The Center for U.S. Missions in Irvine, Calif., sponsored its first workshop on “behavioral interviewing” in January. The event was so successful the center is considering offering it again, if enough people are interested.
The three-day seminar was led by Dr. Charles Ridley of the School of Education at Indiana University, Bloomington, who is known nationally as the father of the behavioral interview process for church planters, according to Dr. Ken Behnken, director of the Center for U.S. Missions.
Behavioral interviewing is based on the social-science theory of behavioral consistency, which states that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Instead of asking a job candidate, “What would you do if conflict arises in this position?,” an interviewer might ask, “Tell me about a conflicted situation you had to deal with, and how you handled it.”
During the seminar, Ridley helps participants develop questions appropriate for the position they are attempting to fill, and practice sessions are provided to help participants sharpen their interviewing skills.
About half of the seminar’s 18 participants serve the Ohio District, which co-sponsored the event. All rated the training highly, according to Behnken, who has used the interview process himself.
One participant said the process “gives a much better picture of the candidate than almost anything else I can think of”; another said the skills he learned would make it easier to find the right person for the position.
“The behavioral interview process allows the interviewer to clearly identify the gifts of the person he is interviewing so that the congregation, school or entity can provide a call or contract to the person with the gifts needed for that position,” Behnken said. “We have found this particularly helpful in identifying pastors with the gifts to be a church planter.”
The Center for U.S. Missions, which provides training for mission work, operates in partnership with LCMS World Mission; Concordia University, Irvine, Calif.; and the Synod’s North America mission executives.
If you’re interested in learning more about behavioral interviewing, contact Karen Kogler at the Center for U.S. Missions at (949) 854-8002, Ext. 1780, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted Feb. 25, 2004