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Qualities of the Ideal Search Committee Chair…

IdealSearchCommitteeChairExcept for the decision of which minister to hire, the selection of your Search Committee Chair is THE MOST important decision that the Elders will make during the hiring process.

The Committee Chair sets the pace, drives the process and becomes the “face” of the Committee both internally and externally. Candidates will often develop their first impressions of your congregation based off of their interactions with the Chair. So the Chair can have a great deal of impact on which ministers ultimately become or remain Candidates for your position.

The selection of a Committee Chair should be an intentional decision on the part of the Elders. One that is made after careful consideration and prayer. It is not a popularity contest or something that someone should accept reluctantly. You are looking for the best qualified man to lead the process. So what qualities, skills and attributes should your elders be looking for in a Chair? Here are some of the most important facets to consider…

Relational

You need someone that has the trust and respect of the congregation. They should have roots in the congregation but that doesn’t mean that they have to be a “lifer” who was born and raised there. They just need to know your members and likewise be known by them. Their views should be doctrinally sound and consistent with those of the majority of your congregation.

Collaborative

You are looking for someone who works well in a collaborative environment and helps to promote consensus. They should be both an encourager and an accountability partner who will coach the Committee through the ups and downs of a long search process and keep everyone focused on the next step in the process.

Servant Leader

Closely related to that, we are also looking for someone who practices the same humble, servant / leader model that we see patterned in the life of Christ. Beware of the person who “campaigns” to be Search Committee Chair. Their intentions may be pure, but there often is a lack of humility hidden in there somewhere that can cause friction in a collaborative process. In many cases, the “right” Chair often has to be convinced that they are in fact the “right” person for the job.

Communicative

You need someone who is an effective communicator both orally and in written form. They should be able to stand before the congregation or the elders and deliver a report from the Committee. Their writing style should be professional and grammatically sound as they send letters, e-mails and other correspondence to candidates and their references.

Administrative

Last, they should be highly organized and an effective planner. In committee meetings, they should be capable of setting an agenda and keep everyone on time and on point. They should also be proficient with modern-day technologies such as e-mail, the world wide web and online file storage platforms (i.e. Dropbox). They need not have experience in past minister searches, but ideally they would at least have some experience with the hiring and supervision of people in some other capacity.

Now, having described “Mr. Perfect,” there is no such thing as a perfect Search Committee Chair because there is no such thing as a perfect person. What I have described here is the “ideal” candidate. What you are looking for is the person in your congregation that best typifies the attributes that I have described here.

If you are in the midst of planning your search for a new minister and would like to discuss the selection of our Search Committee Chair or some other aspect of the process, I would be happy to speak with you by phone at any time. Just call our offices at (931) 881-3930 or e-mail me at don(at)ministermatch.com if I can ever be of assistance.

The importance of hiring the right person…
What Happens When You Fail to Cast A Wide Net

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Testimonials

Minister Match helped us hire a new minister in half the time we took for our previous hire.  We used the Minister Match process which helped us build a consensus of what we wanted.  Minister Match's network then helped us to build an ...
Tom Long - Search Committee Chairman, South Fork Church of Christ
I think that because of the format that was there and the process that we followed, it made us stand out to our quality group of finalists who had other lines in the water looking for opportunities. When it came time to offer our finalist the ...
Joel Shelton - Search Committee Chairman, Commerce Church of Christ
The process was well marketed and we were provided ample information to help explain the steps to the congregation.  The book that accompanied the information was very valuable and I referred to it often during the process.  As the search team ...
Bill Gaw - Search Committee Chariman, Waterford Church of Christ
It was a great process for me. Minister Match did a good job of keeping confidentiality in collecting information, and the communication process was very clear. The staff was very easy to deal with and very helpful. Overall the experience was very ...
Joel Soumar - Youth Minister, Mesa Church of Christ
The candidate pool for our need was something we had to work to develop but Don was insistent we wait for God's guidance and let it fill up when our human nature wanted to start right away. This served us well since our best qualified candidate ...
Jon Bouley - Family Minister Search Committee Chairman, Mesa Church of Christ
We would like to thank you for your efforts to make the minister hiring process simple and well defined. The congregation here has not been through the minister hiring process in sixteen years and had little experience left for trying to do so. We ...
Jim Burdette - Elder, Frederick Church of Christ
I was grateful for the guidance of Minister Match through the complex and time-intensive search process. John was responsive, supportive and knowledgable. Communication was excellent and flexible around my availability as a volunteer search ...
Brandon Clark - Youth Minister Search Committee Chairman, Mesa Church of Christ
Minister Match did an excellent job connecting me with a congregation that I would not have known about otherwise.  Don Viar did an excellent job representing my concerns to the search committee and did an excellent job communicating their concerns ...
Drew Baker - Preaching Minister, South Fork Church of Christ
The Minister Match team was very professional. The entire process was very transparent. It was structured and organized, which made it a whole lot easier. I felt that the team also had a genuine concern for the Lord's church and His ministers. ...
Joshua Duboise - Family Minister, Mesa Church of Christ
From my standpoint as one of the elders, I can say we were pleased with the process, and feel the time and money spent was well worth it. We felt we received excellent service from your firm, and because we were among the first to use your service ...
Bob Perkins - Elder, Sunset Church of Christ

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Minister Match
410 South Lowe Avenue
Cookeville, TN 38501

ABC Blocks

Your congregation has just hired a minister, and it seems like they are the perfect fit. Congratulations! There is one more step to the process, though, and it is just as important as the process of finding the right minister. You might have heard people refer to how the “first hundred days” of someone’s job usually sets the tone for their entire career with that organization. The same is true with ministers. Just as your congregation is going through a major transition, so is your new minister. The first few months of a job are a stressful time, and it is the job of the elders and search committee to help your new minister through their transition.

We refer to this as the “On-Boarding Stage.” Since the “first hundred days” is so important to the rest of a minister’s career with your congregation, we believe this stage is one of the keys to reducing minister turnover in the church. In this post, we want to talk about a few of the things that a new minister needs from their congregation during this transition period. We will refer to them as the ABC’s of the On-Boarding Phase.