How to Select the Right Pastor – Part 2

The Relationship Model

Can you recall the last time your congregation called a pastor? Remember the process? Did you wish you had more information so that you could make a more informed decision? If your situation was like many others, you had some names from the church headquarters. Some individuals brought forward some names of pastors they knew and respected from previous congregations. There was speculation about whether various pastors would be inclined to consider an invitation from you. There was talk about the age of the various pastors and the size of their families.

What was lacking was real information about the specific gifts, interests, experiences and track record of the pastors you were considering. Finally, there was an honest effort to spiritualize the entire matter. God would see to it that your congregation would make the right choice. After all God had already made the choice, right?

Yet you knew that so many congregations had pastors who were unhappy and whose congregations were also unhappy. Square pegs in round holes.

As we mentioned in Part 1 of this two-part article, God gives freedom to congregations to make the selection of the pastor, but along with the freedom goes the responsibility to make an informed and careful choice. In Part 1 we shared the first ten competencies (sometimes referred to as “gifts”) that successful pastors have. The exact degree of strengths of these competencies that is right for your congregation depends on the nature of the pastoral challenge, but these ten competencies round out the set of 20 characteristics or gifts that all successful pastors have in significant degrees of strength.

11. Leadership – releases creativity in others by delegating and discipling them so they can develop towards their potential.

12. Life experience – demonstrates a breadth of personal knowledge, understanding and experience beyond the church and parish.

13. Personal development – open-minded towards new insights, ideas and information, seeking out opportunities to improve knowledge and understanding.

14. Personal integrity – open and trustworthy, honest and consistent in speech and actions.

15. Reasoned thinking – absorbs information with understanding, applying logical analysis and intelligence to bear on its interpretation.

16. Resilience – operates effectively despite disappointments, showing perseverance and stamina to overcome difficulties.

17. Self-awareness – accurately assesses personal strengths and weaknesses and manages them effectively.

18. Self-esteem – respects and likes him/herself showing confidence in own self-worth and capabilities.

19. Stewardship – makes the best use of resources balancing effectiveness with efficiency.

20. Tolerance – accepts people, circumstances and opposing views without showing frustration, discrimination, prejudice or bias. Inc. has developed a diagnostic tool by which pastors and congregations can participate in assessing these competencies. The primary purpose of the tool is to make a good thing better. A pastor can learn which competencies can be celebrated and which can benefit from more development. You may CONTACT US for more information.

Les Stahlke, President/CEO Inc.

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