Does the committee tend to define itself by its past, or is it excited about dreams for the future? Rick Ezell, pastor of Naperville (Illinois) Baptist Church, believes it's similar to describing an individual: "I can say, 'I'm tall, but I'd like to be taller. Each issue contains new articles and insights on leadership training, updates on what’s been added to Building Church Leaders.com, and other practical help to build faithful and effective leaders in your church.I'm growing, but I'm not growing like I should.' I'm listing a lot of negative inflections." That may point to some past conflict or a negative spirit. Proceed carefully if he avoids making his position as plain as possible.
When I served on my church's pastoral search committee, the Web quickly helped us find many excellent candidates. Using e-mail, we communicated almost instantly and received answers to our detailed questions from each candidate.
In a matter of weeks, our congregation was able to meet, interview and hire the top candidate, a qualified Christian youth pastor we found 1400 miles away. Here are some of the best places to find Christian ministry employment information—whether you are looking for a job or searching for the right person to fill a position. Taylor—contact regarding content errors or suggestions Copyright © 2001, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2017, Films for Christ, All Rights Reserved—except as noted on attached “Usage and Copyright” page that grants Christian Answers.
(Even Christ was hated.) The breadth of inquiry through references assures you that the pastor has “a good reputation with those both inside and outside the church.” (1 Timothy 3:7) Your questioning of references should focus on the list of qualifications found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.
These lists of qualifications were written primarily as a means of observing the lives of prospective leaders in the church, not as a list of questions to ask the candidate. Of course the ideal would be for your church to live with the man and observe his life over months and even years of time.
One pastor recently said, "I would rather ride a bucking bronco of a church than try to prop up a dead mule." It's helpful to know if you're going to get either of those beasts before you mount up.
Just as the search committee is going to be thorough, the candidate needs to be thorough, as well. Here is a list of strategic questions to help you discern any potential problems when you're seeking that "perfect" church.
Questions regarding other important doctrinal issues should be asked as needed (e.g., regarding the deity of Christ, the acceptance of the Trinity, etc.) Both a search committee and the church should satisfy themselves concerning any issues they wish to discuss.
*Some or all of these questions may also be appropriate for ordination councils, securing church staff, qualifying missionaries, Christian school faculty interviews, and evaluating suitability of candidates for Christian ministries.
We know that you are ready now to have your new pastor.