As Presbyterians, we have a long practice for preparing to call a permanent pastor to a congregation.
This process takes place after an installed pastor has left their position at a church. When an installed pastor leaves, there is an interim pastor who fills the position for approximately two years and assists the congregation in working through various tasks such as the Congregational Assessment Tool (CAT) survey and the Mission Study.
This past year, members of our congregation completed the CAT survey. The results of the survey have since been utilized in the writing of a Mission Study. The Mission Study takes all the information gathered from CAT and focus groups of the church and discerns a vision and the mission of the church for the immediate future.
When the Mission Study is completed, it is given to the elected Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC), a selected group that begins the search process for a new pastor throughout our denomination. The PNC’s first task is to write up an overall description of the ministry and mission of the church and what they are looking for in a pastor (characteristics, particular focus for their work together, etc.). That information is then posted on a denominational job search engine. It’s much like “matchmaking.”
Once posted, the PNC then receives a number of potential candidates and they begin an involved process to find a person to call as the next installed pastor of the congregation. Once the PNC begins receiving applications — Pastor information Forms — it can take whatever time is needed to find the right match. Each search is unique.