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Pastor Search Committee Training. Mobile Baptist Association C. Thomas Wright, PhD www.mobilebaptists.org. 12 Steps To Find and Call A Pastor. The Ultimate Goal of this Committee is to Find God’s Man Through Prayer and Hard Work !. Elect and assign the Search Committee.

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Pastor Search Committee Training

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Pastor search committee training l.jpg

Pastor Search Committee Training

Mobile Baptist Association

C. Thomas Wright, PhD

www.mobilebaptists.org


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12 Steps To Find and Call A Pastor

The Ultimate Goal of this Committee is to Find God’s Man Through Prayer and Hard Work !


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Elect and assign the Search Committee

  • Determine what the congregation expects the search committee to do or not do.

  • Process often takes 2 years

  • Remember, Human will can subvert God’s Will.

  • Develop a job description that defines your role and functions for you and the church


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The church elects a Pastor Search Committee for the following purposes:

  • To survey the congregation to determine a profile of the man and his wife to be sought.

  • To receive and review resumes

  • To search out God’s man by all means possible: Resumes, References, Audio/Videos, Personal Interviews of candidate and spouse, Personal Observation

  • To recommend a candidate and family to be voted on by the church.


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Job Description continued

  • To make all arrangements for visits and the invitation to preach in view of a call.

  • To work with the Finance Committee to jointly recommend salary and benefits for church vote before a candidate and wife is presented.

  • To work with the new pastor and wife to make all arrangements regarding his move to the field and transition for a period including three months after arrival.


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Step 1: Planning

  • Discuss the kind of Pastor this church needs and create a profile

  • Age range, background, education (SBC seminary Highly recommended)

  • Have church vote on the income range (should be same as majority of members). Moving costs around 10k

  • Update and vote on pastor’s job description


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Step 1: Planning

  • Set a timeline, Maybe:

    3-6 months to collect resumes.

    1-2 months to pick the top 5

    1-2 months to pick the top candidate

    2 months to contact references

    1 month to schedule confidential visit

    1 month to present to church

    1 month notice to his current church


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Step 1: Planning

  • Develop a congregational survey to involve the people.

    • What do they see as primary responsibilities of a pastor

  • Include a question about how much time he should spend in each responsibility.

  • Which is most important here? Administrator, Pastor, Preacher, Outreach


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Step 1: Planning

  • Agree what this church needs to look like in five years,

    • do you want to grow by evangelistically reaching the entire community or maintain current size/membership?

    • Building projects? Additional Staff?

  • Before surveying the people, do the survey as a committee. Be sure the committee represents the church in age and ethnicity. Shouldn’t have more than one member of the same family on the committee.


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Step 2: Gather Resumes

  • Gather resumes from the MBA, ALSBOM, SEBTS, NOBTS, SWBTS, and from your people

  • Let the people know to provide any resume they want you to have

  • Advertise in state Baptist papers

  • Number the resumes as you receive them for easy reference


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Step 2: Gather Resumes

  • Maintain STRICT confidentiality. A pastor rarely recovers when a congregation learns he is looking.

  • Pray that God will raise up His man to your committee

  • Set a deadline (3-6 months) to wait for enough resumes before you seriously consider them


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Step 3: Narrow The Field to 5

  • Set aside a special prayer time to review the resumes

  • Separately grade each of the resumes as compared to your profile (this is in fact your first interview).

  • Meet and record the grades you each gave each resume

  • You will be amazed at how the Holy Spirit works through you to agree


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Step 3: Narrow The Field to 5

  • You must eliminate some (or all) candidates from consideration

  • If no one fits the profile send out a new request for resumes.

  • Pick five resumes for further consideration, create a binder for each one (you will not be able to remember details about each one).


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Step 4: Communicate With All Applicants

  • Call the top 5 candidates to see if they are still available and want to be considered.

  • Be prepared to describe your church and its situation, provide the URL, written info.

  • Request 3 audio/video/CD messages

  • Let them know your process, timeline, and that you are praying for God’s leadership

  • Contact all others to let them know they will not be considered at this time


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Step 5: Narrow Down To One Man

  • Develop interview questions that are important to you and the church

    • Determine strengths and weaknesses, leadership style, preaching style, pastoral style, visitation style, evangelistic style

  • Interview the candidates by phone and record the answers

  • Include questions about the wife’s call and her understanding/preference for her role.


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Step 5: Narrow Down To One Man

  • Then send the top 2 or 3 candidates a set of additional “Deal breaker” questions for a written response

  • Evaluate the answers as a committee and pick the candidate that fits the profile

  • Let him know he is your primary candidate and see if he wants to continue the process

  • Provide the timeline and let him ask the questions he needs answered


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Step 5: Narrow Down To One Man

  • Provide him a copy of budget, constitution and by-laws, history, minutes, and his job description

  • Contact all references

  • Ask references for a second tier of references

  • Investigate the background of the applicant for any financial, legal, or personal problems


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Step 6: Visit The Candidate

  • Pursue ONE candidate until you determine he is, or is not, the man

  • Strict confidentiality is required so he can stay there if you do not call him

  • Don’t go in the church van

  • Don’t go in together nor sit together

  • Don’t complete visitor’s cards


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Step 6: Visit the candidate

  • Don’t let the candidate know that you are coming

  • Do confirm with the church office that the pastor will be preaching

  • Take notes and evaluate as you travel back home, include the evaluation in their binder

  • Vote to determine if he is still your candidate


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Step 7: Invite for Field Visit

  • Invite the ONE candidate, his wife and children to visit the church and meet with the committee. Confirm the wife’s role

  • This should be “private” and confidential

  • Give them a tour of the church and the area around the church including housing and school options

  • This is a time for them to ask you questions as well. The questions they ask are very important too

  • Vote to determine if he is still your man


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Step 8: Involve The Church

  • This needs to be done throughout the process

  • The survey involves the people

  • Give a report monthly in the morning worship service

  • The financial package needs to be voted on in step one, now they need to approve the cost of a move


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Step 8: Involve The Church

  • Be sure to work in cooperation with the Finance Committee

  • Discuss the pastor’s job description

  • Discuss his philosophy of ministry and how he will be involved as pastor/leader

  • Discuss the wife’s role

  • Prepare them for church growth


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Step 8: Involve The Church

  • Vote on the financial package before he comes to preach

  • Determine the per cent vote needed to call

  • Get ALL agreements in writing to protect him and you


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Step 9: Invitation To Preach

  • Let the candidate know that you believe that he is God’s man and issue an invitation to come preach in view of a call

  • Discuss any details on the job description, finances, and his pastor/leader role


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Step 9: Invitation To Preach

  • Tell him that you need to know if he will accept the call of the church on the day they vote to call him

  • He needs to sense God’s call!


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Step 10: Vote To Call

  • Be sure that the church and the candidate understand the per cent needed to have a call

  • The vote should be by secret ballot

  • You should plan a weekend of activities to give people time to meet and get to know the candidate, his family, and his heart


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Step 10: Vote To Call

  • Plan a Friday night time with the main leadership of the church

  • Plan a Saturday morning coffee time where he can share some of his heart with the church and answer some of their questions

  • Plan a Saturday evening covered dish supper so that everyone can have a chance to meet him & wife


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Step 10: Vote To Call

  • After the sermon, have the candidate leave during the vote

  • Only church members present vote

  • Count the vote and have congregation sing while counting

  • Go share the vote with the Pastor

  • Bring him back into the service to announce his decision


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Step 10: Vote To Call

  • Celebrate God’s leadership with a brief time of worship and praise

  • Let the people come by and welcome the new pastor and his family

  • Finalize the timeline of when he will be on the field before he leaves


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Step 11: Transition & Move

  • The committee should be instrumental in helping the pastor move and get settled in

  • Help with moving arrangements

  • Provide a house-hunting visit

  • Greet his family and the moving van when they arrive

  • Arrange for some meals to be brought in for a few days


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Step 11: Transition & Move

  • Schedule some people to go by and assist with the unpacking if the wife wants or needs help

  • Follow-through with everything you have said you would do!

  • Provide written copies of agreements


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Step 12: Continued Support

  • You should be the greatest supporters of the new pastor

  • You should be some of his best friends in the church

  • You need to lend your influence to helping all the church members to accept him and give him a chance to prove himself


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Step 12: Continued Support

  • You should continue to serve for a period of at least three months after he arrives to be sure that he has a group that he can trust and come to with needs

  • Stand by him unashamedly unless he proves not to be a man of God!

  • Help him with church growth end


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