Jump directly to the Content

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 ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

January/February
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Andy Stanley: Leading with Clarity
Andy Stanley: Leading with Clarity
When Moses died, Joshua inherited the responsibility of leading the people of Israel into the Promised Land. Unfortunately, Joshua didn't know anything about taking the land; all his education was in the fine art of wandering the desert.
From the Magazine
Evangelicals Have Made The Trinity a Means to an End. It’s Time to Change That.
Evangelicals Have Made The Trinity a Means to an End. It’s Time to Change That.
For 2,000 years, church leaders held to the same Trinitarian doctrine. How did we lose our way?
Editor's Pick
9 in 10 Evangelicals Don’t Think Sermons Are Too Long
9 in 10 Evangelicals Don’t Think Sermons Are Too Long
Even with recent divides in congregations, survey finds high levels of satisfaction among churchgoers.
close