Should We Approach a Preacher Who Is Happy Where He Is?

When searching for a preacher, there are different approaches about whom we should contact:

1. “We don’t want to talk to anyone happy where he works. We don’t want to steal a happy preacher from another church.”

2. “The only ones we want to consider are happy preachers. Why would anyone want a miserable preacher?”

3. I suggest considering all preachers who seem to be a fit for this congregation. There are different reasons for preachers’ dissatisfaction. If a preacher is convinced he is working where he needs to be, he won’t leave regardless of how we approach him.

You don’t insult a preacher by contacting him and saying, “Someone has suggested you might be a good fit as the next preacher for our congregation. Could we talk?”.

Two mistakes are often made in securing a preacher:

1. Getting in a hurry to get someone in the pulpit. A good church can take adequate time to get the preacher they need.

2. Not thoroughly checking references. Taking less than thirty minutes and not asking many questions is not thoroughly checking references. Only talking to the references listed on the resumé is not thoroughly checking references. While talking with the listed references, ask, “Who else might give us helpful information about this person?”. And ask that person the same question. Some are hesitant or lack enough information to alert you to problems and may tell you someone who will be helpful.

Reference Check-list

I took this checklist from the Minister Transition Packet at Abilene Christian University.

  1. Minister Transition Packet, Table of Contents
  2. Order: Minister Transition Packet

Do you want your next preacher to be happy or unhappy?

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Jerrie Barber
Disciple of Jesus, husband, grandfather, preacher, barefoot runner, ventriloquist

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