Discussion Questions

If you are leading a small group through The Church During the Search, you will find discussion questions for each session in the Appendix. However, if you need additional questions, you’ve come to the right place. Simply scroll down if you need questions for a specific session, or you can download a PDF version of the full list of questions here:

Introductory Session

  1. How long has it been since your church searched for a new pastor?
  2. From your perspective, would you describe the previous pastor search as a smooth or rough transition? Explain your answer.
  3. Has anyone in the group served on a Pastor Search Committee before? If so, share about your experience.
  4. What resources are available to assist your church during the search? Make a list as a group exercise.
  5. What are some of the attitudes and behaviors that should characterize the church during the search?

Session 1 – Be Prepared

  1. Are you aware of scenarios when a pastor search process did not go as planned? If so, share about your experience. How did the church respond?
  2. What are some of the pros and cons of calling an interim pastor?
  3. Why is confidentiality critical to the success of a pastor search process?
  4. Do you find it difficult to discuss the pastor’s compensation package? Why or why not?
  5. How can your church be as generous as possible in regards to your pastor’s salary?

Session 2 – Be Informed

  1. Have you ever read your pastor’s job description?
  2. Would Jesus meet the requirements outlined in your pastor’s job description? Why or why not?
  3. Think about some of your church’s former pastors (or pastors from previous churches). Which of the four primary roles of a shepherd were they most gifted in fulfilling?
  4. Why is it easier to follow a leader that you know and trust?
  5. How can you develop trust in your next pastor?

Session 3 – Be Humble

  1. Would you describe your church as a unified church? Why or why not?
  2. What are some specific ways that you can put the interests of other church members above your own?
  3. Why is a humble church attractive to potential pastors?
  4. How will you respond if your church does not grow numerically under your next pastor’s leadership?
  5. Is the past the hero in your church?

Session 4 – Be Prayerful

  1. Was prayer a priority during previous pastor searches?
  2. What are some specific ways that you can pray for your church during the search?
  3. What are some specific ways that you can pray for your Pastor Search Committee during the search?
  4. What are some specific ways that you can pray for your next pastor during the search?
  5. What are some specific ways that you can pray for your next pastor’s family during the search?

Session 5 – Be Patient

  1. Why is it so difficult to be patient during the search?
  2. Why is it so important to be patient during the search?
  3. How do you think you might respond if your church’s search lasts much longer than the average search process?
  4. Can you imagine a scenario when the Pastor Search Committee might need to back up and repeat a step in an earlier phase of the search process?
  5. What does your church’s governing documents say about the required steps to select a new pastor?

Session 6 – Be Productive

  1. What percentage of your church membership would you estimate were actively serving before your previous pastor resigned? Has that percentage changed during the interim period?
  2. What are some specific examples of abiding in Christ?
  3. Have you ever served in a ministry position that you were not particularly gifted for or passionate about? If so, did your service feel more like a delight or drudgery?
  4. Are there any unique ways that you can use your spiritual gifts during the interim period?
  5. In what ways is your church showing that it is still the church even while you don’t have a pastor?