Back in December I was selected to be a member of the Pastor Search Committee (PSC) at church. The PSC is made up of seven men & women, and its sole purpose is to find a pastor to take up the pulpit. I had no idea how the PSC operated or what all went on in the selection process, and at the time (and now, still, to an extent) I was sworn to secrecy, so to speak.
I am very pleased to announce that as of two weeks past, on Sunday, April 29, our church is no longer looking for a senior pastor. The candidate the PSC recommended preached a trial sermon and was voted (98.1% positive) in by the church. Now that the PSC is disbanded, I suddenly have a few more hours free each week.
It takes a lot of time and commitment being on the committee. We met every Sunday afternoon for an hour or so, and then again every Wednesday night after church, usually for at least an hour-and-a-half, sometimes longer. When we conducted interviews, several hours were set aside. There was also a lot of listening to sermons outside of the committee meetings, especially early on as we were resume weeding. Overall we received around 270 resumes, so it took some time to drop down to a workable number.
The most crucial piece of the committee functioning properly was prayer and guidance through the Spirit. We all spent many hours in prayer over the course of time. We hit some snares and some hardships, but the committee was always in unison whenever it came to making decisions. This was a feat in and of itself, as there were seven unique individuals representing a broad range of ages and tastes. That said, I very much enjoyed getting to know my fellow committee members a little more, and I think we all grew pretty close during this time.
Every church does this process differently, I've learned. Some have an elder board that takes care of things. Others involve the entire church. There's no right way to do it. There are plenty of wrong ways, though. The PSC received a ton of negative attention and many discouraging comments from grumblers. We were called dysfunctional and accused of being biased and blah and blah and blah. Rumors were rampant, and it was crazy. If you are ever a part of a church body that has a pastor search committee in progress, I implore you to love on and encourage those people. They need it.
I am glad to have served on the PSC, but I'm equally glad that it's business is finished. I look forward to seeing the pastor arrive and seeing how God will use him for our church.
Have any of you ever served on a Search Committee or been in a church that has had to go through this? What was it like? Any questions you'd want to ask?