Few decisions are more important to a local Christian congregation than the choice of its pastor. Pastors function as their congregation’s theologian-in-chief, not to mention as the public face of its mission, vision, and values. If, as John Maxwell says, “everything rises and falls on leadership,” then the life of a congregation rises and falls with the man or woman it calls to be its leader.
Warren D. Bullock is an Assemblies of God minister who has served his fellowship in a variety of positions, both at the local-church level and in denominational leadership. With Your Next Pastor, He has written an excellent how-to book for pastoral search committees that reflects his seasoned experience. Although this book was published by the AG’s publishing house, it is useful for any congregationally governed church, whatever its denominational affiliation.
The book walks pastoral search committee members through seven phases: the lead pastor’s resignation, managing the transition, systems for pastoral search committee, screening candidates, interviewing candidates, presenting the candidate to the congregation, and welcoming the new lead pastor. It includes ten appendixes with draft language of committee communications on various topics.
I have never served on a pastoral search committee. As a candidate for a pastorate, however, I have observed up close the diligent work of just such a committee and wish that all pastoral candidates could have such a positive experience. If church boards and pastoral search committees implemented Bullock’s guidelines, I’m confident the search process would function in a healthy and efficient manner for all parties.
Highly recommended to church board and pastoral search committee members!
Full disclosure: I am an employee of the Assemblies of God, which is the parent company of Gospel Publishing House. I am not employed by GPH, however.
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