Pastor Search Strategies for Finding Your Next Leader

by Kevin Marshall

A pastor search at a church can be really tough on the congregation. If the pastor has been with the church a long time, then the transition may be especially difficult. If you don’t have any other pastors on staff, then there may be some questions about who should lead the church during the transition time. Being a part of a denomination can make a big difference in the search too. Churches that are not a part of any denomination don’t have a support system to help them during the transition.

There are many pastor search strategies you should follow as you look for the next pastor. Your first step is to spend a lot of time in prayer. Prayer is going to be the most important step you can take during this time. You should have a team of elders that leads the prayer times. Ask the Lord to give you direction as you seek his will for the next pastor of your church.

Make sure your church forms a search committee that is responsible for leading the search for the next pastor. If you don’t have another pastor on staff, the elders can help lead the church during the transition, but the search committee can spend all of their time interviewing candidates for the vacant position in the pulpit. The search committee shouldn’t make the final decision on the next pastor, but they can submit potential candidates for the next step in the process.

There are many other pastor search strategies you will also want to follow. Social media has taken the world by storm in the past few years. Use social media in your pastor finder search. Connect with people who have contacts on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social media site that is primarily connected with professionals. It is appropriate to mention your pastor search on Facebook. If your church has a Facebook page, you can mention your search for a new leader there. A pastor that is trying to stay current with today’s Christians will be connected with a Facebook page. Another way you can find leaders is through classified ads. There are a variety of sites that focus on jobs for churches. These websites have position listings for pastors, youth pastors, support staff, and worship leaders. This is where many candidates will go to apply for work. Posting an ad on one of these job sites is an investment in the future of the congregation. You will get better applicants applying for the lead pastor position if you post an ad where people are looking.

Make sure that the lead pastor of your congregation has some experience at another congregation. He does not need to have 20 years of experience as a youth pastor to become the lead pastor, and age shouldn’t be a main factor in your decision. Even if your pastor doesn’t have any direct pastoral experience, he should have a lot of experience in ministry before becoming the lead pastor of your church.

Having defined pastor search strategies can make a big difference in your prayers for a new senior pastor at the church. Make sure you are open to everything that God shows you through prayer, and don’t be afraid to use social media in your search. Classified ads on church staffing sites can make a big difference too.

Get started with your pastor search here!