Tag Archive: process

A Critical Step in Hiring A Minister


The pause.

The pause is relevant no matter how many ministers you hire.

The pause is critical no matter your church’s governance model.

The pause is a ‘must have’ no matter how long you’ve been hiring ministers.

The pause is, in fact, a pause.

After each step in your selection process with a minister candidate, you as a church leader need to ensure the decision maker or makers (hiring manager, elders, personnel team, whomever) pause.

Once we as church leaders get excited about a candidate and can see how they fit into our church’s future, we sometimes move things forward quickly and don’t stop.

We perpetuate urgency.

When you’re working urgently, you miss things.

A pause in the hiring process accomplishes several things:

  • It makes sure we’re in an Acts 15 moment “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us…”
  • It slows it down for things below the surface to literally rise to the top (some things are only uncovered in time)
  • It allows people to catch up. This is really important for search processes that include multiple people. Most “multiple people” have lives that aren’t solely focused on hiring ministers. So pauses give literal time for people to catch up on the process
  • A pause at each step tells the candidate that this is a process, it includes due diligence, and they too, should be pausing
  • And related to an Acts 15 mindset, pauses allow us to be still enough to hear from God. We want to always be a part of God’s “good, pleasing, and perfect will,” and that may not always match our desired candidate

There are some negatives to pauses. But the positives far outweigh the negatives.

One pause is not enough, I suggest a pause at every significant step (see link at bottom for examples of steps). I’m not suggesting how long a “pause” should be, that’s circumstantial and usually clear to the leader who’s involving others, wants the best, and seeking divine wisdom.

Completing a step doesn’t have to beget another step. In hiring a minster, the paradigm should be: complete a step, pause, and then make decision about whether to take next step.

Pausing could mean you delay having a minister on site by a week or a month. Pausing could also mean you never hire the minister. And in that case, the pause did its job…allowing time for the process to disqualify candidates, or changed the desires of a candidate or the search team, or for the Spirit to provide clarity that only comes from God.

As a practical takeaway, here is an Abridged Version of BBC Selection With Pauses that shows pauses throughout.

p.s. Lifeway President Thom Rainer has written some excellent blog posts recently about what ministers want search teams to know and what search teams want minister candidates to know.

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Sandwich Board Guys and Church Methodology

sandwich baord

I had visceral feelings when I noticed him. I’d seen this guy before, but not in years, and not in my neighborhood. The feelings his presence and message elicited were strong, perhaps sinful. Standing at the corner of the intersection, with a sandwich board draped over his shoulders, his board’s message declared: “Believe on Jesus. Repent or burn!” Ironically, my reaction to his message made me need to repent (but not for my salvation). I have my reasons for believing his methodology is poor, and maybe you do too. I find it to be:

  • Outdated
  • Offensive
  • Rapport and relationship killing
  • Disconnected with the gospels. I have a hard time seeing Jesus carrying his message that way
  • Ineffective. While I have no hard evidence, I doubt many people have seen such a sign, gotten out of their cars, walked up to the sign carrier and said, “Tell me more about believing on Jesus.” However, I’m sure many people have walked up to these sign carriers to say or do other things, other than inquire about Jesus.

But his message and methodology did cause me to think about our church’s methodologies. Not just for evangelism, but also for the many other things we do.

Likely, this particular man’s message and methodology were more about his own personality than Jesus’.

Which got me thinking… Does our church’s programming reflect our personality rather than Jesus’? Does our church’s ethos reflect our church’s DNA rather than Jesus’ DNA?

How many of the things our churches do, your church does, are personality driven? Are our ministries created and perpetuated by the pastor’s or staff member’s likeable personality, or by their alignment with Biblical expectations?

How many of our methods are out of touch with Biblical mandates? For the sake of being progressive and living in a post-modern world, have we created missions, messages, and methodologies that have sharply diverted from Jesus’ mission (e.g., Matt 28:19-20, Luke 4:18-19, Acts 1:8)?

Have we become just another sandwich board guy, using methods that are offensive (to Jesus) and ineffective?

I suggest we pray and take inventory of our mission and methodologies, and consider if they’re relevant to Jesus. Ask yourself this: If Jesus had one opportunity to share his message to the world through our church, would he use the methods you’re using?

p.s. I’ll give the sandwich board guy some credit; at least he works his method. I have a methodology for sharing Jesus that I think is superior to his, but I don’t always do it. Once you’ve determined the method that best reflects Jesus, work it.

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