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Search Committees

There is an old joke that says the typical church seeks a pastor who is 35 years old, has 25 years of ministry experience, two children and a wife who plays the piano. After working with many churches in their search for a pastor, I can tell you that is the expectation for some. I’ve […] Read More

In recent weeks I’ve talked with some pastors who are considering if it might be time to move to a new place of ministry. Some of them are under pressure to leave their current church so it probably is time for them to be seeking a new church.  Others feel that they have accomplished everything […] Read More

“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 […] Read More

A recent column about some of the positive experiences of clergy who have recently moved motivated some responses around the theme of “things that have not gone well.” Here are some common ethical issues search committees must deal with. Poor Communication The perennial complaint clergy have about search committees is their lack of common courtesy […] Read More

An increasing part of my life is spent advising and coaching pastor search committees. A healthy search process requires great patience, spiritual maturity and hard work. Done well, it can lead to a season of hope and health for a church and its pastor. Done poorly, it can lead to disaster. The free-call system can […] Read More

I have always wondered why reasonable people would think a Baptist committee could ever reach a unanimous decision. Frankly, it is remarkable “unanimous” and “Baptist” appear in the same dictionary! As the old saying goes, “Where there are two Baptists gathered together, there are at least three opinions.” By our very nature, we are people […] Read More

Congregations mean well when they hire associate ministers. But often they don’t do well. Here are some tips for how to do it better: –Establish personnel policies. Often congregations hire their first associate to meet an immediate need. “We’ve got to have help with the youth!” Too often, though, they haven’t established an adequate structure […] Read More