What to do before you look for the Pastoral Candidate
There are important steps to take before you ever look for the first possible candidate. Each church has its own distinct history, and on the basis of what is in that particular history, the people in charge need to take certain extra steps, for example, if the last pastor was good but died, the pastor was bad and morally damaged the church leaving by being expulsed, the pastor was milk-toast and didn’t advance the church’s ministry or edified the people, etc., but basically in any situation you need to go through this process just the same. The first thing you as a church must do is to resolve the question of what are we, and how do we function.
To me as a pastor, one of the most important things is 1) make sure you are biblical, 2) make sure what comes after you IS BIBLICAL! This is difficult at every turn. To be biblical means to constantly examine and re-examine everything you do, your motives, your understanding of Scripture, you gospel warrant to do what you do, how you do it, your methodology, etc. Upon all of that you add a little bit of pragmatism. Hear me out. “Our plans” are supposed to be to produce a desired result, but after all is said and done, take a step back and see if what you thought were biblical goals really produce these goals. If not, start over from scratch.
In finding the next pastor, you need to find somebody that is already “on board” with your church’s goals. You should not have to convince this person of the biblical nature of your church’s goals, but he should already be pretty close to that. When a new man “comes onboard” you are turning the reins over to him, and you need that confidence that he will direct the church basically in the same direction as it was going. Typically churches go through the search period for a long time, years, and then they get fed up, and just grab somebody. This is really bad. Usually it ends up with the church people leaving the work, new people coming in and taking over the work, and usually there are a couple of pastor change-outs before things settle down IF EVER THEY DO.