Pastor Search Committee and resumes

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Greektim, Dec 1, 2014.

  1. Greektim

    Greektim
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    When you are looking for a viable candidate for a pastor, what are some things you like to see on a resume that might help someone stand out apart from the rest of the stack?
     
  2. PreachTony

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    I'm going to guess we do things a bit differently in my neck of the woods, being a small church (avg attendance 75-100). We don't have a "pastor search committee." Instead, when our church is without a pastor, the deacons meet in prayer and we have several men come in over time, as the Lord leads the deacons to invite. Quite often the deacons will invite the "home preachers" to join them in prayer and discussion.

    It doesn't usually take long for God to lead us in a specific direction and, after discussions among the deacons and the lay-members of the church, we bring up the candidate in Conference and hold an elective vote.

    I'll be honest that we're kind of leery of a man claiming the "Doctor" title, after some bad experiences. It's not an automatic disqualifier, but it often does influence our decision. This is not meant as disrespect. It simply means we weigh it as part of our decision.
     
    #2 PreachTony, Dec 1, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2014
  3. Deacon

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    We've recently hired another pastor.
    The elders spent about 2 years developing a specific, detailed job description.

    We merely looked for the person that best fit that description.

    The 200+ applications were quickly parred down to about 70 potential candidates, each were researched and of those some were phone/Skype interviewed.

    We had one that stood out far above the others in fulfilling our needs.

    He came, he preached, we hired.

    His only downside is that he's from Texas and is a Dallas Cowboys fan.
    He got two turkeys on Thanksgiving Day and ate some humble pie. :smilewinkgrin:

    Rob
     
  4. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Humility & Empathy for the work of the flock ....attempting to bring Christ to the area.:thumbs:
     
  5. Revmitchell

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    It is not a good idea to use deacons as a search committee. That is not the Biblical role of deacons. They are not administrators and it sets them up in a place they do not belong.


    If churches look for things on resumes to make a candidate standout that is a poor standard. Churches ought not treat this as hiring a pastor but looking for the man God has called. It is possible that man may not stand out but be part of the larger mix.

    The church should be in much prayer divorced from worldly standards of hiring practices. No one is getting hired. Someone is being called.
     
  6. PreachTony

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    Thanks, Rev. I'll go tell my church how woefully wrong we are. :smilewinkgrin:
    In all honesty, we use the deacon board for this process because they are among the most learned, elder men in the church. Between them and the home preachers, we have been able to reach very civil common ground on selections. The candidate is then invited to preach and the church then prays and discusses the candidate. It's not like the Deacon board is claiming authority over the members and forcing a candidate on anyone. Also, when you have a smaller church, you often have people taking on multiple roles within the church. I'm a licensed preacher, which means I am free to go visit any church the Lord leads me to visit. But I've also served as Sunday School and Bible Schools teacher, I've offered up the morning devotion prior to Sunday School, I've directed the Christmas play. This is not meant as a boast, but merely to show you how we have to sometimes do more than we would if the church were bigger.

    I completely agree. The idea of a resume for a pastor has implications of the church being a business. Also, resumes are outright lies from the start, as they reveal only what the resume writer believes is good and important about himself. Who writes a resume listing their weaknesses?
     
  7. Salty

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    Amen and amen. I am personally aware of a church that called a pastor about two months after the previous pastor died. Only one person even knew this candidate before preaching the first time.

    I trust it will work out for them, but I do have my doubts.
     
  8. Don

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    Tony - I understand what y'all are doing. In the IFB circles, the deacons are the leaders of the church (after the pastor), and are responsible for the flock.

    What I've personally found during my time with an SBC church is that there are two groups: the deacons and the trustees. As RevMitchell pointed out, the deacons embody the ideal from Acts, where the deacons are the spiritual leaders. The trustees - or in some cases, the elders - are the ones who may not fulfill the qualifications of a deacon, but are well-respected in the church; and are responsible for the "day-to-day" running of the church, allowing the pastor and deacons to focus on the spiritual leadership and matters.

    (My problem is, before our pastor left, he hadn't identified any deacons or potential deacons; and while he helped us identify a pulpit committee, he left it to the congregation to determine who was "in charge." Subsequently, the pulpit committee - mostly trustees - has been working ALL aspects of church administration. We're surviving, but it's a struggle.)
     
  9. Salty

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    The resume basically tells you who to put into file 13.
    Normally, they give three references. What should be done is ask those 3 references of someone who knows the candidate , and than go to a third generation- which equals a possible total of 39 people. I would put more emphases on the third generation.

    Of course this takes time - and most Baptist churches want this all done in a month or two.

    Of course if one of the references is a member of BB :smilewinkgrin:
     
  10. PreachTony

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    Don - Just out of curiosity, did you not have Deacons prior to the pastor leaving? Perhaps I'm misreading your last paragraph. Otherwise I know the feeling. We don't identify with the SBC, nor do we identify as IFB. My pastor has always called himself a "missionary baptist."
     
  11. Revmitchell

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    Which is not a biblical function of deacons
     
  12. JonC

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    Does Scripture prohibit churches from utilizing deacons in that manner (in addition to meeting those specific needs listed)?
     
  13. Revmitchell

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    What it does is go up against the nature of what a Deacon is. It sets Deacons up as administrators or rulers in the church. That goes against the nature of what a biblical deacon is and it goes against orthodox Baptist governance.

    Further what often occurs is those same deacons are used as overseers of the pastor once he gets there.
     
  14. Don

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    Nope, no deacons.
     
  15. preachinjesus

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    What a great question. I don't know about other churches, but when we're looking to hire we prioritize the following:

    1. Experience
    a. Kinds of church work
    b. Roles/positions held
    c. Kinds of churches served
    d. (If secular) What kind of positions
    2. Calling (personal statement)
    3. Education
    4. Networks, associations, and certifications

    This can generally give me a good picture of a candidate. Granted, we are a large church and are looking for specific positions to hire. When we post a position, say on one of the major church job sites, we will get, on average, about 400 resumes.

    Now, I have worked with other churches, on a consulting basis when it comes to hiring pastors and associate pastors (other staff too but these are generally smaller churches.) Usually I tell them to look through the stack of resumes (every committee has at least 200) and cull them based on:
    A. Experience
    B. Education

    That's the first cut. If the committee has a particular standard about education, usually they prefer an Masters of some kind, that cuts out dozens of resumes. Also, the experience factor is important. It is sad to say, but that's part of the process. When I was in seminary I often lamented that everybody wanted a candidate with experience but nobody wanted to give a candidate experience. Its a catch-22.

    What captures my attention? A personal reference from a colleague in a network is almost more important than anything else.

    Honestly, someone in my peer group of pastors sends along a resume and says, "this guy is the one for you." I'm gonna look that resume over several times and probably give a call. The second thing that helps is having similar experience as the church you're considering.

    If you want to pop your resume, use a slightly different format than others. Family pictures are nice, though I prefer them on the cover letter. A personalized cover letter is helpful too. Also, a personal website that reduplicates your resume (in part) but also lets me see a little bit deeper who you are is helpful.

    One trick that can help is to call the contact person, or at least the church and find out about the contact person, and let them know you are interested, personally, in their position. Ask about the particulars, note where you've already checked up on it. Sometimes that little bit of influence can help.

    Church jobs are weird, nobody can explain why some guys get some positions and others don't. You can't get around cronyism and nepotism, but you don't want to be part of that anyways.

    Hope that helps.
     
  16. JonC

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    Thanks. I did not know that there was an orthodox Baptist governance except as developed and prescribed within each local church. I agree with the last part of your post - too often there are a select number of deacons who run the show.
     
    #16 JonC, Dec 1, 2014
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  17. Don

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    PreachinJesus' answer is great. Honestly, including a birthdate is helpful.

    What's also helpful these days is including a DVD with several different sermons on it. When you live in Florida, and are submitting for a small rural church in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, etc. - there's not gonna be much chance for you to preach for them, or them to come see/hear you.
     
  18. Salty

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    Years ago, I was stationed in Germany at our (English speaking) church, it was fun looking for a new pastor. Of course this was long before the internet. We would send out notices to different SBC state conventions - wait on replies - then have them send an tape recording. Calling them on the phone was usually out of the question - (that was about $1.50 a minute or so)... Now our "State" Convention the European Baptist Convention would pay their way over, but then the church would have to send in a monthly amount to the EBC to send the family back based on a 3 year tour.

    One other thing - I find it interesting that a church will want a man with a masters degree and several years experience - but the pastor is expected to work part time as it is a bi-vocational position
     
    #18 Salty, Dec 1, 2014
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  19. T Alan

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    There are many "Missionary Baptist" in the SBC in my area. Usually, in this area though, a "Missionary Baptist" exists for the purpose of supporting "Missionaries" of their choosing. Where as mostly in the SBC (in this Association) SBC don't usually support independent Missionaries but give to that work through the Ga. Baptist Convention. to the NAMB.

    As to "Trustees" No such animal exists in this area in the SBC. The Chairman of Deacons has most of the Power. The Pastor usually serves at his pleasure. Behind the scenes of course.
     
  20. PreachTony

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    Rev - Again, we're a small church. The Deacons do perform the duties outlined in scripture, but like I said, many of us have taken on multiple roles out of necessity. No one is complaining. We enjoy doing the work.

    No one considers the Deacons to be overseers or watchguards of the flock or the pastor. In my opinion, we're to watch after each other, and if anyone crosses a line, regardless their position in the church, we are to undertake the steps of gospel order to resolve the issue. It is, in essence, a series of checks and balances to stop any one particular person from trying to gain more power and influence within the body. See my reply in post #28 in this other thread. I've seen that happen when one person/family overpowers others.

    Additionally, when it comes to the finances of the church, you need someone to oversee that. As we're so small that we don't employ a full-time or even part-time staff, we have an elected church clerk who maintains the books and these records are reviewed monthly in conference. The man who is currently our clerk is a Deacon, but he was clerk prior to his ordination as a Deacon. My church currently has five Deacons ranging in age from 45 to 70. Because of certain families moving away, we currently have a bit of an age gap, as I'm the next oldest non-Deacon male, but I'm a preacher and we don't make preachers Deacons, as we feel that ties them down when God has chosen them to be able to visit and share the gospel. The next oldest past me is 26, but he does not currently fit any of the scriptural qualifications of a Deacon.
     

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