Best Practices

Scouting for Prospective Pastors

If you were asked to scout a college campus or a congregation for prospective pastors, where would you begin? What would you like for? During my baseball playing and coaching days, I learned that if I asked a similar question of a scout looking for prospective professional baseball players, he would have a ready response.…

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The Pastor Search: A Discernment Practice

Some Pastor Search teams may approach their task as if they were a human resource office sifting through resumes, interviewing their perceived list of top candidates, and selecting the person whose resume best matches the position description at hand. In my work coaching Pastor Search teams, I approach the task as a discernment process wherein…

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Attributes of Great Pastor Search Team Members

If your congregation is about to begin a search for a new pastor, you, with a handful of others, will be tasked with forming a Pastor Search Team (PST). What qualities will you look for in potential candidates for this important responsibility? Having worked with over fifty search teams in my role as a pastor…

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Jesus’ Position Description as Shepherd of the Sheep?

Having had the privilege of being raised in a family dedicated to Christ and His Church, I often heard the word “under-shepherd” as a reference to the pastor. The meaning of the word required minimal explanation. We knew Christ as the great shepherd of the sheep and viewed the pastor as the one responsible for…

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From the People in the Pews: On Preaching #2

As noted in my previous blog under this banner, in my role as a pastor-search consultant I have the privilege of working with pastor search teams. These incredibly dedicated groups of Christ-followers fulfill many important tasks in their efforts to discern their next pastors. One of those tasks is listening to the sermons of pastoral…

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From the People in the Pews: On Preaching

In my role as a pastor-search consultant, I have the privilege of working with pastor search teams. These dedicated groups of Christ-followers, often the cream of the crop of their congregations, fulfill many important tasks in their efforts to discern their next pastors. One of those tasks is listening to the sermons of pastoral candidates.…

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Seminaries 200 Years Later & Beyond

American Protestant seminaries have been around for just over 200 years. Andover (MA) Theological Seminary was the first, established in 1807. Many followed shortly thereafter. Today, few would bet money on American Protestant seminaries surviving this century. The seminary model is simply not suited for our post-modern and post-Christian context. In short, the numbers just…

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What We Measure = What We Value

While Counterinsurgency (New York: Oxford Press, 2010) by David Kilcullen is intended for “civilian and military students and practitioners of counterinsurgency,” I discovered some insights that may help leaders of the local church. Here is one that seems helpful: what we measure reflects what we value. So, as David Kilcullen writes: Organizations manage what they…

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Forming Your Pastor Search Team

Leaders of local congregations have discovered that a strategy is but words on paper until they appoint and expect a person or group to make it become a reality. When assigning responsibility for an initiative congregational leaders usually take one of three options: the assign it to an employee or to a volunteer or to…

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Three Pastor Search Team Potholes

It is pothole season in the Midwest, that time of the year when those driving cars best keep their eyes on the road so they may avoid major cavities waiting to dent one or more of wheels. And it’s always pothole season when a pastor search team begins its work. The road before the team…

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