If You Don’t Want to Do This Often, Then Learn to Do It Well

Earlier this year I was asked to write an endorsement for Chris Brauns’ book When the Word Lead Your Pastoral Search: Biblical Principles & Practices to Guide Your Search (Moody 2o11). I can’t do many blurbs (fewer and fewer all the time), but I really liked Chris’ last book (Unpacking Forgiveness) and the topic for this new book sounded interesting.

Obviously, this book will not scratch everyone’s itch. In fact, if everyone in the congregation starts reading this book, the pastor is bound to get anxious. And the board will get antsy if your pastor starts passing out the book at the next leaders retreat. So this is not a must read for everyone.

But it is for anyone on a search committee. Most Christians will have a pastoral search process take place in their church at some point. And from the stories I hear, many search committees have no idea what they’re doing. So read this book. (More information on the book, including suggested resources and a sample chapter can be found here.)

Here’s my blurb:

Chris Brauns’ book is the only resource of its kind that I have ever seen. If your church is searching for a pastor, or if you are a pastor seeking to equip your congregation to follow biblical guidelines when that day comes, I highly recommend this thoughtful, practical, biblical work to you.

This is a quick read, full of biblical principles and practical suggestions. For example, what are common mistakes that churches make looking for a pastor? Brauns gives you answers.

1. Not choosing the right people for the pastoral search committee
2. Prayerlessness
3. Being people-centered rather than Word-centered
4. Lack of follow-through and due-diligence by the pastoral search committee
5. Impatience that leads to the wrong decision
6. Failure to properly administrate the pastoral search
7. Inadequate communication
8. Failure to adequately budget for the pastoral search
9. Allowing the experience with the previous pastor to direct the calling of the next pastor
10. Spending too much time trying to call pastors who are not “reasonably gettable”

Let me say it again: this is an extremely helpful book. There’s information on everything from evaluating sermons to setting compensation packages to suggested interview questions. If you are in a pastoral search this book will save you a lot of headaches. When you think about it, there are few decisions more significant in life than picking your pastor. You can do the process well or you can do it often. This book gives you the tools to opt for the former.