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The importance of hiring the right person…

GoodDecisionNextExitIt probably goes without saying, but hiring a minister is one of the most important decisions you can make in the history of a congregation. A minister is a leader that will guide and shape the faith of your members. The “right” minister can bless you for generations to come. The “wrong” minister can lead to congregational pain, division in the body, stunted spiritual growth, and even lost souls.

The Blessings of a Good Hire

In an ideal world, you hire a minister who fits with the congregation doctrinally, personally, intellectually, culturally and in many other respects. They are immediately effective in the community and in the lives of your members. Members are strengthened and grow in their faith and knowledge of God. The lost are reached and the kingdom of God is expanded in your city. While these sorts of hires have sadly been too rare in the Restoration Movement, there are many notable exceptions. We all know of ministers who have stayed with a congregation for decades, eventually retiring and / or becoming an elder. Both parties have lived life together and blessed each other for eternity and generations to come.

The Pain of a Bad Hire

On the flip side, I know of a congregation who is on their 5th pulpit minister in the last 15 years. I’ve seen firsthand the pain and inevitable process that follows a bad hiring decision. After the “honeymoon” period, members gradually begin to question the fit of the minister. In time, the whispers grow into outright dissention. Members might even be drawn into taking sides (those that support the minister and those that don’t). Eventually the elders have to step in and ask the minister to resign or the minister moves on to another opportunity. It’s tough for the gospel of God’s love to be effectively taught in a “hostile” environment. Before you know it, visitors decline and families start to leave. It especially sad if we are talking about a youth or children’s minister, where we are talking about valuable years of a very short, highly impressionable, period in their lives. Before they know it, these congregations find themselves back on the hiring “carousel” looking for their next minister.

Conclusion

I know that guys like Paul, Timothy, and Silas moved around a lot in their ministries – I get that. Having said that, I am fully convinced that today most of our healthiest congregations have benefitted from long term ministers. Minsters who get to know our members and engage in their lives to strengthen each other for greater works in the kingdom. If your congregation is in the midst of a search or you find yourself on the “hiring carousel”, my prayer for you is that you find the “right” minister this time around. In future blogs, we will talk about the characteristics of a healthy search process and how to reduce the risks of making a poor hiring decision. May God bless you and your new minister in your search. 

Qualities of the Ideal Search Committee Chair…

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Testimonials

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
We had a very good experience with Minister Match.  This was not the first time we had searched for a minister, but it was the first time we used a search firm.  Our experience with Minister Match was a complete success.  In previous searches, we ...
Jim Holway - Minister, Sunset 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
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
Minister Match connected me with a church, had the details for every aspect of the process already taken care of, and communicated well. It was a very easy process, and now I am a youth minister in Miami, Florida!  I was very impressed with the ...
Sam Wilson - Youth Minister, Sunset 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
I strongly encourage ministers to take advantage of the expertise of the folks at Minister Match to help put together a high quality resume. They will help you identify strong points you didn't even know you have! I am extremely satisfied with the ...
Joel Shelton - Commerce 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 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
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

Contact Information

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.