly

If you want real leaders and not drones as staff, you need to give people freedom to fly and freedom to fail. The way to attract and keep strong self-starters is to give them responsibility and let them go.


I have worked with my younger brother Andy Worcester for the last five years. He is a very energetic and gifted leader. He seems to always have another idea of how we can do better. One thing that I have found is that if he feels heard and is given freedom (within our vision) to try his ideas he thrives. Because of this, he has started a thriving international ministry that has seen people from far off nations come to Christ!

Train Them

I believe that Jesus was always looking for training opportunities with his apostles. As the leader, you want to constantly be looking for ways to train your people. Take them to conferences, debrief your ministry experiences, have them lead short term mission trips, and encourage them to attend seminary. Your whole ministry benefits when you strengthen your leaders.

Actually Care!

Your staff needs to know that you care about them personally, not just what they can do for the ministry. I meet with the guys on our staff personally and ask them about their finances and personal lives. I don’t just try to make them feel like I care; I actually care, and they can tell.

I encourage them to have fun, go on date nights, and enjoy the life that God has given them. If they are not feeling that campus ministry is for them then I give them freedom to pursue what God has shaped them to do.

I am very grateful to God for the privilege of working with such gifted and godly people. I pray that as you seek to recruit people to help accomplish your God-given vision that you will enjoy investing in and leading a healthy staff!

Sign up for our Newsletter

Get news about events, promotions, and new opportunities – right to your inbox!