Best Practices

Part 1

A toddler wanders off in a room filled with people, joyfully absorbing the smells, sights and sounds. In time he stops and looks around. Where is his mother? Unable to see her, he starts to cry. His mother recognizes her child’s cry and rushes to find him. Once she is in his sight, the toddler…

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Question #12

The time has come to search for a new pastor and you wonder how to go about such an awesome responsibility. You hope and pray for a candidate who embodies the 5 Cs: Character, Competency, Chemistry (fit with your congregation), Culture (fit with your community), and Credentials. But how do you find such a person?…

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Question #11

This much I have learned: Every church group of Christians knows the type of pastor they would like to serve their congregation and community. They have a basic idea of what they want in the pastor’s character, competencies, and credentials (such as experience and education). This much I have also learned: Not every church is…

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Question #10

You have asked tough questions. You have looked into the mirror. You have clarified your values and mission. You have formed an outstanding search team. Now what? Before authorizing a team to begin the work of searching for a new pastor, I suggest you affirm your identity as a congregation. Remind yourself that you and…

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Question #9

Growing up in Chicago, I have frequented countless hot-dog joints and ordered many a double dog with everything but onions. (Note that for Chicagoans everything does NOT include ketchup.) I have also visited many McDonald’s, including the original in Des Plaines, where I enjoyed a “Big Mac” and fries. I find it interesting that McDonald’s…

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Question #8

I hate to break it to you, but it’s best for you to know that your next pastor will most likely ask your previous pastor a simple question: “Why did you leave?” And they should ask. Nothing worse than rowing a boat into the middle of the lake only to discover a leak. Speaking from…

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Question #7

If we don’t know who we are as a congregation, how will we know what we need? If we don’t have an accurate understanding of our present situation as a church, how can we close the current chapter so that the Lord may begin writing a new chapter? If we don’t know have a vision…

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Question #3

Typically, as soon as a pastor announces that he or she has accepted a call, the leaders of the congregation, with no questions asked, form a pastor search (replacement) team. They seemingly assume that the church should enter the future by repeating the past, rather than viewing their pastor’s departure as a time to explore…

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Question #6

Are you familiar with the question “What is the elephant in the room?” This nonsensical question is a metaphorical idiom for an obvious problem that people don’t want to talk about. The situation is as noticeable as an elephant would be if sitting in your living room or at your dinner table. More recently, a…

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Question #5

In what is called “The Great Commission,” Jesus commands his apostles to make disciples by going, baptizing, and teaching. While it took them a while to go, they finally got around to it with a lot of help from Barnabas, Paul, and the Church of Antioch.  We are here as a result of their work.…

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