The thread seeking advice on what to ask pastoral candidates hits on a concern I have had for several years. American churches (I don't know about foreign churches) seem to be woefully unprepared for seeking a new pastor. Yes, there are many books available. However, that does not seem to matter much. Looking through several websites that list churches ads seeking applicants drives this point home. I saw one several weeks ago that said they wanted a pastor to live in their parsonage. In the early discussions with one church I asked, "What are you looking for in a pastor?" and the response was, "That's a great question. I'll get back to you." Churches, at least looking at their ads, rarely know what they want. Those that do know what they want rarely have realistic expectations. What can pastors do to better prepare their church for the inevitable pastor change? Remember the reasons for the change vary and are not always due to scandal. I know a pastor in SD that told the church he was retiring. He was giving them several months notice. He then focused his sermons, and Bible study, on looking at the individual qualifications Paul wrote to Timothy and Titus. That was a good thing. He also kept reminding them that it is a good thing to raise up men from their midst, which meant encouraging them to prayerfully look at their own members for their next pastor. I think that is also a good thing. What else? I think this is an important part of our overall responsibility in shepherding faithfully and fully.