Qualities for Members of the Search Team

Sunday I told the men at Pacific it’s time to select a search team to start looking for the next preacher.

Here are qualities I listed for people who will do the initial search:

  • Realizes he may not know how to do it but believes God will give wisdom to one who’s willing to learn and choose the best methods. Some previous training could be helpful. But I’ve seen a small congregation where most of the search team had never hired anyone do a better job than a larger congregation with HR people and CEOs who were in a hurry.
  • Has a commitment to keep confidential information confidential. Some preachers will be released if their elders find out they’re talking to another congregation. If people can’t keep things they learn and people they consider private, they don’t need to be on the team.
  • Has the ability to express his honest thoughts when he’s uncomfortable doing so and knows others may disagree. The main goal of serving on the search team isn’t to keep everyone comfortable. The aim is to find a preacher who fits this congregation and who will do good work in this community preaching God’s word.
  • Has the self-discipline to quit talking at the appropriate time to permit others to express their thoughts without being intimidated. We don’t need one or more who already knows everything and the main goal is to convince everyone else that he has all the answers. The goal is for the wisdom of the group to be greater than the wisdom of the different individuals.
  • Is willing to make a decision when adequate information is in. Do appropriate research about people available, their qualifications, do comprehensive interviews, check their references and backgrounds — then make a choice.
  • One who is willing to accept the decision of the group even though he may not think it’s the best decision. The team is a team. Everyone may not come to the same conclusion. If everyone thought the same way, only one would be necessary.
  • One who can graciously accept criticism from those who disagree with the method the group uses or the man the group chooses. There’s a great possibility one or more in the congregation won’t be happy with the way the search is conducted or the person who’ll be selected. A leader is a lightning rod to attract and deflect powerful charges, not a novelty decoration to be admired as something cute. Accept the comments. Evaluate the ideas. Listen to the ones who are thanking you for the work you did as well.
  • A person who can freely give the time necessary. This will be time-consuming work. Reading résumés, viewing sermons, conducting interviews, and checking references will take hours and nights of your time in the next few months.

We need a few who will count the cost, invest the time to bless this congregation and an exceptional preacher who will fit and work well with this church.

May God bless this group, this congregation, the preachers who will consider and be considered, the preacher selected, and the preachers who wanted to come but weren’t selected.

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Jerrie Barber
Servant of Jesus, husband to Gail, father to Jerrie Wayne Barber, II and Christi Parsons, grandfather, great-grandfather, Interim Preacher, Shepherd coach, Ventriloquist, barefoot runner, ride a cruiser bicycle

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