There is so much excitement in the air when the search for a new pastor narrows to a final candidate. Months of faithful, prayerful, anticipation have led to this moment. Then all at once, it seems as if a dozen details must be attended all at the same time. There are steps the session must take, and simultaneous matters for the Presbytery to manage, and all the while PNC members may be giddy with joy at nearing the finish line.
ARRIVAL: Take time to orient everyone to the training location pointing out parking, restrooms, WiFi access, and other housekeeping matters. Help everyone settle in.
Keep in mind that hosting at the church, while efficient, may not suit your objectives nearly as well as a more remote place of beauty, a denominational facility or retreat venue. Choose wisely. This is holy ground.
Equipping a group of people to function together as a PNC is one of the most important investments an interim pastor will make in a congregation. The wise interim knows that the PNC’s ability to collaborate in seeking to new pastoral leadership is mission critical to the future success of the new pastor and the church alike. Invest wisely. Prayerfully attend to all the Spirit’s whispers and promptings.
Do this early on...
When forming a Pastor Nominating Committee, it is important to determine how a slate of candidates to serve 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...
- Spell out the steps from former pastor leaving to new pastor beginning using a roadmap graphic for print/handouts—see a sample roadmap below.
- Develop an interactive roadmap for digital applications such as the church website and social media.
Prior to the interview come to agreement on the type of experience, education, style of leadership, and other key factors you are looking for in candidates. Spelling this out on a rating sheet ahead of time.
Begin the interview by making introductions and opening with prayer.
Questions to consider when conducting an initial interview:
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 if you plan to elect alternates or not. Decide how the chair and other roles will be determined.
Criteria to consider: