An Open Letter to the Search Committee

My husband has served three churches during his 13 years in pastoral ministry. We've had the opportunity to interact with many search committees, which is an exasperating experience at times.

As a pastor's family, we will never be on a pastoral search committee or be able to directly influence the process. This letter, then, is my attempt to make candidating more humane.

1. Simplify the first round of questioning.

Many search committees use lengthy questionnaires to make their preliminary cut of candidates. Some have required more than 50 pages.

Please consider using a short questionnaire with broad questions like "Are there any areas of our church's statement of faith that you disagree with?" instead of long lists of issues such as "What are your views on women's roles? … on music? … on abortion?"

More detail may be appropriate after you have narrowed the candidate list.

2. You want timely responses of us. Please return the favor.

We have often ...

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