Identifying Multipliers and Diminishers

Ministry is a challenging field to choose to dedicate your life to. Not to diminish the challenges of other professions, but more to point out that being in ministry is more than preaching, having coffee with people, and throwing events. Each ministry position, whether it is the lead position, students, kids, worship, or some other position of a church brings unique challenges. As we have talked about before in the last couple of weeks, the greatest contributing factor to your success is the quality of your lead pastor, and they can also become the greatest obstacle. This is why we need to be diligent in the interviewing process that we gain a clear understanding of the pastor we are going to work for.

To help with that, we have discussed what the difference between leaders who are multipliers and diminishers. Today, I would like to talk practically about how in the interview process you can identify whether or not the lead pastor that is interviewing you is a multiplier or a diminisher. These are taken from Liz Wiseman and her book Multipliers, which you can check out below.

If you would like to avoid working for a diminisher, then you need to look for these behaviors:

  • Talks more than listens
  • Accepts surface-level answers
  • Asks about “what” and “how”
  • Is decisive with ideas
  • Takes themselves very seriously

If you would like to work for a multiplier, then you need to look for these behaviors:

  • Listens more than talks
  • Asks follow-up questions out of curiosity
  • Asks “why” to better understand
  • Shares multiple perspectives on issues
  • Shows sincere self-depreciation & laughs

Now, every leader is going to show all of these behaviors to some degree at some point, so it is important to understand that if you see this behavior manifest minimally, that it isn’t a definitive sign. However, if through the course of a weekend interview experience a lead pastor shows these behaviors consistently, then it is probably safe to say that it is their norm. I would also encourage conversations with other staff members and previous staff members to seek out understanding on whether these behaviors are prevalent or not. Do your homework and don’t assume you aren’t the only one being interviewed. You should be interviewing the lead pastor just as diligently as he is interviewing you. Your ministry and the experience of your family is relying on your diligence in the interview process.

Well, I hope this is a tool you can put in your toolbox for the interview process. It can also be used in any leadership capacity such as a business environment, establishing partnerships, and seeking employees or volunteers. Build a team of multipliers, work for multipliers, and be a multiplier.


Wiseman, L., & McKeown, G. (2010, May 1). Managing Yourself: Bringing Out the Best in Your People.  (

Liz Wiseman  


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