In Today’s Conversation, Leith Anderson and Rob Lauer talk about how to search for and find the right pastor for your church. As the head of a pastor search firm, Rob guides listeners through the steps he takes in matching up pastors and churches.

In this podcast, you’ll learn:

  • Guiding principles for sifting through candidates;
  • How to avoid common mistakes made in the pastor search process;
  • Whether to consider pastors who have been fired from a church; and
  • What search firms offer churches that are looking for new pastors.

Read a Portion of the Transcript

Leith: There have been times when I’ve met with boards and search committees, and I’ve said, “You need to go through the process and you need to do all these things. Don’t start with a name. You are a long way off from that. So, does everyone understand that? Does everybody agree to it?” And then after I finish, somebody says, “Well, you know, last summer I was at a church with my cousin, and I met this person who would be…” And they go right to a name. So how do you keep people on track on that process? They just want to jump over it all.

Rob: Yeah, they really do. It’s one of the reasons why they fail in the searches. They get focused on an individual, and they don’t put the foundation of a search together, which is building a process. One of the principles we have is: Prayer over process, but do process well. It’s important that people map out the process, and then follow that map. It’ll keep them disciplined and systematic in their approach.

Leith: So, it sounds like you use pretty much the same process with every church. Is that right?

Rob: I would say that the primary process is put together, and we utilize that. But we tell churches with every search that we want to know what’s best practices for them. And we want to learn from them. Our best practices are a result of the numerous searches that we’ve done. We want to learn something from every church that we do a search from. So we say, “What is it that you have in mind? This is the way that we approach a search. But how is it that we can best serve you? And what is it within your process that you would like to see us integrate and/or what parts of our process are you maybe not as comfortable with that you would like us to approach differently?”

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Today’s Conversation is brought to you by the University of Northwestern – St. Paul.