You’re in the middle of an extremely important task that will have eternal consequences for you, your church, your community and the Kingdom of God. God is doing something and He’s called you to be a part of it. Exciting. Scary.
Over the past few weeks, I asked people that were looking for a calling in ministry to give me some feedback about the ministry search, specifically, I asked them this: “If you could say 2-3 things to a search team, what would it be?”
Here are the thoughts, distilled down for you:
- Have a clear, concise job description. A candidate should be able to clearly see what you’re hiring for. If something like office hours is a value for you, include that in the job description.
- Think hard about expectations and requirements. When your post reads, “Seeking someone in their late-20’s with children, an MDiv, 10 years of senior pastor experience in a church of 250 or more” the possibility exists that you are aiming a little high.
- The Search Team: Cast a wide net and seek people with giftedness and skill sets in this area. Strongly consider including someone on the team with hiring/firing experience.
- The church
- The search team
- Those who will be applying
- Create the email address that people will be sending their information to, along with an auto-reply that tells candidates the following:
- Thanks for applying…
- We’re accepting resumes through…
- We’ll know more by…and then, we’ll tell you…
- We are praying for you.
- Communicate- As you remove people from the process, let them know quickly and with dignity. If you can provide any information, anything at all, please do do. If they made it to a next step (questionnaire, initial phone call, etc), let them down personally. I don’t mean “in-person”, I mean “personally”; if there is a skill-set mismatch, if something seemed off on the way that they presented themselves, please tell us. Because we cannot fix what we don’t know is broken.
In closing, please remember that we’re all on the same side here. Much of what we, as candidates as for, is simple communication, and communication takes two, one to say, and one to hear. In that spirit, I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback. What might you add? What might you remove?
Pastors seeking ministry