For decades American Protestant congregations have survived without the help of professional search consultants. Why now? What’s changed? Why should the church contract the services of a Pastor Search Consultant? There are many reasons for doing so. Here’s one: the American Protestant landscape has changed so dramatically that the old ways of finding a pastor are not as effective as they were in previous decades.
Perhaps the best way to explain that thesis is through a comparison to the McDonald’s Corporation. Throughout the latter half of the twentieth century, church folk pretty much assumed that young men and women trained by McDonald’s University (the denominational seminary) were prepared to serve any McDonald’s franchise (local congregation) in the company (denomination). That assumption was based on the shared corporate (denominational) culture of the company and on the fact that each franchise (congregation) offered the same menu of services (ministries). In this context, a manager (pastor) would begin his or her career (ministry) at one church, stay about five years, and, if he or she did well, especially as a leader (preacher), accepted a promotion (call) and moved on to a bigger and more profitable franchise (congregation).
Today the context has changed dramatically. We live at a time when congregations are shaped more by local context than by denominational patterns and prescriptions. Each congregation, even those which share denominational affiliation, while sharing many commonalities, differs significantly from others in values, rituals, customs, and more. Add to that the growing diversity among pastoral candidates. Even those from similar denominations differ in education, background, theology, culture, and more.
All of that diversity makes it extremely difficult to discover the right fit between a pastor and a congregation. Many congregations have discovered that a Pastor Search Consultant (PSC) can be a great help in this area. The PSC comes alongside a congregation’s Search Committee to help them develop and implement a process of discernment, one bathed in prayer and open to the Holy Spirit, which leads to discovery of a new pastor. As a PSC, his primary goal is a good match between pastor and people, one that leads to healthy and dynamic ministry. Along the way, he brings with him years of experience, a proven method, and a large network of connections.
Perhaps your congregation is at the point where it would benefit from the services of a Pastor Search Consultant. If so, I hope you will consider ChapterNext. Give us a call or contact us so that we can begin a conversation that helps your congregation turn the page and be write the next chapter in your ministry.