The baby boomer crop of pastors is retiring by the hundreds every month.
Challenge: by observation of the results, most of the present systems to find the next pastor are as effective as a roll of the dice.
Not that God can’t direct us beyond our inadequacies. But He gives us a brain to use for a reason.
What are the challenges?
- Every church is a complex organism.
- Each church has its own history.
- While Christian churches have many similar characteristics, there are many uniquenesses as well.
- The methods of a church change as the audience becomes different over the years: the people grow older—or younger; the culture of the people can change.
- Beyond all that—every local congregation has its own unique philosophy of ministry.
Most Christians have never thought much about their church’s personality—[see the book, Your Church has Personality: Find Your Focus/Maximize Your Mission].
Now, to get your attention: replacing a pastor with the wrong person is one of the costliest mistakes a church can make.
- It’s more traumatic than if your church burned down. At least you can replace it, and the insurance will help pay for most of it.
The best approach:
- Pray—of course!
- Get an outside expert to thoroughly analyze your church: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
- Get a written report from the expert that diagnoses your church in every area.
- Use this report to screen candidates to be your next pastor.
- Discuss the report by phone before candidates make a visit. Ask the candidate to supply a completed spiritual gifts survey.
- Pray again…of course!
- Bring the candidate and family in for a visit. Use the report for further analysis toward a match.
- Pray for discernment.
- Make your decision.
The results? You’ll get the best result, 80% of the time.
The other 20%? Don’t blame God! Human error is real. Churches are way more complex than most Christians can imagine.