What is one common mistake that churches make when searching for a new pastor?

John Koessler responds in our Ask the Experts discussion.

The kind of pastor that a church seeks often depends on the experience they had with their previous pastor. If the experience was a good one, they look for the same. If it was bad, they want the opposite. More often than not, the tendency is to single out some weakness in the church's former pastor and make that the distinguishing trait in the candidate search profile.

If the previous pastor was strong in the pulpit but weak relationally, they look for a shepherd. If the former pastor was a good shepherd but not much of a leader, they seek a visionary. Someone with poor organizational skills is often replaced by a pastor with the gift of administration.

This inclination is both understandable and dangerous. It is easy to see how a pastor's weakness might, over time, create a need that the next leader must address. But focusing primarily on the negative traits of the previous pastor can produce a collective blind spot that causes the pulpit committee to overlook other, equally important ...

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