Skip to content

How to Build a Learning Culture


By Michelle Wilson

In order to build a learning culture, Focus on the Family is aware of the need to identify committed, invested individuals during the hiring process. Creating an organizational culture of lifelong learning will be impossible if team members are not committed to the mission.

That is why our Recruitment Department created a list of “6 C’s” — six attributes that we look for in each new hire or prospective team member.

If any of these areas is lacking during the interview process, we seriously reconsider whether the potential employee is compatible with Focus on the Family’s mission and culture. So here are the attributes we look for in all our applicants:

(1) Calling

Does the team member have a strong Christian walk? Do potential managers and executive team members have an awareness of their personal purpose and a sense of their calling specifically to Focus on the Family? (Eph. 2:10)

(2) Character

Will the team member sign our statement of faith, and does his or her references and background check reflect strong character? Do management and executive candidates demonstrate personal and spiritual maturity? (Gal. 5:22)

(3) Competence

Is the candidate teachable, with adequate knowledge, skills, and experience? Do management and executive candidates display both demonstrated and proven levels of experience? (2 Cor. 3:5)

(4) Compatibility

Will the candidate be a good fit for the team? Does he or she have a reasonable awareness of the organization? Do management and executive candidates have knowledge, even intimate knowledge, of Focus? (1 Cor. 12:14, 18)

(5) Convictions

Does the potential team member agree with a basic Christian worldview? Do management and executive candidates have a deeper knowledge of, and passion for, that same worldview? (Psalm 119:31)

(6) Compensation

 Are prospective team members in agreement with the ministry’s compensation and benefits package?
(1 Tim. 6:6-11, 17)

Candidates who rank high in each of these “6 C’s” stand the best chance of making excellent Focus on the Family team members. And because the criteria for each category become more rigorous for management and executive-level positions, we feel confident that team members who demonstrate the “6 C’s” will fit well with our organization’s commitment to lifelong learning in the professional and ministerial settings.

Again, team members who are already invested in and committed to the mission and values of the organization are those who make the best mentors and the best learners.

When it comes to cultivating the next generation of leadership here at Focus on the Family, the future looks bright. I believe that God’s plan — his story — is often carried forward by strong leaders. We see this repeatedly in the Bible. We can learn from those examples, not only those found in Scripture but throughout history, and take inspiration from them.

My passion is to identify and help develop the next generation of leaders — the gifted men and women who will help lead Focus on the Family further into the 21st century with humility, vision, and character. It’s exciting and fulfilling to be a part of this process.

How do your hiring practices support the culture of your organization?


Michele Wilson is the senior vice president of Human Resources for Focus on the Family. She has served with Focus since 2001. Previously, she spent six years at David C. Cook and 19 years as a missionary with her husband Mick. Wilson has a Masters in Biblical Counseling from Colorado Christian University, a SPHR certification, and serves on the Board of OC International. This post is an excerpt from the 2013 Summer edition of Outcomes Magazine.

CLA.TwitterProPicDKBAt Christian Leadership Alliance our thought leadership is designed to empower leaders of Christian nonprofit organizations by thinking higher for great outcomes. We provide training that’s not only taught by the industry’s best across all spheres of business, but courses that are also based on solid biblical worldview. Check out our lifelong learnng resources today!



What is Christian Leadership Alliance?

Christian Leadership Alliance equips and unites leaders to transform the world for Christ. We are the leaders of Christ-centered organizations who are dedicated to faithful stewardship for greater kingdom impact.

Upcoming Events

Check back later!