“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.
And we shouldn’t be concerned that the committee is inexperienced. In fact, it’s probably a good thing that they are. If they had prior experience in search committee work, it would probably be a bad sign because they would have hired a new pastor fairly recently…meaning things didn’t work out…and so the committee was back at work!
Search committees can also take comfort in the fact that there are good resources out there: books, search consultants, sample documents, denominational t0ols. Search online and you can find plenty of resources. Some are available right here.
Part of the committee’s role is to remind the congregation that God is in control of the search process and that they aren’t “choosing” the next pastor. When we focus on ourselves and the committee’s lack of experience, we take our eyes off the Lord’s goodness and wisdom. God is sovereign over the search process – don’t ever forget!