Yesterday’s post got me to thinking about a few things Pastor Search Teams should consider when looking for a pastor (Why this topic, I don’t know). These are thoughts from a pastor who has talked to many search teams… and participated in finding staff as a pastor.
First: You are NOT involved in a business decision to hire a person to fill a position. Consequently put all the business processes out of your mind. Finding God’s man to fill the office of pastor is nothing like hiring someone in the world.
Second: Bathe the entire process in prayer. Enlist a team of five to seven people who will pray for the team daily this way: A) For God’s will to be done. B) For God to prepare the heart of the man He will call. C) For the Search Team to be of one mind, submissive to God’s direction. Note: Devote one meeting out of four or five to prayer and seeking God.
Third: Determine to be 100% honest with the candidate about everything. Do NOT hide or sugar coat anything. He can deal with honesty, but if he comes and finds out you all were deceptive, less than honest, or hid things from him… that is not a good thing nor the right way to begin a relationship. NOTE: This is the number 1 frustration point with most pastors I talk with.
Do not give the church a survey about what they want in a pastor. You are searching for God’s man… not what people want. “Man looks on the outward appearance. God looks on the heart.” If age were a determining factor Caleb would have been excluded from many churches. If experience was required Timothy would have not been called. I could mention Paul about his stature or appearance or background (He was “fired” from several places and run out-of-town!), Moses had a speech impediment. Abraham had a propensity to lie. Seek God… follow His leadership… call GOD’S MAN.
Do your homework. Check his credit. Check his background. Check his education. Any minister worth his salt will be doing the same thing about you. Readily give him previous pastors contact information along with the Director of Missions (Even if you don’t provide it, he should track them down himself. It’s better if you offer it up front. He’ll ask you questions if he needs to). You are as much on trial in this process as he is.
There is a high probability that the person God has for you will not come to you through the means you expect. Do not overlook the unusual or unexpected source who gives a recommendation to consider.
There are many other things I could suggest, this is a decent start.