We were recently retained to fill a Children’s Pastor search for a growing church in the Dallas area. This church was unique as they were growing and had some very unique qualifications for this position.
Our team screened hundreds of candidates and presented 4-5 who made it through our process. We walked with the Leadership Team of the church as they interviewed each candidate. They got very close to making an offer with one candidate, but as we all prayed and discussed things, we determined he was not the best fit – even though he looked GREAT on paper and came HIGHLY recommended. Shortly thereafter, one of our networking contacts referred us to the candidate they eventually hired. The total search time, from start to finish was less than 4 months and the candidate is doing great. Below is an email sent from the Senior Pastor:
David I wanted to personally let you know how great this hire has been for us. We simply couldn’t afford to have a swing and a miss in this area at this time. And Reid is a home run hire! His work ethic, creativity, ownership and leadership in the children’s ministry is exactly what we needed. Thank you for the diligence that you and your team showed in helping us with this process!
As our team got together for morning prayer, we discussed the importance of having God lead each of our searches. In a ministry full of systems and processes, we all agree that the most important part of searching for a pastor or filling a pastoral position is being led by the Spirit.
Individually, and as a team, we always ask God to direct each step we take, thought we have, word we speak, and even breath we take. We fully believe that our faith is played out in our actions, but we also agree that trying to guide our clients and candidates through this tough process is futile if not God-led.
If your church is in the process of trying to find a pastor for your staff, I encourage you to continue to beg God for His guidance and wisdom. My experience shows that when we are close to Him, He will give us the intuitive thoughts, direction, and insight we need.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experience.
Who is leading your search?
What does that look like?
How can you tell the difference between what God wants vs. what “I” want?
One of the problems we see when churches look to hire a new pastor is that sometimes those leading the search end up looking for who they want as a pastor instead of looking for who the Next Generation of the church needs as a pastor.
When profiling your candidates, it’s important to identify certain unique points necessary for someone to fit and thrive at the church. Some of these would be doctrinal alignment, experience, education, and cultural However, it’s just as important to prayerfully consider what (and whom) God may have planned for the future of the church. Since most of us are getting older , that typically means we need to look for leadership who will also be attractive to a younger generation. In doing that, we also need to consider that there are new believers, unchurched, and/or de-churched people in the shadow of our church who may decide to stop in. So, we must ask – Will this Pastor be relevant, engaging, and welcoming to them?
We realize this is MUCH easier said than done, but we’ve also seen it work when that perfect, Spirit-led, balance is achieved.
Have you seen this done well?
How do you think the process could be improved?
What would you change if you could?
After multiple stops in the continental U.S., the oft-requested Staffing Workshop will make its final stop in 2012 in Pearl City, Hawaii on October 11!
David Fletcher, host of XPastor.org, will share his “insider’s secrets” from running a medium-sized, mega, and multi-megachurch. David Lyons, Founder of MinisterSearch is coming and will share from his years of experience consulting with and helping to architect some of the largest and most successful churches.
“Hone your game now,” David says. ”Before it is too late. Don’t wait for a staffing emergency. Get ready for upcoming problems and grow your staff.”
Hiring, Transitioning & Honing Church Staff is XPastor’s Staffing Workshop to help you find the best staff, find the best fit and retain the best staff. This is straight talk about staffing! Staffing sounds simple—until you have to do it. This valuable workshop for church leaders, so come as a team.
I received this text from Steve Huskey, a Senior Pastor we placed at a church not long ago, and I wanted to share.
Pastor Steve and his wife Shawna
Things here are awesome. We’ve had some great things happening at Faith—God is blessing us big time. Attendance is better than it’s been in 2 years. Had 1000+ in the house this morning, including the University of North Alabama football team. Lots of new faces coming. People getting saved and baptized! Going to 2 services in September. Launching a Jr. high and college ministry as well. Just got almost 600 adults to commit to serve in ministry!
Finances are catching up too. July was the best month financially in 2 years. God is Good!! Still lots to do, changes to make, and challenges to face, but we are moving in a great direction. It’s going great! Thanks again for making the connection between me and Faith. Blessings!!
Faith Church after Pastor Steve and Shawna arrive
This is just one example of many that we hear on a regular basis – it shows the results of our team’s focus on making the RIGHT match – I couldn’t be more proud of their efforts on this and all of our searches.
I’d love to hear you hiring success stories or some of those challenges you’ve faced in hiring and/or looking for a ministry position.
I’m often asked, “How long will this take?” Of course, I’ve learned to under-promise knowing all the challenges that come with finding the RIGHT pastor for our clients.
I thought I’d share some fact from a Senior Pastor Search for a mega church our team recently filled:
This church had gone through challenges with the departure of their last Senior Pastor, and there were a lot of emotions attached to that. Being sensitive to those feelings while pressing on in the search were very important. We went on-site and spent quite a bit of time with the staff, elders, board, and search team – we even spent a Sunday worshipping with them to really learn who they were and who they needed in a Sr. Pastor.
Below are some of the data points from the search:
Candidates who viewed position: Approximately 15,000 Candidates screened by MinisterSearch: 467 Candidates taken to second level of screening by MinisterSearch: 167 Candidates interviewed by MinisterSearch: 9 Total time of Search: 3 months
I couldn’t be more proud of our team – while filling a mega-church Senior Pastor position in only 3 months is the exception to the rule, they did a great job.
What we continue to hear from this client and others is how much they appreciate how we handle the whole process – the Minister Search process is NOT just about “finding” candidates for our church clients. In fact, I believe that’s just a small part of how we help. Our team walks with the church and each candidate throughout the entire interview process acting as consultant, counselor, and friend. Most importantly, we are there to pray for and with as both try to seek God’s will – THAT is what it’s all about!
I’d love to hear your questions and/or comments of the facts above – do you feel that’s typical for a church that does it on their own? Is it necessary to go through all that? Anything else?
Over the last week, our team has filled 3 very important positions. I couldn’t be more proud of how they handled each search.
One was a Children’s Pastor search for a large church in the northeast. Our search consultants found a number of candidates to present to the church. They ended up hiring a candidate who lives in the area, fits the culture well, and aligns perfectly with the doctrine of the church. The candidate is quite special as she possesses the ministry expertise AND the leadership chops our client needs to go to the next level. This search was completed in less than 90 days.
The second was a Senior Pastor search for a church in Illinois. This search was quite challenging as there were some unique doctrine, style, and leadership qualities necessary. The church has a diverse makeup with people from many different denominations, life stages, and cultures. We had to find the RIGHT leader who was the perfect fit. After considering close to 500 candidates and narrowing the search down to 8, the perfect candidate became evident. The church just voted with a 99% vote of affirmation.
The third was a Lead Pastor search for a thriving church of more than 1000 in weekly attendance on 3 campuses. Close to 5000 candidates were exposed to the position and our team, along with the elders of the church, narrowed it down to the candidate who fit the profile perfectly. He had the experience this church needs to lead them for years to come. The team filled this position in less than 6 months.
I’m so proud of how hard they worked to find the RIGHT candidates for our clients. It’s such a blessing to work alongside such great people.
Over the years, we’ve worked with thousands of pastors. Our role is NOT to find them a job. Our role is to help guide them through the process of best discerning God’s will for their ministry. Oftentimes, we recommend they stay right where they are. Either way, we are helping them to determine what God wants for them. So, developing a close and trusting relationship is important.
Below is a note we recently received from one of our candidates:
Wanted to send a personal note and say thanks for all your help throughout this entire process. I “was” skeptical at first and very apprehensive but after praying about those real feelings God gave us peace to talk with you.
I’ve been absolutely blown away by the level of professionalism and thoroughness. You are becoming a great friend!
We remain excited and continue to yield all emotions/feelings at the foot of the cross.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be addressing some key points to filling a position with the RIGHT leader. There are a number of things that need to happen BEFORE you begin reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates:
The first step is a Needs Assessment. Several questions you should ask: • Why is the position open? • Should it be filled? • Does the position (still) match the core values/DNA/mission/etc. of the church and that specific ministry? • Is this the highest priority position you need to fill?
Just because someone resigns or transitions out of a position doesn’t mean it needs to be immediately filled. It also doesn’t mean the role, responsibilities, reporting structure, etc. hasn’t changed.
Take a few moments to consider these issues prior to starting your process. The next step is Profiling the Job
David, I have to tell you…working with MinisterSearch, and you, has been a much nicer process than putting my resume online and getting calls from churches all over the country. You were great through this process. Thanks for all you hard work. Small Groups Pastor …read more >