What Search committees are now looking for

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Tom Bryant, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    From Thom Rainer says about new trends in what search committees are looking for.

    Interesting that they are not listening to the pastor preach at his current church. I guess they are relying on cd's or dvd's of their churches.

    What do you all think?
     
  2. preachinjesus

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    Really, really compelling list. I'm not super surprised, or put off, that they aren't going to the prospective pastor's church to hear him. Kind of makes sense given that is usually expensive and disruptive in most churches. Why mess with it if you can get the same thing by using video media through their website or via DVD.

    What is interesting to me is the change towards more focus on leadership and seeing how they use social media.
     
  3. RG2

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    I've seen the video clip trend extend to worship leaders as well. I think it's a smart way to use technology in order to be able to "see" more candidates. Especially with the cost of gas and airfare now.

    I thought #4 was interesting though that the judge the pastor based on the quality of his church's website. I don't know how it is at all churches, but I would assume that most pastors don't have too much to do with the church website.
     
  4. Tom Butler

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    Wow, how technology has changed the pastor search process.

    I chaired our church's search committee way back in 2000-2001, and our process seems quite primitive now.

    One good trend is that not not having to go to a prospective pastor's church to hear him preach. When we walked in that Sunday evening, everybody knew exactly what we were up to. One of them walked over and grinned, "you're a pulpit committee, aren't you?"

    "Yep," I grinned back, "and we've come to steal your preacher."

    That sort of broke the ice, but it still is an awkward situation.

    The other advantage is that the need to travel on $4.00 gas is diminished a bit.
     
  5. mont974x4

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    I don't recall ever seeing a search committee visit a pastor's current church. I wonder if it is more common in certain areas?

    For my preaching classes I had to make DVD's of my sermons and overnight them to the school. The school then uploaded them to the schools servers so my prof and fellow students could view and critique them. The school left us to figure out how to make the DVD's and format them correctly on our own. I had to buy a digital video camera and software for making and editing DVD's. I am sure others probably had access to friends or family that had those resources.

    I have seen many search committees ask for a video or link to sermons. Our church records audio only and places the sermons on the website. We are a small church and don't have real high tech stuff, or even all that tech savvy people. I am not called to be a A/V tech, but I have had to jump in help in this area at times.

    Churches and pastors, and most people in ministry today, are going to have to find ways to use Twitter, Facebook, and other tech opportunities to reach the people. It is here to stay, and evolving fast.
     
  6. gb93433

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    The majority of search committees I have met with in the past were put off when I started asking them personal questions about their walk with God and proof of their leadership in ministry. If they are leaders then they should easily be able to provide proof of their leadership.

    Years ago I wanted to have an open forum when I came to the church so the people could ask me questions. The leaders told me they already had that worked out. I let that slide and within 3 weeks I found out why. I should have left then. They were not leaders and I would have found out things that they would not have liked to have known to me.

    Recently I was invited for an interview at a place of employment and I asked them tough questions and they had no problem answering them. They were honest and up front. Why do so many in churches think they must hide things? Eventually they will be revealed.
     
    #6 gb93433, Apr 4, 2012
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  7. mont974x4

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    I have been thinking of questions to have on hand and ready as I seek a pastorate. I would appreciate knowing what you asked.

    Thanks in advance
    Jason
     
  8. gb93433

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    I might ask them to tell me about the last time they shared their faith. I might ask them what their strengths are. I might ask them to tell me about their devotional life and what God is teaching them now. I might ask them about what they are praying for. I might ask them about how they came to Christ. I might ask them to tell me about the disciples they are making. I ask those kind of questions because it reveals if they have an active walk with God and if they are truly leading at least one person. If they have things to cover up and are ashamed you will see that. I look right at them when I ask a question. I am looking for uneasiness and attempts to cover up something or maybe they are really wanting to learn and grow but do not know what to do and genuinely want help.


    The best church I ever pastored was one where the leaders started asking me questions and when I got around to discipleship we had a great discussion because they were genuinely interested in how I would lead them to make disciples. They were humble and openly shared their weaknesses. I brought up some things they had never thought about and they started asking me questions about them.

    I try to find out as much as I can about their humility, maturity, and my ability to lead them. I also try to find out if there is someone that I may have a potential problem with.

    A lot of what I look for is non-verbal communication and openness with me. If I sense they are closed off then that is a red flag for me. I have not been to a church yet that says it does not want to grow. Everyone will tell you that they want to grow. What you need to finds out is why they are not growing. Usually that is in the leadership. If you are open and expect them to be open then you will see if they are trying to hide something. You will be married to that church. Would you have married your wife if you knew little or nothing about her?

    I may also present a scenario and ask them how they would deal with the issue. Every church has trouble and a number of churches already have trouble and the leaders are not dealing with it. If the leaders refuse to deal with anyone who is a troublemaker you will not be able to because you will be left to deal with it and they will walk away.
     
    #8 gb93433, Apr 4, 2012
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  9. gb93433

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    The saying that you get what you are looking for is so true anywhere. If you want cheap you can get that.

    The money spent on getting the right pastor is both good for the pastor and congregation. If they find nothing wrong along the way then it confirms who he is.

    When I worked in business, the best business I worked for was also the largest in America of its kind. I was also told by some others that I would be doing well if they even considered me for an interview. The man who owned the business was a Christian and led the nation in ethics in that business. His business was also awarded an ethics award that few ever get. So when I was asked to come for an interview I was excited. Nine hours later I was still excited and impressed. They had me take a battery of tests before I came for an interview. The man who interviewed me told me that I did not have as much experience as they would like but I had people experience. After I accepted the job I was eventually told that they had run a credit and moving violations record report. I know they called every reference I listed. That company proved to be one of the best experiences I ever had. On the average we were paid 16% more than we could make any where else. As a manager I seldom ever had to deal with people coming late or being sick. The workers made us more profit than the typical business like it and we paid them more too. The company had a top reputation in America. Eventually the business was sold and the company who bought it has sold most of it and they were run down when they were sold. It had been in the family for about 80 years and then some young greed eaters bought it and did not listen. Eventually they had to sell most of the company.

    Then when I started pastoring was I in for a shock! I saw such mediocrity among leaders. I had found out that a number of churches that had my resume and called me did not call all of my references. Not one checked my credit report. It was a hindrance for me because I have always paid my bills and treated my neighbors well. When churches do not call your references or check your credit it does not help you as a pastor. I heard so many stupid comments made by people and thought so many times if they really knew what I did, then they would not be so quick to make such a comment.

    Now that I am back in business and decided to buy some homes I had to go to the bank and borrow some money. When I went to the bank and met with the man at the desk he asked for some information. When I gave him the information and he entered it into the computer he gave me my credit report and told me that he had never seen anyone with a higher score. That was the beginning of a relationship with him. The next time I needed to buy a home he gave me a letter of approval within about 15 minutes. The next time I met with him he told me about a way I could save some money. He is not a Christian.

    When I worked for a couple of businesses every month there was one or more churches that we had extended credit to that had not paid their bills for the month and never said anything to us. In one business a man who dealt with the accounts made a comment to me about churches and how he saw them. It was poor. Imagine what I felt like as a believer and saw that.

    Compared to what I saw among some Christian business owners I worked for too many churches look rather stupid in comparison. They treat God's work as though it is some kind of circus and not what it really is. A pastor should be a man of integrity who pays his bills and his home is on order. I really do not care if he is a slick talker and always makes people feel good. If he has his home in order and leads a godly home that tells me so much about his marriage and how he leads in his personal and family life. I would want to know what his neighbors think of him and his family. I would want to know what his disciples think. I would want to know how his financial situation is. I want to know what he thinks is important before I ever hear a word from him in the pulpit. When people know that he lives what he says then he has my respect and attention. I know men who have a high level of integrity and cannot preach very well but I listen to them because they are living the Christian life in the details of their life. The man who got me started was like that. He was a godly man and lived it out at home and in business. Every where I went I heard the same things. His work was of the highest quality and so was his life. What a great example he still serves for me even though he died in 1995. His name still comes up among those of us who knew him.
     
  10. Servants_Heart

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    I am pretty new in the pastorate...only four years. My experience may be somewhat different for the church that eventually asked me to come had heard me about 6 years before when I had filled the pulpit for their former pastor. I was asked quesions related to my stand on doctrine, family, etc. The conversation was relaxed and as they asked questions I took mental notes to help me determine their depth and maturity. The church was different (not doctrinaly) from what I was used to and had been led in a more modern and yes, liberal way. I spent alot of time praying about was this where God would have me. When they asked me back for a second time, God had already placed a desire and love for them within my heart. The pulpit committee met with me after the service and the last phrase used before asking me to come was, "can you love us inspite of our differences." I replied, I already do. Pastors lead! Through straight biblical preaching I have seen our church make many recoveries and aniticipate others. God is good.

    When it came time for the church to vote, we used an open forum for any who wished to ask questions. I learned then and there who might be my potential help or hinderances. With that I began to pray for those I knew would create a friction and in time God not only gave me a heart for those who opposed me or the work,He also changed some of them and others went else where. I know this, we are growing spiritually and numerically and God gets all the glory.
     
  11. gb93433

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    The fact that they had an open forum says a lot about them and their openness.
     
  12. gators_2006

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    We are currently in the process of searching for a pastor. When the job was posted, those that applied had to turn in either a dvd of several sermons or a cd. The committee aslo sent out a list to all church members of what they would like in a pastor. Family size, age, style of preaching, etc..... There was originally 152 applicants which after the survey and listening to the sermons was dropped to 25 after 6 months. They have now narrowed it down to the person that they believe will be the one to fill the job. After almost a year of searching, they contacted this individual and had them come and speak as a guest speaker at another local church so that everyone on the committee could hear him in person. He also stayed with one of the committee members during his visit and spent most of his time with the members both as a group and individually.

    As a side note, I did not turn in my survey because what my person preference is in a pastor might not be what God's preference in a pastor for our church is.
     
  13. gb93433

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    I saw much of the same thing with a pastor a church hired. After about 2 months there was already trouble because the pastor made changes that they needed and a number of people started crying because the church that once was dying was changing. So few people in churches are leaders and do not have a clue what the church needs. They are like children who have not matured into adults. What parent ever did what their child always wanted and raised up a mature adult?
     
  14. gators_2006

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    A church I use to be a member of did the same. One of the questions on our survey at my current church and one of the things the committee said would be a priority would be community involvement. My current churchhas always been very involved in the community doing everything from Upwards sports, fall festivals, car washes for the youth, Cruise in for Christ car shows, clothes closet, Walk thru Bethlehem, etc.....

    We wanted to make sure that these would stay. The church I was a former member of did not take any of that into consideration when looking for a pastor. The new pastor came in and within 6 months did away with all community events. He believed that the way to bring people on campus was word of mouth about how good the church and preaching was.
     

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