Sunday, August 22, 2021

The new minister

When I say 'minister' I mean what some call 'pastor', 'rector', 'congregational convenor', 'teaching elder', etc.

How does one recruit a new minister?

I get the impression it is hit or miss, given the rapidity with which some congregations become disenchanted with their minister, and ministers become so with the congregation.


Avoid it by:

1. Develop a profile of your congregation and where it wants to be in, say 3 years. And detailed. Concrete, no biblical fluff words.

The profile has to describe the church: its interests, history, demography, how it works at the moment. What its practice is with respect to music, ministry (that is what groups of volunteers form), how it is governed (often this is read down from the denominational affiliation), its mission history (how activities and groups have formed, dissolved, been organised, trained, etc.), how its formal gatherings work, what social activities it has, etc.

2. Ask the prospective ministerial candidates for their 'profile' of themselves in equivalent terms to the church. Not more than 1000 words, and cover how they work with people in the congregation, what their ambitions are for the church in general.

3. Their resume needs to be detailed on the most recent three church/mission postings they've had.

4.  The top 3 candidates speak to the congregation: not a sermon, but speak to their view of their role, how they conduct it and how they see it growing. Then, how they want to grow through it.

5. They give a sample sermon, a couple of sample small group studies/meetings.

6. The final two attend social afternoons that includes some history from them, and a Q &A from the floor.

7. Then we vote. Referees and first interviews occurs after step 3. A second interview after step 5.

The successful candidate then has a contract for 1 year, no getting out for either party except for extenuating reasons: criminal activity, mainly. Or on a negotiated basis, including payout of the full year's salary. There, that should keep the congregation honest.

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