To members of churches in pastoral transition
This is a unique season in the life of your church. The departure of a minister affects each person differently, but for everyone there is uncertainty around what to do now and what the future holds. In this ambiguity, though, there is immeasurable opportunity – for celebrating and reconnecting with the congregation’s roots, for listening deeply to and growing closer with God, and for stoking the church’s imagination about who it can be and what it can do. This season, while it might be uncomfortable at times, is not one to rush through.
The search for a great-fit, long-tenured minister is a primary task of the transition time, and it is worthy of all the focus and resources the church can allot. But the potential positives of a pastor search team’s work extend beyond the calling of one clergyperson. A ministerial search can deepen both the bonds between and the spiritual maturity of the search team members, with spillover into the congregation as a whole. It can help the church strengthen relationships with its denominational partners and geographical context. It can set the minister up for a fast start, allowing the minister to develop bonds quickly and introduce focus and energy into the system. It can bless the many candidates who come into contact with the search team, prompting them to develop a deeper understanding of their gifts and growing edges and preparing them to infuse health into the churches they will eventually serve.
A search process rooted in hospitality enables a search team to hit all of these marks. The search approach detailed in this course is designed to help a search team welcome the voices of the Holy Spirit, one another, the congregation, the larger community, and candidates for the ministry position. It provides search stage explanations, questions, best practices, and tools so that you might be blessed and, through your faithfulness, be a blessing to others.