There it was: another email.
This one had a clear and poignant subject: “Pastor Search Committee Nightmare.”
It was one of hundreds of similar pieces of communication I have received from pastors. The pastor receives a contact from a search committee. Often times the pastor is invited to go to the church for an on-site interview. This particular pastor had flown to the church several weeks earlier.
Everything seemed to go well. The search committee promised to follow up. The pastor left with a sense that this church would be his next church.
The pastor’s wife was looking at the prospective church’s Facebook page one day. She saw that the church was announcing the calling of a new pastor.
But they had never followed up with this pastor.
Here are five of the headaches a pastor experiences when a search committee fails to communicate. Please read these carefully if you are a part of a church that is seeking a pastor.
- Disruption. The moment a pastor is contacted by a search committee, there is disruption in the pastor’s life and the family as well. That disruption does not end until some type of closure takes place.
- Lack of focus. It is difficult for a pastor to focus on the ministry of his current church while the possibility exists that he may be moving to another church.
- Guilt. Because of the lack of focus in the current ministry, many pastors feel guilty that they aren’t giving their all to the church.
- Frustration. The prolonged periods of silence are frustrating. There is no excuse for the lack of communication.
- Anxiety. The pastor is often concerned that the possibility of his departure will get out to church members and compromise the current ministry.
I urge all members of pastor search committees to get William Vanderbloemen’s book, Search, so you can know what to do and not to do in the search process. And I plead with all search committee members to stay in touch with all the candidates until closure and resolution takes place. You may feel like you are dealing with only one pastor. But every pastor you contact is impacted by what you do or don’t do.
Search with integrity. Stay in touch. Don’t be a nightmare. Don’t be a headache.
Let me hear from you.