Step seven: Commissioning Service for the PNC

An outline for a Pastor Nominating Committee/PNC commissioning in a worship service:

  • elected members of the Pastor Nominating Committee stand in the front of the sanctuary for commissioning,
  • litany and prayer led by the interim pastor,
  • Bold text indicates spoken response,
  • church officers, PNC family members, and other representatives may be invited to join in laying hands on PNC members during closing prayer.

Pastor: You have been chosen to serve this church family in a special way. Together you will seek a candidate for pastor of this congregation. I ask you now to respond to the following questions:

Will you make every effort to be diligent in this task, to be present at all training sessions and committee meetings, and to share in all committee decisions?

Pastor Nominating Committee members: I WILL.

Will you respect the other committee members in this task, work with them in love and forbearance when opinions differ?


Will you maintain an openness about the persons you will interview, recognizing that ministers and candidates for the ministry are to be considered without regard to their race, ethnic origin, sex, marital status, age, or disability?


Will you maintain the necessary confidentiality of this task, even in regard to members of your own family?


(Family members of the committee are asked to stand.)

Pastor: You are also assuming an important task in the life of this church because you will have to give up time with the member of your family on this committee and, perhaps, assume some of his or her obligations. Will you please answer these questions?

As you experience the new demands place on your family member's time and strength, will you strive to cheerfully and prayerfully support that person?

Family members of PNC: I WILL.

Will you respect your family member's need for maintaining confidentiality?

Family members of PNC: I WILL.

(Congregation is asked to stand.)

Pastor: This committee will be working on behalf of the entire congregation and will need to know they have your support and encouragement. Will you please answer these questions?

Will you keep these committee members in your thoughts and prayers in the months ahead, praying for the guidance of the Holy Spirit for their work?

Congregation: I WILL.

Will you trust that God is guiding them and those in the (state name of the presbytery) _______ who are working with them? Will you support them with compassion and patience?

Congregation: I WILL.

Will you respect the need for confidentiality in this search process?

Congregation: I WILL.

(Church officers, PNC family members, and other representatives invited to lay hands on PNC during comissioning prayer)

Pastor: Let us pray:

Almighty God: We thank you for these persons who have pledged themselves to this task of seeking a new leader for this congregation. Enlarge their gifts and help them to discover your will. Together we now dedicate ourselves to them and to you, that we may fulfill our mission faithfully and be your joyful people. Through Christ we pray. Amen.