Selecting the Pastor Search Committee

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Now that the church is ready to call a new pastor, careful selection of the Pastor Search Committee is of utmost importance. Enlistment can be done in several ways. Before beginning the selection process, the church should consult its bylaws to learn the process for finding and calling a pastor. If no guidelines are found, the search committee may recommend appropriate policies or procedures for approval by the church.

Options for Selecting Pastor Search Committee

Always consult your church’s Constitution and By-Laws before employing either option to insure consistency of actions as determined by the church. Members of the search committee should represent all segments of the church. Some churches’ documents clearly require that persons from certain age groups serve on the committee. Regardless of age, persons selected should possess a maturity level that fits the qualifications.

In no case should your church ask a person to serve on a committee just to satisfy a faction in the church. The committee needs to consist of persons whom church members are led by the Lord to select and persons who themselves sense the Lord’s leadership to serve in this vital ministry. Church staff members effectively serve as resource persons to the committee. However, experience shows that it is not best for them to be committee members.

Here are a few possible approaches to selecting your committee:

  • One possibility is for the church nominating committee to nominate persons to serve on the pastor search committee. These nominations require church approval.
  • A second possibility is for the church to elect a pastor search committee from the church floor during a business meeting.
  • (Recommended) A final possibility is that this selection would be made on a Sunday morning at an appropriate time after the former pastor leaves. Prior to the Sunday designated for the election, publish the qualifications for committee members. If qualifications have not been adopted, a suitable church leadership team (CLT) should recommend that the church consider suggestions presented below or an amended version for adoption by the church. This group might also recommend the total election procedure for the church’s approval.

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