The Pastor Search Team has spent months preparing for this moment. They have prayerfully reviewed dozens of resumes. They have interviewed multiple candidates. They have listened to countless concerns of impatient church members.
And now, the time has come for the Pastor Search Team to make the announcement that everyone has been eagerly anticipating. They’re ready to present their recommendation for the church’s next pastor. It’s been a long but rewarding journey, and the Lord has been faithful through it all.
Still, if the Search Team isn’t careful, they may drop the ball at this critical moment – assuming the hard work is over. However, the method and manner of the presentation may be more important than you realize. I’ve witnessed some Search Teams excel in this area and others who have shot themselves in the foot.
If you’re serving on a Pastor Search Committee, here are nine tips for making the most of your announcement.
- Follow the rules. Your church’s governing documents will likely spell out these procedures in detail, so make sure that you follow them!
- Give advance notice. Give a heads up to your church that an announcement is coming. You want as many folks as possible to be there to hear your presentation, so let them know beforehand that you have big news to share!
- Be mindful of streaming services. If you stream your worship services online, you’ll probably want to cut the feed before making the announcement. You want to do everything possible to avoid the candidate’s current church preemptively learning that he might be leaving. They should hear that news from him directly.
- Tell the story of the search. The church has likely been in the dark for many months, but now is the time to shed light on the activities that have taken place behind the scenes. Tell the story of how the Lord led you to the recommended candidate. Share why you’re confident that he is the right person for such a time as this.
- Share pertinent information. Share a recent photo of the candidate and his family (on a screen if possible). Share his name and the names of his immediate family members. Provide a brief biographical summary (age, education, hometown, etc.) as well.
- Provide a brief ministry summary. Share an overview of the candidate’s ministry experience (if applicable). How long has he been in ministry? Where has he served? Has he served in different types of roles? If so, what are some of them?
- Email follow-up. Immediately follow up the public announcement with a church-wide email to all members to share the news with those not present.
- Be careful with social media. To minimize the risk of the news getting back to the candidate’s current church before he shares it with them personally, do not post the specifics of the announcement on social media. You can share that a recommendation has been made but don’t post any information that would identify the candidate online. Share the schedule of events for the upcoming Candidate Weekend and encourage church members to check their email or call the church office for more information.
- Celebrate! Your Search Team’s excitement level will go a long way in determining the church’s excitement level. If you are excited about the candidate, the church will be too. If you’re subdued during your announcement, the church will likely follow suit. If God has led you to recommend this candidate, that’s something to celebrate!
Making the announcement that your Pastor Search Committee is ready to recommend a candidate is a huge milestone in the pastor search journey! I hope these tips will be helpful so that you make the announcement effectively!
P.S. If you found this post helpful, check out my book The Church During the Search, which explains six commitments every church member needs to make to honor the Lord during the pastor search process.