Archives For Committee

Last week I wrote a quick blog on the types of questions a pastor interviewing with a search committee should ask in order to dig deeper into the identity of the church.

As I was writing that, I felt that there is a need for questions to be used by pastoral search committees.

In my limited experience with search committees I have found that they are made up of lay members that occupy positions of authority within the church. In most cases these individuals may be educated in the secular job world but are not thinking through the important questions they need to ask a potential pastor. Therefore, I have written 45 questions that every search committee should ask a potential pastor in an interview.

  1. How did you come to know Christ? Describe for us the situation and how your life has changed since.
  2. How were you called into the ministry?
  3. What is your view of the Bible?
  4. What is your method of Preaching? (Topical, Expository, Blend, Etc. – This should tell you something regarding the previous question.)
  5. What is your view on God’s Election?
  6. What is your view of Women in Ministry?
  7. What is your view on the Spiritual Gifts?
  8. What is your view of using those gifts in worship?
  9. What is your view on Baptism?
  10. What is your view on the Lord’s Supper?
  11. What is your view on Deacons and Elders?
  12. What is your view on Evangelism?
  13. When was the last time you personally lead someone to the Lord?
  14. If you were to come to our church, how would you encourage the people to practice evangelism?
  15. If you were to come to our church, how would you lead our church to reach out to our community?
  16. What is your view on discipleship?
  17. When was the last time you discipled someone?
  18. If you were to come to our church, how would you lead our church to practice discipleship?
  19. What is your view of missions?
  20. What missions experience do you have?
  21. If you were to come to our church, how would you lead our church to participate in missions?
  22. What is your view on Spiritual Disciplines?
  23. If you were to come to our church, how would you encourage the people to practice spiritual disciplines?
  24. Describe for us your devotion time with the Lord? (Time, Place, Frequency, Practices, Etc.)
  25. What was the last Scripture you memorized?
  26. What is your view on Church Discipline? Describe a time when you had to lead out in church discipline.
  27. What role do you think children play in the church?
  28. What role do you think teenagers play in the church?
  29. What role do you think families play in the church?
  30. What role do you think the elderly play in the church?
  31. What role do you think the small group ministry plays in the church?
  32. What do you believe is the role of the Pastor in the church? Describe your ideal pastoral work week.
  33. How do you think the Pastor should interact with the other church staff?
  34. Would you describe yourself as a team leader, a mentor, or a boss when it comes the other church staff? Why?
  35. If you have taken a spiritual gifts inventory, what are your top 2-3 gifts?
  36. If you have taken a personality test, what are your dominant personality traits?
  37. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
  38. How involved have you been or would you like to have been in convention life?
  39. If you were to align with a convention, which one would it be and why?
  40. What was the last continuing education you attended? When was this? Why?
  41. What was the last book you read? When was this? Why?
  42. What do you believe is your greatest strength in ministry?
  43. What do you believe is your biggest weakness in ministry?
  44. Does your wife support your ministry?
  45. How does your wife support you in ministry?

This is by no means a comprehensive list. So feel free to add to it.

If you were to add other questions, what would they be?

Every once in a while I get a call from a fellow pastor friend who is nervous about going before a pastoral search committee. After receiving such a call recently, I kept thinking through the kind of questions I would encourage them to ask in order to learn more about the church.

So here are thirty questions that would help you dig down to the true identity of the church.

  1. What brought you to this church?
  2. What are the 3 best things about your church?
  3. What do you think a visitor would say was the best thing about this church?
  4. What are 3 problems your church is facing that need to be corrected?
  5. What do you think a visitor would say was the worst thing about this church?
  6. What has been the biggest conflict your church has faced in the last 5, 10, 20 years? Was it handled in a biblical way?
  7. What direction has the church gone in the past 5, 10, 20 years?
  8. In your opinion has this been a good direction?
  9. What is the churches involvement in evangelism and community involvement?
  10. If your church was gone tomorrow, how would the community be effected?
  11. What is the churches involvement in missions?
  12. If your church was gone tomorrow, how would the world be effected?
  13. What is the churches involvement in discipleship?
  14. If your church was gone tomorrow, how would the younger generations of the church be effected?
  15. What is the community’s opinion of the church?
  16. If your future pastor felt lead to adjust a ministry or implement a new ministry, how would the congregation respond to that?
  17. If your future pastor felt lead to adjust a ministry or implement a new ministry, how would he go about implementing that?
  18. What do you believe is the most divisive issue facing your church?
  19. How did your previous pastor handle conflict?
  20. What type of preaching style did your previous pastor use? (topical, expository, blended)
  21. Are there any topics that you would encourage your future pastor to avoid in the pulpit?
  22. Are there any topics you would encourage your future pastor to preach on in the pulpit?
  23. If you could tell you future pastor one thing that this church needs in order to grow, what would that be?
  24. Do you see any opportunities in your community for the church to get involved in?
  25. What do see as the vision for the church in the next 5, 10, 20 years?
  26. What did you love the most about your previous pastor?
  27. What did you like least the most about your previous pastor?
  28. Was there ever a time when you felt your previous pastor dropped the ball? What happened?
  29. What do you believe the congregation is looking for most in the next pastor?
  30. What have you been told to avoid with your next pastor?

Do you have any that you would add to this?