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What About the Elders?

EldersThere is no question that one of the keys to the success of our Minister Hiring Process is the cooperation of a congregation's search committee. These are the folks that are hard at work meeting with each other on a regular basis, making recruiting calls (if taking the Self-Service route), sifting through applications, interviewing candidates both remotely and in person, and ultimately deciding who to move forward in the process. A good search committee is crucial to finding the right minister for your congregation, but what about the elders?

Isn't it the elders who are ultimately supposed to be in charge? When ministers are told, "We just don't think you're the right fit," as the reason for their termination (which is ultimately what Minister Match wants to prevent), isn't it the elders who are making that decision? Some of you may be thinking, "Okay, I get the idea of having a good search committee, but shouldn't the elders have a larger role in this process?" We understand this concern, so we want to take a few minutes in this post to assure you that if your congregation chooses to work with us, your elders will be just as involved as your search committee in finding the "right fit" for your congregation.

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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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Testimonials

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
I was so happy when Minister Match reached out to me about a potential job. I consider Minister Match an answer to my prayers.
Clay Tidwell
I strongly encourage ministers to take advantage of the expertise of the folks at Minister Match to help put together a high quality resume. They will help you identify strong points you didn't even know you have! I am extremely satisfied with the ...
Joel Shelton - Commerce Church of Christ
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
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
It was a great process for me. Minister Match did a good job of keeping confidentiality in collecting information, and the communication process was very clear. The staff was very easy to deal with and very helpful. Overall the experience was very ...
Joel Soumar - Youth Minister, Mesa Church of Christ
I was grateful for the guidance of Minister Match through the complex and time-intensive search process. John was responsive, supportive and knowledgable. Communication was excellent and flexible around my availability as a volunteer search ...
Brandon Clark - Youth Minister Search Committee Chairman, Mesa Church of Christ
The candidate pool for our need was something we had to work to develop but Don was insistent we wait for God's guidance and let it fill up when our human nature wanted to start right away. This served us well since our best qualified candidate ...
Jon Bouley - Family Minister Search Committee Chairman, Mesa 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.