“The most important work you will do is the work you do in preparation for the conversation with your candidates.”
That’s the No. 1 piece of advice Bill Wilson gives church search committees. Wilson, president of the Center for Congregational Health in Winston-Salem, N.C., talks about search committee dos-and-don’ts in a new Skype interview with EthicsDaily.com.
Wilson, who also has decades of experience serving local churches, discusses other keys for search committees, like a spiritual discernment process and a clarification of the congregation’s identity.
The latter must bring with it a distinction between needs and wants in a candidate.
Err on the side of getting what the church needs, says Wilson.
Also, “You’re in a recruiting mode, not an HR hiring mode,” says Wilson. Don’t sit back and wait. Identify who is doing what you need, then be proactive.
Wilson also cautions: “I think the tendency is to think what I just said is for someone else. That we’re the exception, and that we’re a very special church … that doesn’t need to pay attention to these details.”
And Wilson says the churches that do the best job seem to have at least one thing in common: humility.
Wilson also flips the tables and talks about what candidates need to keep in mind when dealing with search committees.
“Just to have the conversation with a committee is disorienting, and it’s distracting,” says Wilson. “You can’t just ‘date a lot of folks’ while you’re married to your current church.”
He also warns candidates against moving for the wrong reasons or trying to shape themselves or their resumes to suit a church. That’s a recipe for “misalignment.”
Watch the interview with Wilson at vimeo.com/ethicsdaily/skype-billwilson
Also watch an “extra” segment with Wilson about search committees and technology at vimeo.com/ethicsdaily/skype-billwilson-extra
Learn more about Wilson and the Center for Congregational Health at HealthyChurch.org
Read Wilson’s columns at EthicsDaily.com at www.ethicsdaily.com/keyword/Bill-Wilson
Watch other EthicsDaily.com Skype interviews at vimeo.com/ethicsdaily