Best Practices

Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel, and the Pastor Search Team

Posted by on Feb 3, 2015 in Best Practices | 1 comment

Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, was wakened by a troubling dream but, once awake, couldn’t remember the dream. He sought help from the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers. “Tell me what my dream was and interpret it,” he asked. When they failed, the king ordered their execution, as well as the execution of other “wise men” in the country. Daniel, one of those wise men scheduled for execution, went to the king and asked for and was given time to interpret the dream. Returning home, he asked friends to pray for God’s intervention. That night, the Lord revealed the...

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Decision-Making or Discernment Process?

Posted by on Jan 8, 2015 in Best Practices | 0 comments

Is the pastor search process a decision-making process or discernment process or a little bit of both? We are familiar with decision-making processes the goal of which is to process a decision based on predetermined values, such as credentials, experience, and other non-negotiable factors. During decision–making processes we compare options in a linear and timely manner. Decision-making processes may or may not be accompanied by prayer for the outcomes are determined by the predetermined values. I am most familiar with the decision-making process of contracting faculty for schools. The...

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A Common Misstep by Search Teams

Posted by on Oct 4, 2014 in Best Practices | 1 comment

When discerning the identity of the next pastor, Search Teams, either intentional or unintentionally, evaluate pastoral candidates in, at least, five areas: Character, Competence, Chemistry (with the staff and congregation), Culture (a candidate’s fit in the community), and Credentials (such as a Master of Divinity degree, or ordination by a specific group, or membership in a particular denomination). When asked which of the five is the most important, Search Teams offer four answers: each of the above, except one. I have never worked a Search Team that prioritized Credentials. Yet, where...

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Applying for a Worship Leader Position?

Posted by on May 27, 2014 in Best Practices | 0 comments

A church which announces a full-time position which includes responsibilities as a worship leader will receive well over fifty inquiries. If you are one of that number, you want to make it easy for Search Teams, Human Resource folk, Pastoral Staff members, and others who review your submission to catch a glimpse of your person and your gifts. (I will refer to this group of folk who review submissions as “we.”) You can accomplish that goal by providing a simple one to two page resume (Please don’t include GPA), a list of references, and by preparing an easily accessible web-site or a...

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Pastors and congregations: Marriages made in heaven?

Posted by on Mar 25, 2014 in Best Practices | 0 comments

The marriage between pastor and congregation can become a beautiful celebration of harmony, like a finely tuned orchestra. The pastor and the church’s leadership are on the same proverbial page, the worship service is exquisite and the various programs run like a clock. The congregation is growing spiritually and numerically, and the community is envious of that body of believers. Okay, that’s utopian. At minimum, it’s rare. More often than not, churches are content with the status quo, preaching is good, the church leadership gets along well with each other, and the church continues to...

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Why A Pastor Search Firm

Posted by on Mar 5, 2014 in Best Practices | 0 comments

In a short time, ChapterNext has become the leading Pastor Search Firm in the Chicagoland area and Great Lakes region. This past year alone, ChapterNext Founder Sam Hamstra walked alongside seven congregations searching for a new pastor, and assisted several other Search Teams. Perhaps your congregation has experienced a pastoral vacancy and is now considering a partnership with a Pastor Search firm. If so, someone in the congregation will surely ask, “Why a Pastor Search firm?” Here’s a short list of benefits identified by clients of ChapterNext. Maybe one or more of them will be...

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