Step two: Establish Nominating Process, Criteria, and Attributes for Serving on the PNC

Determine how a slate of candidates to serve on the Pastor Nominating Committee will be selected. The current nominating committee of congregation may be tasked with this role. The session ruling elders may also play a role. Ultimately the congregation will elect and commission the PNC.

Establish the criteria for nomination and the number of candidates you plan to commission. The size of a PNC depends in part on the size of the congregation and whether or not you plan to elect alternates. Decide how the chair and other roles will be determined.

Criteria to consider:

  • An appropriate mix of newer and older members, possibly a non-member
  • A representative mix of ages, genders, ministry involvement
  • Technological expertise and social media skills can be helpful
  • Shall current staff and their spouses be eligible or not?
  • Shall more than one member of session serve?
  • Shall spouses of session members be eligible or not?
  • Shall a member of the Personnel Committee or other committee serve?
  • Shall a member of the Mission Study/Long Range Planning Committee serve?
  • Shall a member of the most recent PNC be eligible or not?

Once the criteria for serving on the Pastor Nominating Committee are established, it can be helpful to also name the more subjective qualities sought in candidates such as:

  • Ability to keep confidentiality
  • Biblically grounded
  • Candid, willing to speak his/her mind
  • Commitment to attendance and engagement
  • Commitment to the church as a whole
  • Evidence of spiritual growth
  • Faithfulness to mission study results
  • Knowledge of our faith tradition (evangelical, reformed, orthodox, other)
  • Know when to speak, when to listen
  • Not domineering or overpowering
  • Open-mindedness to ideas
  • Prayerful attitude
  • Spiritual discernment
  • Trustworthy leader

Share the criteria and attributes with the congregation. If possible, seek to have the criteria and attributes ratified prior to the election of the PNC.