None of us Have Ever Done This Before

“Where do we start?”

“How do we attract the right pastor for our church?”

“What kinds of interview questions can we ask?”

These are just a few of the questions that pastoral search committees ask when they first begin. Every search committee starts out the same way: overwhelmed and intimidated. We’re all new at this. None of us have ever done this before. Chances are we don’t even know anyone who has served on a search committee before. The thing we have to remember is that none of this process surprised God.

If the pastor retired, God knew ahead of time. If the pastor took a call to another church, God already knew about it – even before the pastor did. If the pastor left due to a scandal, it may have shocked the congregation, but not the Lord; He knew what was going on. As a result, the committee needs to trust G0d through the process. Continue reading “None of us Have Ever Done This Before”

Reading the News Well

First, a disclaimer: The topic of today’s post has NOTHING to do with my usual topic, church leadership resources and advice. I felt compelled to write this brief post because I read a news article online and realized that it lacked some essential information. As a writer, I knew what was missing and wanted to provide some help to readers. The information in the article was interesting, but I found the article itself inadequate.

The article I read was:

Why do tech leaders speak out against Trump so much? https://www.cnet.com/news/tech-speaks-out-president-trump-daca-zuckerberg-apple-facebook/

The problem I had with the article is that the headline asks “Why” but the article never answers the question. The closest it comes to providing an answer is found in just two sentences: Continue reading “Reading the News Well”

Confidentiality Among the
Search Committee

When our pastoral search committee first began in 2015, we laid down some ground rules. One came as a very strong recommendation from our search consultant, Dr. McGowan:

The search committee shouldn’t discuss specific candidates with any other members of the congregation, including spouses.

I suspect his recommendation was based to some degree on his prior experience, as well as the region where he lives. You see, our denomination, the PCA, is centered in the south; there are far more PCA churches in the southern states than in other parts of the country. This map shows the concentration (click the map to zoom in for greater detail):

Map of PCA churches
Map of PCA churches

Continue reading “Confidentiality Among the
Search Committee”

Pastoral Interviews: Why Use Video?

In my last post I discussed the value of technology for a pastor search committee. This week I want to touch on one specific part of the search process, the interview, and discuss how technology can be a useful tool.

In our final debriefing session after our search was over, everyone on the committee agreed that the video interview was essential to getting to know the candidates. We couldn’t imagine doing it without video. It allowed us to see a candidate’s personality in a way that a phone interview just couldn’t.

The post-interview debrief usually went quickly if we knew the candidate wouldn’t be moving forward. But if the interview went well, our follow-up conversation could take as long as the interview itself! We reviewed what was said, how it was said, tone of voice, body language – everything was open for discussion. What were the strongest points? Where did he seem less confident in his answers? Did he communicate clearly? Could he think on his feet? Did he pause to gather his thoughts before speaking? What did his body language indicate? These and dozens of other questions were part of our post-interview debrief. Continue reading “Pastoral Interviews: Why Use Video?”

5 Pieces of Technology Your Search
Committee Needs

There has been much ink spilled (digital and literal) in recent years on the church’s use of technology. The vast majority of this has been about using media in the worship center (sound & video, display screens – even film clips from Hollywood blockbusters used as sermon illustrations). But far less has been said about the way a pastoral search committee engages with technology.

Today I want to help you think about what tech you will need as a search committee, as well as whether the church should invest in paid technology or use available freeware.

What Technology Will You Need?

Your basic tech needs will include:

  • Committee communications
  • An email address
  • Document storage
  • Conference calling
  • Video calling

Now let’s look at each of these more closely. Continue reading “5 Pieces of Technology Your Search
Committee Needs”