"Pastor Search Committee Guidelines"

"The Model Pastor"

After hundreds of years, a model preacher has been found to suit everyone. He preaches exactly 20 minutes and then sits down. He condemns sin, but never hurts anyone’s feelings. He works from 8 AM to 10 PM in every type of task, from preaching to custodial service. He makes $300 a week, wears good clothes, buys good books regularly, has a nice family, drives a good car and gives $60 a week to the church. He also stands ready to contribute to every worthwhile charity. He is 26 years old and has been preaching for 30 years. He is tall and short, thin and heavyset and handsome. He has one brown eye and one blue eye, hair parted in the middle, right side is brown and wavy; left side is dark and straight. He has a burning desire to work with teenagers, and spends all of his time with the older folks. He smiles all the time with a straight face because he has a sense of humor that keeps him seriously dedicated to his work. He makes 15 calls a day on church members, spends all his time evangelizing the unchurched and is never out of his office.

May God Bless Your Prayerful Search

Bro. Bob & Regina Wood

Howell Baptist Association


Forming the Committee

The first and most important job of a pulpit committee and the

congregation is to begin and end in prayer.

Pray for committee

Pray for candidates

Pray for God’s Will

Dedicate to each other and to God to get along.

The congregation is not to put undue pressure on the

Committee to recommend too fast (to outrun God’s will).

The committee vows to always represent the needs

of the church and not their own wishes.

Why a Search committee?

A search Committee is designed to help prevent division in our church.

The church only votes on those presented one at a time by the committee.

Otherwise you will encourage division.


Provides an organized process by which candidates are evaluated.

No individual should be considered or recommended that has not gone through this process.

All should be referenced and checked again!

Ask the reference for other references. After you have done this swap references with other committee members as they will hear something pro or con that you may have missed.


Electing the Search committee

Check with the church constitution or by-laws

This will usually spell out how to call a pastor, and how to form and elect

the committee. Sometimes the deacons appoint the committee, but usually

The nominating committee will use the same prayerful process as electing the other Church servants.

The Committee

Is accountable to the church.

Should practice good ethics among themselves, the other churches, and with each candidate.

This is a very wonderful opportunity to serve Christ in a very special calling and way.

Some will tell you what a torture it was for them to serve this way.

They also probably saw only hardships and not the joys of watching their children grow.

To serve God is a blessing, no matter what the devil may say.

Enjoy this service!

Seek Assistance

I as your Director of Missions (DOM) have resumes and often have confidential Information concerning resumes. I often have contacts That will help us in the information process.

Church minister Relations.

Other churches.

Confidentiality A Must

Should stay in committee meeting.

If candidate is removed or called, you

Should destroy the file, and all notes.

Who Speaks For The Committee?

All should speak. Even though you have a chairperson, the

Candidate should know no one certain person runs our church.

The Committee’s Finance

First there are mainly two areas: Committee expense, and Second

The financial package to be offered to the pastor.

Should they seek one with the same wage level as the previous pastor?

How much can they negotiate?

You Now Have The Resumes

Now what do we do? Call your first meeting. Do not take any short cuts.

Start with prayer and end with prayer.

Discuss the resumes and choose the one that most fits the needs of the church.

Check references, swap and check again. Ask reference for

other references.

Your Next Meeting

Start with prayer. Discuss the findings of the references. You have checked out these references thoroughly. You have checked and checked again. Now discuss what the Findings are. If you are all in 100% agreement, then decide to go hear this man preach.

Visit His Church

Phone and let him know you are coming.

Hear him preach.

Try to visit with He and his family over lunch if possible, and ask

Questions of him that will relate to your church.

Baptism, accept members, Lord’s Supper,

Security, Pastoral duties he considers he is most

Gifted in, Baptist Faith and Message,

Salvation experience, his call to the ministry, etc.

End visit in prayer assure him you will

Let him know what you believe God’s will is,

Whether Yes or no. If yes then check with the pastor

To see what available dates would be good for his

schedule if the committee vote is yes.

Next Meeting

Start with prayer. Discuss what you have heard during this time.

If you are in 100% agreement, you may now recommend this man to the church. We do this one man at a time. If the committee or the

Congregation votes no. You go to the next man, with as much zeal and the same process, thanking God for revealing His will.

Announce To the Church

You have a candidate that fits the description, and announce during a Sunday morning service. You should have set what percentage of yes votes, it will require for your church to call a pastor, 85%, 90%, 95%, 100%. Give at least three regular service announcements that this man and his family will be coming for a trial sermon, on such date as the church does set. Notify the pastor to verify these dates.

The Date Is Set

Make arrangements, place to stay, food, expenses etc.

A fellowship meal would be good at noon, to allow

the rest of the church to get to know them a little better.

It is a good practice to hear him preach in the evening

as well. Assure him you will notify him of your decision.

The Vote

Announce to the church the vote. Give three regular meeting announcements as to when this vote will be. It is not recommended to use absentee or mailin ballots. Have ballots ready and proceed with secret ballot vote. If the vote is adequate to extend the call; phone the candidate (him personally), and give him the good news. He may need time to pray or he may know then. Set an acceptable time for his reply to check back with you. Church and committee should now pray hard for God’s perfect will to be made plain.

If Yes Welcome Him and His Family

Begin praying for your new pastor.

During The Interim

Choose an interim pastor who does not intend to be your pastor.

Usually a retired pastor, has patience, love and experience to

love our congregation through this whole process. Lovingly inform

the interim pastor as to his duties.

Service continuity as well as preaching continuity will

continue, allowing the church and pulpit committee, to carry on with their specific jobs.


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Copyright 2002 Bob Wood

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