Sunset Church of Christ Results

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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.

"Don and his staff were with us every step of the way; from the creation of the search committee all the way to the final negotiations with our new Youth Minister. I truly believe God answered our prayers by leading us to work with Minister Match."

- Jorge Acebo, Sunset Search Committee Chairman



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
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
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 did an excellent job connecting me with a congregation that I would not have known about otherwise.  Don Viar did an excellent job representing my concerns to the search committee and did an excellent job communicating their concerns ...
Drew Baker - Preaching Minister, South Fork 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
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 was kind to me, followed up really well, and tried to be as helpful as possible. I believe they give a lot of attention to the candidates and care about their part of the process.
Kerry Williams - Minister, Waterford 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
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

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.