7 Mistakes You Might Make When Seeking a New Pastor
A pastor is the spiritual leader over a group of people or congregation. He furthers the work of the church while leading others into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Keeping in mind, how important a Pastor is to the church, they are still evaluated poorly. This usually stems from ambiguity as to what the job actually demands.
While fidgeting through a few churches that were looking for a Christian pastor in Dallas, Texas, I realized the most common mistakes churches make while evaluating pastors. So let’s walk through a few such mistakes. :
1. Not evaluating the pastors at all
Even though they are the spiritual leaders, the church should not hold back from evaluating their work and helping them grow. That’s good stewardship of persons. Remember that a “NO” is as much God’s guidance as a “YES”. Do not hesitate to evaluate and reject if required.
2. Failing to understand the needs of the church and evaluating without a job description:
What are we evaluating then? With no written job description, you are asking a pastor to live up to everyone’s expectations. Just like people, churches are on a journey and part of the pastor’s role is to facilitate that journey. The church has specific needs for this next phase of the journey. Be certain that you have a good handle on what they are and what expectations the church has for their new pastor. Only then will you know how well you fit. A mismatch here can lead to tremendous stresses on you, your family and the church and, have dire consequences. Of course, if the church is prepared to support training and development then some gaps can be addressed.
3. Underestimating the Importance of Your needs
For most evaluations and hiring we tend to look for candidates as per our needs. For example, for people in ministry, financial and material things are often embarrassing and difficult to address. But, it seems that God is calling, we assume that the pastor will provide without our needing to do too much and we tend to feel uncomfortable to address our needs; however, it is both rational and imperative to do so. Also, do not forget that it is easier to negotiate for this at the point of contact rather than after the ministry has started.
4. Evaluation points
There are myriad Christian pastors in Dallas, Texas. Not all of them work conventionally, calculating there office hours may not do your church any good because some pastors spend as much time outside the church walls doing outreach as they spend inside the church. We tend to evaluate on points that are less or not important rather than on the points that matter. One such important point is the pastors’ spiritual walk. So, the churches must spend enough time to figure out how to evaluate a pastor. Enough resources are available for the same.
5. Evaluating on only the basis of growth and giving:
Care giving and personal growth maybe the most important criteria, but not the only ones. Stalled growth does not necessarily mean poor leadership, it may mean that the pastor was satisfies with his work at that moment, and increased growth is not always indicative of good leadership, it may be possible that the pastor’s rise was not because of his capabilities, but connection. You can lose a pastor by continually dealing with negatives and failing to consider the numbers of people who continue to love and follow him.
6. Overpraising Yourself
We at times tend to oversell the church because of the stress, desperation even, to be accepted or perhaps lack of humility, but it is always a mistake to make more of yourself than God would. You must have an honest opinion of the church, grounded in reality and avoid posturing and showing off.
7. Thinking that this is About Employment
The first thing you must know is that working as a posture is not about having a job but about serving the God. Consequently the church needs to see the process of seeking a new pastorate as looking to God to put you where He wants you to serve in His Kingdom. It’s a different heart/mind set and very unlike regular job seeking. However, church must provide for the pastors’ needs.