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Church Staffing | Outsourcing 

This content is written for Talanton Church Services.

Thank you for listening to the church staffing podcast where we our goal is to help church leaders make the most out of their ministry. I am Kyle Willis, the Founder of Talanton Church Services here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At Talanton we aim to come alongside pastors and church leaders to help ease the burden of administration in operations within the church. Today we will be talking about the reasons many organizations outsource specific tasks, how to understand the value and relative price associated with these tasks, and finally how to sell the idea of outsourcing to your current staff or leadership team. 


First, regarding church staffing and outsourcing let’s talk about what “outsourcing” is and what “outsourcing” is not. Our working definition of outsourcing for today is “the ability to obtain services from an outside supplier, especially in place of an internal source.” Outsourcing is a common business practice of hiring a party to complete tasks, operations, or services that your team may or may not have the ability to perform. Even in Acts 6:2 the Bible mentions the strategic use of outsourcing by the early church. “So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.” Talanton’s Church Services has used this as a foundation for our work, in that we believe that those who are called to preach the Gospel, should have that as the center of their work and number of hours each week. 


Outsourcing from our perspective does not work as a substitute for vision or as a way to avoid addressing problems head on. As a church consultant, many church leaders have said, “Well, we don’t outsource.” While this is a common belief, many of our actual practices show we believe in outsourcing. Do you use a janitorial company to clean your facilities restrooms? Did you cater your last Christmas meal? Do you hand deliver mail to each of your members? Of course not! I mention these just to point out the fact that we all outsource in one form or another. 


Since we work in church consulting, let’s talk about the reasons why many organizations chose to outsource. The most common reason I see for outsourcing tasks is simply an economic decision. By paying someone else to handle a one-time or reoccurring tasks, business leaders can focus on the other items that are crucial to their business. Of course, you can clean your facilities’ bathrooms, but is that the best use of your leaders’ time from a purely financial viewpoint? Another reason for outsourcing is that an organization lacks the expert knowledge or skill-set. I am not a lawyer, nor a doctor, nor a financial planner, so I can benefit from expert advice. Another reason a church may chose to outsource is a shortage of talent or an overabundance of work. Outsourcing can be especially beneficial for a short-term fill in due to a leave of absence or while trying to find the best candidate. Finally, when considering church staffing and outsourcing, we see a need for outsourcing church talent due to peripheral benefits. Some large churches may be concerned about the number of employees they have due to ACA requirements, a lack of space to house new employees, or other tax and benefit implications. Outsourcing church staff can be a great way to address some or all of these issues. 


When considering outsourcing staff, one obstacle you may run up against is the idea of someone else making a profit off of your church. As a fundamental concept, I am not opposed for church consultants making a profit off of the church, in that it is done in an upfront and ethical way. The company who hauls off the trash every Monday makes a profit, so I am personally fine with other companies making a profit. But if you are trying to calculate the correct price or value of some services, I would encourage you to work the math. Let’s say you would pay an internal candidate $20 per hour. Due to benefits, vacations, sales commissions, overhead, and profit of the outsourcing company, one should easily expect to pay an outside company $30 per hour for the same employee. So from a church consultant perspective, a church leader should hope that outsourced employee is 50% more effective than an internal employee. Due to the expertise we mentioned earlier, better practices and systems, and some value for the peace of mind of not having to deal with the task, this value can be realized with the correct partnership in place. 


Finally, let us look at how to sell the idea of church staff outsourcing to your staff or leadership team. As church staffing consulting, we believe this is where many deals can fall apart. Some leaders who may be able to benefit the most from outsourcing tasks, are too afraid of having a difficult conversation and explaining that they need help or have a weakness. I would recommend anyone who has decided to explore outsourcing be able to explain the why for consideration. It could cost less, it could be a level of expertise that you do not have, or it could be a season of where your focus is needed elsewhere. Write down the why and address this head-on. At the end of the day, the business world is moving in this direction, and churches should as well, because there is so much value if outsourcing is executed correctly. 


So as we know we want to be good stewards of everything that God has entrusted us with, including our staff and to-do list. So if you are out there today and could benefit from outsourcing parts of your staff, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 405.343.8700 and we would love to come visit you. Once again this has been Kyle Willis with the Talanton Church Services podcast and it’s our pleasure that you have spent time with us today.

Written for Talanton Church Services. Church Staffing | Outsourcing  

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