Questions to Clear Up With The Pulpit Committee

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Major B, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. Major B

    Major B
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    This is a companion to the thread on pastor shortages in our area and others. A young friend is meeting with a committee this week, and he wanted some questions he could ask them.

    The List below is not fully original, but it is more developed than other lists I've seen.

    Comments, additions, etc.?

    Things to ask pulpit committees

    1. Parsonage Issues

    a. What are the church’s expectations with reference to repairs, upkeep and landscaping of the parsonage?

    b. What part of parsonage utilities, if any, does the church pay?

    c. Is there a problem with hanging things on the wall in the parsonage?


    2. Pastor’s Job Description

    a. Do you consider the pastor’s study time as work time?

    b. How many hours a week would you expect your pastor to devote to study of God’s Word and sermon preparation?

    c. What are the church’s expectations with regard to hospital and rest home visitation?

    d. How visitation is done by the Deacons of the church?

    e. What are the pastor’s responsibilities with reference to planning and managing the following activities?

    (1) Vacation Bible School?

    (2) Special programs, such as Christmas and Easter?

    (3) Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc.?

    f. What are the pastor’s responsibilities with regard to the church youth program?

    g. When members have serious counseling needs, may the pastor refer them to a professional Biblical counselor?

    h. How many revivals is the pastor allowed to preach per year?

    3. Pastoral Authority Issues

    a. Does the pastor have control of the pulpit for calling for supply preachers ?

    b. Does the pastor have control of the pulpit for calling preachers for conferences or revivals?

    c. What do you consider to be the authority of the Pastor if church discipline is required to be done?

    d. Do the Deacons run the church, or do the Deacons run FOR the church?

    e. What authority does the pastor have with reference to the church calling voluntary and paid staff members?

    4. The Pastor’s Wife

    a. What responsibilities, if any, do you expect the pastor’s wife to have?

    b. Do you consider the pastor’s wife to be the leader of the women, or is she first and most of all, the pastor’s wife?

    c. Is the pastor’s wife considered to be the hostess for social events at the church?

    5. Personnel and Compensation Issues

    a. Does the church provide medical insurance coverage?

    b. Does the church pay the employer’s part of Social Security and Medicare taxes?

    c. How many weeks of vacation does the pastor receive each year?

    d. Does the pastor have a regular day or days off during the week?

    e. Does the church pay mileage compensation for the pastor?

    f. Is the pastor’s attendance at the KBC and SBC funded by the church?

    g. Would the pastor be allowed to attend pastoral education courses one day a week?

    h. Does the church match the pastor’s contribution to the SBC Annuity Fund?

    i. What is the salary package for the pastor?

    j. Is there a formal process in this church for evaluating pastoral performance?



     
  2. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    This is a good list, and having served on two pastor search committees it pointed up some areas that we never even touched on. I'm going to take the test, my answers in italics.

    With regard to the pastor's salary package, the church approves a total package, and the pastor then breaks it down in a way that is legally advantageous to him tax-wise. The non-taxable benefits are listed separately.
    The mileage reimbursement varies, because of gas prices, so the rate is tied to the IRS reimbursement rate.

    We are a small congregation, so our ability to fund retirement is limited.

    Thanks, Major B for the questionairre. Very helpful. Hope we don't have to use it for a long time. We love our pastor.
     
    #2 Tom Butler, Sep 1, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 1, 2008
  3. exscentric

    exscentric
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    Here is a list I have, not sure if it is mine or someone else's, have had it for years. I did not remove duplicates with your list.



    QUESTIONS FOR THE SEEKING PASTOR TO ASK OF THE PROSPECTIVE CONGREGATION:

    Review the Doctrinal Statement and Constitution.

    1. Why are you interested in us?

    2. What is the most significant "POSITIVE" event in the history of the church?

    3. What is the most significant "NEGATIVE" event in the history of the church, aside from seeking a new pastor?

    4. In your opinion, after you have a pastor, what is the most important problem which the church needs to address?

    5. What quality in your previous pastors did you appreciate most?

    6. What qualities in your previous pastors did you appreciate least?

    7. What is your concept of a perfect pastor?

    8. What is your concept of a perfect pastor's wife?

    9. How is the pastor's compensation determined? How frequently is it reviewed? What factors are used in determining the compensation?

    10. How would you react to the introduction of an internship program for young pastors? (There would be costs involved for at least housing.)

    11. How do you expect your pastor to spend his time?

    In prayer?
    In personal study?
    In sermon preparation?
    In administration?
    In counselling?
    In visitation?
    In family time?
    In secular work?

    12. What organizations, or classes are the most active in the church?

    13. After you have located a pastor, what is the number one priority of the congregation in the next twelve months?

    14. What goals do you have as a church congregation?

    What methods do you have planned to achieve these goals?

    15. What plans do you have concerning staff and building expansion?

    16. What goals and concerns do you have for the next ten years as a congregation?

    17. Do you feel that there are hindrances within the church that will affect the success of the church at this point in time?

    18. What is your average attendance in Sunday School? _____ In the morning service? _____ In the evening service? _____ Wednesday evening service? _____

    19. What general format do you like best for Sunday School?
    What general format do you like best for your morning service?
    What general format do you like best for your evening service?
    What general format do you like best for your Wednesday service?

    20. Are you open to change in the above formats?

    21. How many new believers have resulted from the ministry of your church in the last three years?

    22. What is the present financial condition of the church, including any inbebtedness?

    23. Does the church have a policy concerning a vote of confidence for the pastor each year?

    24. What Sunday School material publisher do you use?

    25. What is your feeling concerning women teaching in the youth and adult levels?

    What is your feeling concerning men teaching in the children's level?

    26. Would the congregation classify their relationship to one another as a family, or as an organization?

    27. Do you emphasize home missions above foreign missions, or do you try to keep a balance?

    28. What mission boards do you support?

    Will you consider other boards if they are similar to those presently supported in separation and doctrine?
    29. What does your missions program consist of presently?

    30. How do you determine which missionaries you support?

    31. How do you hold your missionaries accountable for your part in their ministry?

    32. What is your missions budget at the present time?

    33. Are you open to expand that budget?

    34. Do you have job descriptions for the following positions?

    Pastor:
    Assistant Pastor:
    Elders:
    Deacons:
    Sunday School Superintendent:
    Sunday School Teachers:

    Is salvation a requirement for all positions?

    35. How do you minister to the following groups:

    Senior citizens:
    Middle agers:
    Young Couples:
    Singles:
    Youth:
    Children:

    36. What is the church's policy concerning the Lord's Table? (Include frequency and method.)

    37. What is the church's policy concerning Baptism (Include mode)?

    38. What is the church's policy on fund raising?

    39. What is the church's concept of separation?

    40. What is the church's position concerning divorce and remarriage?

    41. What is the church's policy concerning the use of divorce/ remarried people in the church?

    42. What is the church's policy concerning weddings, receptions, and funerals?

    43. What is the church's policy concerning fellowship and cooperation with other churches in the area?

    44. What do you feel the pastor's role is in the Sunday School?

    45. What is the church's policy in bringing outside speakers into the church?

    46. What benefits are given to the pastor? Social Security? Hospital insurance? Retirement? Car expenses?

    47. What policy do you have concerning the pastor's vacation and time off?

    48. Does the church assume the moving expenses of the pastor? When arriving? When leaving?

    49. Would the church be open to the pastor owning his own home, or does the church require the pastor to reside in a church-owned parsonage?

    50. Is there a housing allowance if the pastor owns his own home?

    51. What is the church's commitment to the idea of a Christian School?

    52. What is your policy on music? Taped music? Special music? Music groups coming in from outside? Does the pastor have control over all, or part?

    53. Has anyone gone into full time Christian service from this congregation?

    54. What testimony does your church have in the community?

    55. What are the pastor's responsibilities? What are his wife's responsibilities?

    56. What is the pastor's relationship to the board? To the congregation?

    57. What authority does the pastor have?

    58. Do you have a preferred/required version of the Bible?

    59. What books of the Bible have you studied as a congregation in the last three years?

    60. Are there any topics that you would not allow your pastor to cover in messages and lessons?

    61. What is your position on the Charismatic movement?

    62. What is the church's policy on church discipline?

    63. Do you have an office at the church for the pastor?

    QUESTIONS THAT A PASTOR WITH CHILDREN WOULD LIKE TO CONSIDER:

    1. What are the public schools like in your area?

    2. What is your concept of "pastor's children?"

    3. Are there any Christian colleges in your area?

    4. Are there any secular colleges in your area?


    QUESTIONS FOR THE CHURCH BOARD TO CONSIDER PRIVATELY WITH THE CANDIDATE:

    1. Are each of you born again Christians?

    2. Are you committed to your God, your family and your church?

    3. Do you consider the church position that you hold as a high priority in your life?

    4. Do you feel that your position is a ministry to the believers of the church, or a responsibility that you felt you should take?

    5. What is the boards priority for the church?

    6. Do you feel that you can work well with me? (BE AS HONEST AS POSSIBLE.)

    7. How would you classify yourself when asked to accept responsibilities in the church? OUTGOING ____ AVERAGE ____ SHY ____ SUPER SHY ____ .

    8. Are you willing to challenge yourself by accepting new responsibilities?



    ITEMS OF INTEREST TO HELP THE PROSPECTIVE PASTOR MAKE HIS DECISION:

    1. Attendance records of the last ten years.

    2. A church, year end, financial statement. (This will help him understand the income to the church and how the funds are used.)



    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT] QUESTIONS FOR THE SEEKING CHURCH TO ASK OF THE CANDIDATE:

    Ask the congregation to form questions for the candidate and assemble a list of questions for public use.

    GENERAL QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

    1. What is your concept of a pastor?

    2. What do you do in your off time hours?

    3. What is your position on the following topics:

    THE INSPIRATION OF THE SCRIPTURES:

    DEITY OF CHRIST:

    THE SON SHIP OF CHRIST:

    THE TRINITY:

    THE MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:

    THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS:

    ETERNAL SECURITY:

    SALVATION:

    METHOD OF INTERPRETATION:

    CHURCH GOVERNMENT:

    LIMITED/UNLIMITED ATONEMENT:

    THE DEVIL:

    THE ETERNAL STATE OF THE BELIEVER:

    THE ETERNAL STATE OF THE LOST:

    BAPTISM:

    LORD'S TABLE:

    THE RAPTURE:

    THE TRIBULATION:

    THE KINGDOM:

    THE CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT:

    4. What is your concept of evangelism in the local church?

    5. Are you willing to work outside the church if the situation required it for you to continue your ministry?

    6. What are your strengths?

    7. What are your weaknesses?

    8. Is there any personality type you find it difficult to work with?

    9. Please share your salvation testimony?

    10. What type of books do you read?
     
  4. bobbyd

    bobbyd
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    Good questions...i may have to print them off and keep them handy if i meet with a search committee again.
    Major B; why the shortage of pastors in your area? With a seminary in the state and a handful of good baptist schools, you would think otherwise.
     
  5. Major B

    Major B
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    1. Many of these churches are small, part-time "family chapels" (meaning part time pay and full time availability and work for the pastor).

    2. Many of them have long records of short pastorates, and today's young preachers being sharper and more astute, they won't go into those traps.
     

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