The process of searching for a new pastor is one of the most crucial and important seasons in the life of a church.
A transitional consultant can guide your congregation through a healthy discernment and search process and network with you to connect your search team with viable and reliable candidates for your congregation.
Call vs Hire
The methodologies between a call to ministry and a hire are different. The process of calling is prayer-intensive and mission-centric. The method of hiring is preference-intensive and market-centric. The approach a church uses, and the language a church chooses may determine whether they become a congregation of ministers or an aggregation of spectators.
Average Transtion Timeline
A Recent Study
We summarized twelve search processes conducted from start to finish in 2022-23, involving diverse congregational settings (rural, small town, suburban, urban) and varied sizes (single-staff to multi-staff). Church budgets ranged from $150,000 to $4.5 million. Notably, most interim periods last around 18 months on average.
Our model proves to be a more streamlined and impactful choice for congregations in search of new leadership, boasting an average duration of 9 months, as opposed to the conventional self-navigating model that typically takes 18 months.
We have a demonstrated history of guiding congregations through their periods of transition with efficiency, a reliance on spiritual guidance, and a timely approach.
Nine Month Average
The time required by the church to navigate the two primary phases of the work were:
Orientation, Self Study, Profile creation, Candidate recruitment:
- Average of 6 months and 1 week
Active search process utilizing CHC's candidate list:
- Average of 12 weeks from reveal of candidates to decision on a finalist
Amount of time spent from Committee Orientation to final decision:
- Average of 9 months
Testimonials Speak Volumes
Being guided through the transition process gave us great insight into who we are and who we want to be as we serve our God in the years ahead. The Congregational Profile and Pastor Profile served as a constant reminder of the traits our church deemed most important in our next pastor. The guidance and encouragement provided to our Pastor Search Team by CHC helped us stay the course through a 10-month search that ultimately led us to a pastor who matched our profile perfectly.
The CHC process helped our church to determine what kind of leader we needed to be the church we aspire to be in the decades ahead. The discussions our church held during the process helped us to identify key elements of our history, mission, and vision that continue to shape who we are becoming, and the kind of courageous leaders we need at Greystone. Growth often emerges out of a willingness to be vulnerable, embrace dialogue, and honor our past while embracing a new future.
I want to thank PneuMatix for excellently supporting the Pinnacle Presbyterian Church’s PNC in their search for two associate pastors. They expedited the search timeline while correctly discerning the needs of the congregation. Early returns suggest rave reviews across the board! The Senior Pastor search resulted in an excellent slate of candidates and was brought to closure in a timeframe that eliminated the need to hire an interim pastor.
Traits of a Healthy Call Process
Develop an honest church profile.
Our consultants will help you explore your congregational DNA and evaluate where the most fertile soil is for your future ministry. Own your strengths and your weaknesses. Healthy ministry is contextual, and a good church profile describes the congregational and community context in which the next chapter of ministry will be written.
Build a realistic pastor profile.
Rather than focusing on demographic characteristics such as age, education, and years of experience (which are essential but not the most important factors), focus instead on character. Your consultant will give you the necessary tools to ask and answer what kind of person we need to serve as our pastor.
Proactively recruit candidates that match your profile.
Years ago, search teams would advertise an “opening” and rely on respondents to populate their candidate list. However, many of the best candidates for your church are not looking to move and will not respond to an ad. While it is possible that advertising will connect you with that one candidate who is “just right” for your church, advertising often leads to a large number of candidates but not necessarily quality candidates.
Your consultant will provide your search team with the best candidates, taking recommendations from trusted pastors and church leaders acquainted with your congregation’s context and potentiality.
Be transparent and authentic during the interview stage.
It is important to ask honest questions and invite the candidate to do the same. Your consultant will guide you to create an interview process that highlights the positive aspects of your heritage while moving quickly to your vision for the future.
Communicate clearly with the congregation.
Clear and relevant communication is essential throughout the search process, but it is critical during the final stages as the church is invited to affirm the call. Our consultants will guide your team through healthy communication that informs the congregation while protecting the integrity of the search process.