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Equip Your Search Committee

Arm your committee with the Minister Hiring Process™, the Search Committee Handbook, Training, Workshops, Consulting...
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Sample Documents

The forms and letters that bring the Search Committee Handbook and the Minister Hiring Process™ to life and reduce your workload...


Don Viar, MBA, CPA (inactive)
Founder & CEO

Mesa Church of Christ, an active, diverse congregation of about 450 members located in Mesa, Arizona, began looking for two new ministers in the summer of 2015. Traditionally, they had had one minister in the combined role of Youth and Family Minister, but Mesa decided to change that when they began this search. As one of the strongest congregations in the Phoenix area, they thought it best to split that position up into separate roles so that more time and energy could be focused on both aspects of ministry. Since churches of Christ do not have a large presence in Arizona, it was difficult for Mesa to attract ministers to live in an arid desert climate like that of Arizona. That is why, in late 2015, they turned to Minister Match for help. Here are the details of the Family Minister Search.

Minister Match was hired in late 2015 and began recruiting on January 4. Since family ministry is still a growing trend in the church and many churches who have family ministers take them from within the congregation, Minister Match was diving into relatively uncharted territory in looking for men seeking family ministry positions. Despite the difficulties, however, Minister Match accepted the challenge.

The Minister Match recruiting team set out on an aggressive recruiting and networking campaign that included attempts to connect with virtually every existing Youth and Family Minister in the country at congregations of 200 members or more. For congregations without a Youth and Family Minister, we attempted to contact at least one other minister for every congregation in the western US of 200 members or more as well as every pulpit minister in Arizona of 100 members or more. We also reached out to the heads of youth and family ministry programs at major brotherhood universities and dozens of pulpit ministers from smaller congregations across the country. Needless to say, it was an exhaustive process that included more than 2,500 attempted calls targeting over 850 ministers, and it resulted in a candidate pool of just over 25 highly qualified candidates.

The Mesa Family Minister Search Committee was extremely pleased with the depth and quality of the candidate pool. Minister Match walked with them through every step of the Selection Phase and facilitated the entire process (including multiple trips to Mesa). In the end, they hired Joshua DuBoise (who, funny enough, had originally contacted Minister Match about a position in North Carolina)!

About Joshua Duboise

Joshua DuBoise was born and raised in Akron, Ohio. He entered the U.S. Army after high school and served as a Human Resource Specialist from 2002-2004. In 2006, he began serving as Associate Minister for the Oak Grove Church of Christ in Henderson, Tennessee. While serving there over the next several years he worked as a Direct Care provider for the West Tennessee Children’s Home and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Bible from Freed-Hardeman University. When he began attending Freed-Hardeman, he married his wife Diamond, and they now have two young children named London and Gavin. During his time at Oak Grove Joshua also completed mission work in Brazil and established a prison ministry.

From 2012-2016 Joshua served as Youth and Family Minister for the Bypass Church of Christ in Vicksburg, Mississippi, where in addition to conducting counseling for members of the congregation and working with its youth, he created and facilitated a youth rally focused on apologetics. He was very involved in volunteer work at local shelters in Vicksburg as well as teaching and facilitating classes for the Child and Parent Center dealing with parenting and domestic violence. In 2014, he earned his Master’s Degree in Counseling from Mississippi College, became a National Certified Counselor, and started professional counseling work for Grace Christian Counseling Center while still working with Bypass.

These experiences made a Family Minister position in Mesa, Arizona, a wonderful opportunity for Joshua DuBoise and his family. He started working with Mesa on 09/01/2016.

Mesa Church of Christ, an active, diverse congregation of about 450 members located in Mesa, Arizona, began looking for two new ministers in the summer of 2015. Traditionally, they had had one minister in the combined role of Youth and Family Minister, but Mesa decided to change that when they began this search. As one of the strongest congregations in the Phoenix area, they thought it best to split that position up into separate roles so that more time and energy could be focused on both aspects of ministry. Since churches of Christ do not have a large presence in Arizona, it was difficult for Mesa to attract ministers to live in an arid desert climate like that of Arizona. That is why, in late 2015, they turned to Minister Match for help. Here are the details of the Youth Minister Search.

Minister Match was hired in late 2015 to begin the Planning Phase of the Minister Search Process. The recruiting process began on January 4, 2016. Advertisements were placed on ministry job posting sites, email blasts were sent to about 1600 church leaders across the country, and the Minister Match recruiters began to make calls. From January 4 to March 11, Minister Match networked with 708 ministers and came up with a total of 16 candidates for the position.

Mesa’s Youth Minister Search Committee were faced with some tough decisions during the Selection Phase. The candidate pool was filled with several exceptional candidates, and the Search Committee really had to dig deep to decide which of these men would be best suited for the job. Though they would have been happy with any of the men in their final candidate pool, the Search Committee became convinced that Joel Soumar was the right candidate for the job when he came to Mesa for a visit.

About Joel Soumar

Joel Soumar was born in Marathon, FL. During high school, he began attending church services with friends and became a Christian when he saw the love of Christ showed to him by the youth group there, eventually leading to a passion for youth ministry. Just five months after he was baptized, he went on a mission trip to Guyana, where he discovered that he had an ability to share the gospel with others. After high school, he spent a year and a half as a missionary apprentice in Glasgow, Scotland. While there, he helped create a youth program and led his team in outreach to the community.

From there, he returned to Florida and began working with the Vero Beach Church of Christ as a Youth Ministry Intern. In the 8 years following his internship, he continued to work in both volunteer and interim roles with the youth group at Vero Beach. During this time, he met his wife Ann, whom he married on a hot air balloon in 2011. In 2012, he was hired as the full-time Youth Minister for Vero Beach Church of Christ. Joel was drawn to Mesa due to his combined passion for youth ministry and missions, and he made the decision to become their Youth Minister effective 9/5/2016.

The Sunset Church of Christ is a culturally diverse congregation of about 600 members located in Miami, Florida. About half the congregation speaks Spanish as their primary language and, for that reason, Sunset feels very strongly about hiring bilingual ministers. In the Spring of 2015, Sunset lost its long term Youth Minister and began to think about how to replace him. While Miami is a paradise, Sunset has historically found it tough to find ministers willing to relocate to the city.

To provide Susnet-Church-of-Christ-Logosome context, when Sunset started their Youth Minister search, they were fresh off of the search for a new Children’s Minister. That Children’s Minister search had lasted almost two years and only produced two or three viable candidates. Bob Perkins, an elder at Sunset, knew that they didn’t want to repeat that process for a new Youth Minister and was intrigued by an e-mail he received from Minister Match.

Sunset hired Minister Match in August and proceeded to implement our Minister Hiring Process. We partnered with the elders to plan the search and then worked with the search committee to complete the Planning Phase. By early October, we were ready to begin the Recruiting Phase and started with an initial email blast to over three thousand church leaders. Over the course of the next three months, our team attempted about 2,200 phone calls and connected with 582 ministers, church leaders, deans, and university professors from around the country. It definitely wasn’t easy but in the end, a total of 24 candidates were identified.

As the committee narrowed the pool, they found that they had a diverse pool of candidates. They had long term youth ministers who were considered “super stars.” They had men who were coming back to youth ministry later in life and they had men who were just about to graduate from college.  They had conservatives, moderates and progressives.  They had candidates from most of the major brotherhood universities and as well as several with advanced degrees. For a diverse congregation like Sunset, it was exactly what they needed. It helped them weigh the pro’s and con’s of various candidates and in the end be comfortable that they had found the right fit for Sunset.  That man’s name is Sam Wilson.

About Sam Wilson


Sam Wilson grew up in Chapel Hill, Tennessee. While he was in high school, he began to develop his youth ministry skills while shadowing Jon David Schwartz, youth minister for the Chapel Hill Church of Christ. He then attended Freed-Hardeman University, majoring in Bible with minors in Youth Ministry and Psychology. He spent two years as Youth Ministry Intern for the North Jackson Church of Christ, and he returned to Chapel Hill as an intern in the summer of 2015.

Throughout his college years, Sam began to learn Spanish on his own. He was also blessed with the opportunity to participate in several mission trips to Central America and Mexico, where he was able to further improve his Spanish skills. This passion for Spanish missions is what drew him to Sunset. He graduated from Freed-Hardeman in May 2016 and began serving as Sunset’s Youth Minister on June 5, 2016.

The Waterford church of Christ is a vibrant congregation of about 325 located in the northern outskirts of Detroit, Michigan. In late 2014 they began a search to replace their retiring pulpit minister of over 25 years. Six frustrating months of searching on their own failed to produce a viable candidate that was willing to move to the area. By August of 2015, Bill Gaw, search committee chairman, knew that they were not making progress and convinced the elders to consider a new service from Minister Match, called the “Guided Search Process”.

Once hired, Minister Match implemented an aggressive marketing and networking campaign. We sent the job advertisement out in an e-mail blast to over 3,000 church leaders across the country. We developed a targeted prospect list of about 300 potential ministers who we proceed to call. We reached out to every sizeable church of Christ congregation in the greater Michigan area in hopes of gaining a referral. In total about 900 phone calls were attempted, 279 ministers were contacted and a total 20 potential candidates were produced.

In one of those calls to the Michigan congregations, we connected with Jarrod Williams, Pulpit Minister of the Metro church of Christ in Detroit.  Jarrod quickly said, “I’m not interested but you should give my brother, Kerry, a call.”  The rest, as they say, is history and Kerry was hired effective January 21, 2016.

About Kerry Williams

Kerry has been preaching for over 24 years, and his ministry has taken he, his wife Lenora, and his three children all over the United States.


He holds a Graduate Certificate from Sunset School of Preaching, a B.A. in Pastoral Ministry from Bethany Divinity College & Seminary, a B.S. in Bible & Ministry from Southern Christian University, and an M.S. in Bible & Ministry from Lubbock Christian University. He has also conducted post-graduate studies in Philosophy & Humanities at California State University and is currently working on a Ph.D. in Restoration History through Arkansas State University.

Kerry has been a featured speaker at numerous lectureships and other brotherhood events, and he has written for various brotherhood publications in addition to authoring several books of his own. He has been preaching for Waterford Church of Christ since April 1, 2016.

The South Fork Church of Christ is a diverse, outward-focused congregation of about 300 members located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In the summer of 2015, they began looking for someone to replace their retiring pulpit minister of ten years. Because of their location outside the “Bible Belt”, South Fork had historically found it difficult to attract top ministers to their congregation. Considering the fact that a previous minister search had taken about 18 months, they knew that they needed a more efficient way to build a candidate pool. After prayerful consideration, South Fork engaged Minister Match in July of 2015, becoming the first congregation to use the Guided Search Process.

Minister Match immediately sent out an email blast to over 2,700 church leaders across the country and attempted approximately 1,900 phone calls over the ensuing 3 months. In the end, Minister Match’s team of recruiters spoke to 447 ministers and were able to produce 54 viable candidates.

Scott Mills, an elder at South Fork said, "An interesting element of our search, that we did not anticipate, was the future planning that we had to do as a leadership. Many questions developed during different phases of our search and Don Viar was invaluable with insight and guidance as we managed these questions. These areas ranged from planning for growth, to worship styles, to local missions, and several other areas. Don has visited many congregations, spent quality time with many candidates and has a unique “birds eye” view of the brotherhood and the congregations within it. His insight is a bonus simply as part of the search process."  He went on to say, "The Minister Match team never tried to push us toward a candidate, or to a direction, that was unsuited to our identity as a congregation. Minister Match was simply interested in finding the best candidate to match the particular personality of our congregation."  (Click here for a full copy of Scott's comments and endorsement.)

As the committee worked through the search process, they eventually narrowed the field to three outstanding candidates (and would have been happy in hiring any of the three). After diligent consideration, the search committee finally came to a consensus and hired Drew Baker effective February 21, 2016.

About Drew Baker


Drew Baker is a native of Abilene, Texas. He has obtained both a Bachelor’s degree and M.Div. from Abilene Christian University, majoring in Youth Ministry. He is currently working on his D.Min. in congregational transformation in the community, also through ACU. He has served in multiple capacities in the church, spending most of his full-time ministry career as a youth minister but also having been blessed with the opportunity to preach and teach on many occasions. He has also spent a year teaching English in Korea.

Drew is grateful for the ministry gifts that have been bestowed on him and is excited to work with the South Fork Church of Christ. He moved to Winston-Salem in April 2016 and has served as South Fork’s full-time Preaching Minister since. He lives with his wife Sarah, son Jude, and daughter Rowan.

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ABC Blocks

Your congregation has just hired a minister, and it seems like they are the perfect fit. Congratulations! There is one more step to the process, though, and it is just as important as the process of finding the right minister. You might have heard people refer to how the “first hundred days” of someone’s job usually sets the tone for their entire career with that organization. The same is true with ministers. Just as your congregation is going through a major transition, so is your new minister. The first few months of a job are a stressful time, and it is the job of the elders and search committee to help your new minister through their transition.

We refer to this as the “On-Boarding Stage.” Since the “first hundred days” is so important to the rest of a minister’s career with your congregation, we believe this stage is one of the keys to reducing minister turnover in the church. In this post, we want to talk about a few of the things that a new minister needs from their congregation during this transition period. We will refer to them as the ABC’s of the On-Boarding Phase.