Picking a New Pastor

Image result for lsu baseball championshipI grew up watching LSU baseball when Skip Bertman was the head coach. Though I don't play the game I did learn several important lessons that have recently aided in explaining the complex task of ministry. [Unlike football, every player in Baseball must be able to bat. Likewise, all ministers must be active in evangelism.] Those who coach team sports say that there is serious planning in becoming the champion team. Champions have to determine who their opponents are and what their strengths are. Champion teams know the capabilities of their players and recognize missing capabilities to recruit. Champions have to determine which games are most important to win, and which games you can afford to lose. Champions also determine which games need to dominate so as to be noticed for better ranking, recruiting, and over all renown. These points of champion success directly parallel ministerial success. (No- I'm not discounting the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.)

In the last year I've had the chance to consult with a few churches on the task of hiring new ministerial staff members. In each of these conversations I utilized my baseball analogy. 

Before ever considering what minister to hire, the church must have a clear picture of the "season", what is the team's purpose, goal, and which games are pertinent to win.
  • What is the church Mission Statement? (If your church does not have a clear achievable Biblical mission statement I suggest developing one- this will be a later post.)
  • What is the 10 year Vision of the church?
  • What is the 3-5 year Vision of the church? 
    • What ministries need to be started or improved to accomplish the 3-5 year vision?
    • What demographic needs to grow to accomplish the 3-5 year vision? (age, socio-economic, ethnicity...etc)
    • What type of community impact needs to be started or improved to accomplish the 3-5 year
  • What are the 3 most pertinent tasks to accomplish, within the above vision
    • What is lacking to accomplish these tasks? 
Now having pictured the "season," the next series of questions concerns the teams gifts and capabilities. Without first considering the church's mission, vision and pertinent tasks, the church cannot adequately determine who to hire as a full-time minister.

  • How do you envision the new minister will aid in accomplishing these tasks?
  • What Spiritual Giftedness is needed to accomplish the above tasks? (keep in mind, no one has all the gifts and very few have more than a couple.) Spiritual Gifts definitions Study: https://spiritualgiftstest.com/spiritual-gifts/
  • What type of education is required to accomplish the above tasks? (keep in mind, differing types of education enhance or possibly thwart capability in certain ministerial areas.)
  • What type of experience is required to accomplish the above tasks? (Track record of ministry in certain areas shows ability to aid growth in vision areas.)

Image result for lsu baseball pitcherFinal Thoughts about Staffing: 
No baseball team is only comprised of pitchers. Likewise no church staff should be comprised of only preachers. However, professional baseball players are often capable of playing other positions but only for short periods of time. The truth is, an outfielder may be able to be a stand in for pitcher, but a gifted pitcher will always yield better results. Likewise, ministerial staff should be able to stand in at times, but the church will always benefit from an appropriately gifted minister. I believe churches should more closely consider their vision, and pertinent tasks before considering pastoral resume's.

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