Tuesday, June 02, 2009

DIY: evaluating calls

Over the next few months, you'll probably get a call to pastor another church -- and if my experience is any guide, you'll notice two things:
  • As I noted in last Friday's post, every church always says it's looking for a pastor who is a committed Christian, an excellent speaker, and good with young people.
  • And without fail, every church will describe itself as friendly and hardworking, with a strong desire to reach missing members, as well as get more involved in the community.
So how do you find out what this church really wants in a pastor?
  • Ask the church to send you a bulletin, a newsletter, and its latest financial report. (And if they'll send you a copy of the minutes from the last Board Meeting, all the better!)
  • Give the search committee your email address, encourage its members to get in touch with you -- and with their permission (and only with their permission), post the emails on the Web so that everyone in the church can see them.
  • Call the pastor of a neighboring SDA church, and ask what the church who's calling you is like.
  • Do the same with the SDA school principal.
  • Call a non-SDA pastor, and ask what it's like to pastor in that area.
  • Ask the search committee, "Who's been your favorite pastor in the past -- and why?"
  • Ask the church members there to "name one problem your new pastor will need to address in the next year."
  • And don't forget to pray, pray, pray -- and pray some more!

1 comment:

Dan said...

Hi Greg--

These are some great thoughts.

I'd like to add- while you are doing the research on the potential new location you ought to do the same research on your existing location. Comparing the two might make it clearer whether to go/not go or to stay/not stay.

In either case, there are plenty of people who have never heard the Adventist message wherever we live and minister.