Help for Search Committees

Lis Van Harten

(First appeared in the May 2011 issue of Ministry Reports to Classes and Councils.)

All churches, at some point in their history, have gone through the process of searching for a pastor. It can seem like an overwhelming task and leave committee members scrambling for assistance. The folks involved have a very important task and doing it “right” benefits all involved. Up to this point, there hasn’t been a publication that specifically addresses the work of search committees. Increasingly requests are being made of the denomination to help committees do it “right”.

In response, SPE will be publishing a tool that will do just that. The staff of Pastor-Church Relations is doing the research for, and the writing of, the tool which will be available to churches by the end of 2012. It will offer practical, gleamed wisdom for the entire process—beginning with the current pastor leaving and determining who the congregation is to protocols for candidates visiting the church and the letter of call.

The tool will include topics such as getting the right people on the committee, where the candidate’s spouse/family fit in when he/she visits the church, and the importance of good etiquette and communication.

As with SPE’s existing tools (Toward Effective Pastoral Mentoring, Effective Leadership in the Church, Closing Well—Continuing Strong, Marriage and Ministry, and Evaluation Essentials for Congregational Leaders), a free copy will be sent to all pastors and clerks of council. Additional copies will be available, at no cost, from Faith Alive. (1-800-333-8300)