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Founder and CEO of Minister Match

Sometimes An Interim Is Better Than A Hire

TimeforaBreak

I spoke with a congregation this week that was about to lose their beloved, long-term pulpit minister and they wanted to know if we could help them find a new one.  The more we chatted, the more I became convinced that it would be a colossal mistake for them to try to hire someone right now.  The odds of a new minister failing were just too high so instead; I recommended that they consider a long-term interim appointment to help them through a difficult transition period.

Let me give you two prime examples of when it might be better to work with a long-term interim rather than going ahead and hiring someone right away.

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Elder – Minister Relationships

NoFeedbackNecessaryAs an elder, how do you view your ministers? Are they partners with you in ministry or are they simply the hired help? Are they viewed as a leader within the congregation or simply as a public speaker? Do you value their input or do you tolerate their opinion?

Over the last 60 days I have reviewed the websites of over 1,500 church of Christ congregations from all across the country. In doing so, I’ve witnessed a wide range of congregational leadership models and management issues.

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Starting Over Doesn’t Mean You Failed

ResetButtonSometimes Search Committees can reach a place where you just don’t seem to be making any progress. You have interviewed a number of candidates but none of them have been the “right candidate.” Now, after several months of searching, the committee begins to feel an internal sense of pressure to “do something.” In this situation, search committees typically, do one of three things:

  1. They hire one of the current candidates anyway.
  2. They continue down the same path and hope a better candidate comes along.
  3. They realize the need to start over.
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We Like You But We Are Going To Keep Looking…

HelloIAmWaitingIf you are a minister who has been through a job search, there is a pretty good chance you have heard or felt that sentiment from more than one congregation. In one form or fashion, there is a pretty common pattern that we see in the church today when a congregation is looking for a new minister. If often goes like this:

  • Step 1 - Identify potential candidates.
  • Step 2 - Interview each candidate as they submit an application.
  • Step 3 - Put the candidate “on hold” while you see who else applies for the position.
  • Step 4 - Wait several months and then hire someone.
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What Happens When You Fail to Cast A Wide Net

Man with fishing netFinding great candidates for your ministry opening can be challenging even in the best of situations. I’m a firm believer in the principle that great candidate pools must be built through a combination of advertising, networking with your peers and most especially outright recruiting. Let me tell you a cautionary tale about the search for a new pulpit minister at the Anytown Church of Christ where their pride made a tough job even harder (the names have been changed to protect the innocent).

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Testimonials

Our Search Committee is so grateful that we used Minister Match when we needed to hire our new Youth Minister. Minister Match assisted us in recruiting many serious candidates (over 30) that fit what our congregation was looking for. The ...
Jorge Acebo - Search Committee Chairman, Sunset Church of Christ
The Minister Match team was very professional. The entire process was very transparent. It was structured and organized, which made it a whole lot easier. I felt that the team also had a genuine concern for the Lord's church and His ministers. ...
Joshua Duboise - Family Minister, Mesa Church of Christ
The process was well marketed and we were provided ample information to help explain the steps to the congregation.  The book that accompanied the information was very valuable and I referred to it often during the process.  As the search team ...
Bill Gaw - Search Committee Chariman, Waterford Church of Christ
We would not have been exposed to the large number of qualified candidates without the resources and expertise of Minister Match.  The search process was very organized and accomplished very efficiently with the program and schedule provided by ...
Ken Fox - Elder, Mesa Church of Christ
From my standpoint as one of the elders, I can say we were pleased with the process, and feel the time and money spent was well worth it. We felt we received excellent service from your firm, and because we were among the first to use your service ...
Bob Perkins - Elder, Sunset Church of Christ
Minister Match helped us hire a new minister in half the time we took for our previous hire.  We used the Minister Match process which helped us build a consensus of what we wanted.  Minister Match's network then helped us to build an ...
Tom Long - Search Committee Chairman, South Fork Church of Christ
I think that because of the format that was there and the process that we followed, it made us stand out to our quality group of finalists who had other lines in the water looking for opportunities. When it came time to offer our finalist the ...
Joel Shelton - Search Committee Chairman, Commerce Church of Christ
Minister Match connected me with a church, had the details for every aspect of the process already taken care of, and communicated well. It was a very easy process, and now I am a youth minister in Miami, Florida!  I was very impressed with the ...
Sam Wilson - Youth Minister, Sunset Church of Christ
We had a very good experience with Minister Match.  This was not the first time we had searched for a minister, but it was the first time we used a search firm.  Our experience with Minister Match was a complete success.  In previous searches, we ...
Jim Holway - Minister, Sunset Church of Christ
We would like to thank you for your efforts to make the minister hiring process simple and well defined. The congregation here has not been through the minister hiring process in sixteen years and had little experience left for trying to do so. We ...
Jim Burdette - Elder, Frederick Church of Christ

Contact Information

Minister Match
410 South Lowe Avenue
Cookeville, TN 38501

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.