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”

The Process of Interviewing Pastoral Candidates

Chances are, you’ve been in a job interview before. Most of us have. But not everyone sits on “the other side of the desk,” asking the interview questions. So how do you know where to begin? What questions do you ask? And what’s legal to ask? After all, we’re not HR experts!

We began the process of choosing our next pastor by evaluating resumes and other paperwork. In the PCA, the most in-depth document is the Ministerial Data Form, or MDF (other denominations have something similar, I’m told). In addition to paperwork, we listened to at least three sermons. This may sound like a time-consuming task.

You’d be right – it is. But it was made easier by our committee structure.

Our Process: The Power of Subcommittees

We divided our seven-member committee into three subcommittees of two members each (the chairman “floated” and wasn’t on a subcommittee.) When a new candidate’s name arrived, he was assigned to a subcommittee. If we received names of Candidates A, B, and C, they were each assigned to different subcommittees. Everyone listened to at least one sermon by every candidate, but the assigned subcommittee listened more fully. Here’s how we worked it out: Continue reading “The Process of Interviewing Pastoral Candidates”

Should Your Church Use a Search
Consultant?

Don’t ever assume that your church

  1. doesn’t need to work with a search consultant OR
  2. can’t afford a consultant OR
  3. must work with one.

The question of whether or not to use a pastoral search consultant or a search firm is rarely an easy one. I’m not here to tell you which is right for your church. From its size, to its budget, to its internal culture, every church is unique.

For our church’s needs, we chose to work with a consultant, Dr. Charles McGowan, even though our budget was stretched paper-thin at the time. We saw the obvious benefits; we just weren’t sure if it was good stewardship of God’s resources, considering our financial situation. Looking back now, we see that the benefits easily outweighed the cost involved.

The question of whether or not to use a pastoral search consultant or a search firm is rarely an easy one. From its size, to its budget, to its internal culture, every church is unique.

Continue reading “Should Your Church Use a Search
Consultant?”

Pastoral Search: Getting the Word Out

Spread the Word

Once your pastoral search committee has finished the preliminary work (creating the church profile, the pastor profile, etc.) you’re ready to put out the “We’re Hiring” sign. Before you post your information, you might want to think about Facebook. Why think about the social media goliath? One simple reason.

Female archer aiming at a target during archery competitionCompanies large and small choose to place ads on Facebook because their ads allow you to target an audience based on a variety of factors. You can reach people based on their demographics, location, interests, contact information, or behaviors.

Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting you should post your opening in a Facebook ad. But like an ad on Facebook,  spreading the word about your church position should be tightly focused, targeting the types of people most likely to be your next pastor. Continue reading “Pastoral Search: Getting the Word Out”