Leadership

Hiring A Lead Pastor: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding the Perfect Candidate w/ Dr. Chuck Morris

H1 What’s a Rich Text element?

H2 What’s a Rich Text element?

H3 What’s a Rich Text element?

H4 What’s a Rich Text element?

H5 What’s a Rich Text element?
H6 What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

H4 Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

H4 How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • List Item 1
  • List Item 2
  • List Item 3

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

When it comes to hiring, every church, company, and organization has a different approach to finding the perfect candidate. While there are some similarities between hiring for a secular job and a job in ministry, the overall process typically looks and feels different in the church. As today’s guest describes, “It can be backward from hiring a secular position”.

The process of hiring a pastoral position for your church can be strenuous for not only church staff, but for church members. The future of the community and the purpose of a local church is greatly determined by its senior leadership. Hiring a pastor should not be taken lightly.

As a church leader, it can be difficult to discern the best hiring move for your church’s culture and well-being. Thankfully, there are great churches and organizations that have paved the way to simplify the process.

Today’s guest, Dr. Chuck Morris, is here to give us some perspective from the role of Executive Pastor. He shares Chilhowee Hills Baptist Church’s thorough process for making sure their next pastoral candidates are equipped, informed, and properly vetted for success.

Creating an Appropriate Job Description

Oftentimes, job descriptions for ministry positions are overwhelming and can deter qualified candidates from applying because of the magnitude of responsibilities listed. It’s important to clarify what is expected from the candidate and who he/she will report to while still leaving room for details to be discussed in the interview process.

“I’ve seen churches make these job responsibilities that are massive. It’s like you’re almost doing everything, versus trying to be very specific about what this role is and what success looks like.” - Frank Barry

Once an appropriate description is created, the job can be posted on church staffing websites or publicized through their particular denomination to start receiving candidates.

Forming a Pastoral Search Committee

For Chilhowee Hills, the pastor search committee members are nominated by other church members and then ultimately voted on in a church meeting to serve. This ensures that the committee truly represents the church congregation and alleviates pressure from other church staff to carry the burden themselves.

“[As an executive pastor] I would never want to [hire staff] by myself. There is wisdom in a large group, in counsel, and Godly perspective.” - Chuck Morris

Narrowing Down the Candidates

Once a church starts receiving applications, the pastoral search committee starts reviewing the resumes and begins narrowing down viable candidates. A viable candidate includes someone who meets the educational and experiential requirements.

Additional steps are taken to ensure a candidate is qualified to move forward in the interview process, such as calling the candidate’s references, watching past sermons online, and reviewing their previous employers’ websites.

Chilhowee Hills likes to narrow their list down to approximately ten candidates before moving into phone or zoom interviews. These interviews are held by different members of the Pastoral Search Committee and the Executive Pastor.

The Interview Process

Throughout the hiring process, Chilhowee Hills Baptist Church is adamant about communicating with every applicant. It is important for the church to be the standard of communication. This can only help your future pastor be set up for success.

Once the time has come to host interviews, the first interview question should be simple: What is your personal testimony? Dr. Morris expresses how important it is for a pastoral candidate to be able to articulate that story well. After all, that is the foundation of a pastoral role.

From here, Dr. Morris looks for spiritual maturity and discernment in a candidate.

Does this candidate feel called to work here?

Is this candidate just looking to move to the area, wanting a bigger salary, etc.?

Has this candidate experienced real moments with the Lord and are they actively pursuing more of those moments?

As a church leader, it is important for you to like the person you are hiring, but it is also important to build a relationship with the candidate to get a sense if this person is the right cultural fit for your church.

Offering the Job

Every church is going to be different when it comes to the final stage of hiring a pastor. There may be specific bylaws to abide by and different avenues to complete the process.

Once the leading candidate has undergone multiple interviews and has made a personal visit to the church, the church body should have a say in whether this pastor is officially offered the position. Many churches hold meet and greets for their members to meet the candidate or will hold church meetings to ask them any outstanding questions.

Church members should officially vote to either accept or deny the Pastoral Search Committee’s selection of the Lead Pastoral Candidate.

Once the majority of the church has agreed on accepting a pastoral candidate, the church can officially provide a written offer to settle salary, benefits, and general expectations for the position.

At the end of all the resumes and interviews, finding a pastor with humility and a heart for the Lord is worth the rigorous process and demands to ensure a happy and healthy church culture.

Listen on your favorite podcast app:

By the end of this episode, you will learn:

✅ Step-by-Step Hiring Process for a Healthy Staff

✅ Balancing business and spirituality from an Executive Pastor perspective

✅ Must-have qualities of a pastoral candidate

✅ Interview tips and tricks

Resources Mentioned:

Listen to episodes of Modern Church Leader: Modern Church Leader

Follow Tithe.ly on Instagram: tithe.ly

Follow Tithe.ly on Twitter: tithe.ly

Like Tithe.ly on Facebook: @tithelyapp

Check out more from Chilhowee Hills Baptist Church: chilhoweehills.org

Other Episodes You May be Interested In:

Critical Questions to Ask During a Pastoral Candidate Interview
The Role of a Pastor As a Shepherd with Tom Nelson
How Pastors Can Beat Burnout with Michael Mackenzie
The Growing Gap: How to Speak Across Generations with Dr. Darrell Hall

Here’s a glance at this episode…

1:45 - Intro to Chuck Morris

5:05 - What makes a great executive pastor.

7:00 - How Chilhowee Hills thinks about hiring church staff.

10:10 - How Chilhowee Hills writes a job description.

12:30 - How Chilhowee Hills handles the interview process.

15:20 - How Chilhowee Hills narrows down their pastoral candidates.

18:20 - What Chuck has learned from holding interviews and developing church culture.

19:28 - What Chuck looks for in an interview.

23:00 - Questions Chuck always asks a pastoral candidate.

26:26 - Why hiring for a pastoral position is so different from hiring for a secular position.

28:00 - How much salary and benefits come into play in pastoral candidate interviews.

31:51 - A church leader Chuck looks up to

33:32 - A book Church recommends to other executive pastors

36:26 - Where people can find Chilhowee Hills Baptist Church in Knoxville, TN.

podcast transcript

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H1 What’s a Rich Text element?

H2 What’s a Rich Text element?

H3 What’s a Rich Text element?

H4 What’s a Rich Text element?

H5 What’s a Rich Text element?
H6 What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

H4 Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

H4 How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • List Item 1
  • List Item 2
  • List Item 3

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

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Hiring A Lead Pastor: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding the Perfect Candidate w/ Dr. Chuck Morris

Hiring A Lead Pastor: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding the Perfect Candidate w/ Dr. Chuck Morris

Show notes

When it comes to hiring, every church, company, and organization has a different approach to finding the perfect candidate. While there are some similarities between hiring for a secular job and a job in ministry, the overall process typically looks and feels different in the church. As today’s guest describes, “It can be backward from hiring a secular position”.

The process of hiring a pastoral position for your church can be strenuous for not only church staff, but for church members. The future of the community and the purpose of a local church is greatly determined by its senior leadership. Hiring a pastor should not be taken lightly.

As a church leader, it can be difficult to discern the best hiring move for your church’s culture and well-being. Thankfully, there are great churches and organizations that have paved the way to simplify the process.

Today’s guest, Dr. Chuck Morris, is here to give us some perspective from the role of Executive Pastor. He shares Chilhowee Hills Baptist Church’s thorough process for making sure their next pastoral candidates are equipped, informed, and properly vetted for success.

Creating an Appropriate Job Description

Oftentimes, job descriptions for ministry positions are overwhelming and can deter qualified candidates from applying because of the magnitude of responsibilities listed. It’s important to clarify what is expected from the candidate and who he/she will report to while still leaving room for details to be discussed in the interview process.

“I’ve seen churches make these job responsibilities that are massive. It’s like you’re almost doing everything, versus trying to be very specific about what this role is and what success looks like.” - Frank Barry

Once an appropriate description is created, the job can be posted on church staffing websites or publicized through their particular denomination to start receiving candidates.

Forming a Pastoral Search Committee

For Chilhowee Hills, the pastor search committee members are nominated by other church members and then ultimately voted on in a church meeting to serve. This ensures that the committee truly represents the church congregation and alleviates pressure from other church staff to carry the burden themselves.

“[As an executive pastor] I would never want to [hire staff] by myself. There is wisdom in a large group, in counsel, and Godly perspective.” - Chuck Morris

Narrowing Down the Candidates

Once a church starts receiving applications, the pastoral search committee starts reviewing the resumes and begins narrowing down viable candidates. A viable candidate includes someone who meets the educational and experiential requirements.

Additional steps are taken to ensure a candidate is qualified to move forward in the interview process, such as calling the candidate’s references, watching past sermons online, and reviewing their previous employers’ websites.

Chilhowee Hills likes to narrow their list down to approximately ten candidates before moving into phone or zoom interviews. These interviews are held by different members of the Pastoral Search Committee and the Executive Pastor.

The Interview Process

Throughout the hiring process, Chilhowee Hills Baptist Church is adamant about communicating with every applicant. It is important for the church to be the standard of communication. This can only help your future pastor be set up for success.

Once the time has come to host interviews, the first interview question should be simple: What is your personal testimony? Dr. Morris expresses how important it is for a pastoral candidate to be able to articulate that story well. After all, that is the foundation of a pastoral role.

From here, Dr. Morris looks for spiritual maturity and discernment in a candidate.

Does this candidate feel called to work here?

Is this candidate just looking to move to the area, wanting a bigger salary, etc.?

Has this candidate experienced real moments with the Lord and are they actively pursuing more of those moments?

As a church leader, it is important for you to like the person you are hiring, but it is also important to build a relationship with the candidate to get a sense if this person is the right cultural fit for your church.

Offering the Job

Every church is going to be different when it comes to the final stage of hiring a pastor. There may be specific bylaws to abide by and different avenues to complete the process.

Once the leading candidate has undergone multiple interviews and has made a personal visit to the church, the church body should have a say in whether this pastor is officially offered the position. Many churches hold meet and greets for their members to meet the candidate or will hold church meetings to ask them any outstanding questions.

Church members should officially vote to either accept or deny the Pastoral Search Committee’s selection of the Lead Pastoral Candidate.

Once the majority of the church has agreed on accepting a pastoral candidate, the church can officially provide a written offer to settle salary, benefits, and general expectations for the position.

At the end of all the resumes and interviews, finding a pastor with humility and a heart for the Lord is worth the rigorous process and demands to ensure a happy and healthy church culture.

Listen on your favorite podcast app:

By the end of this episode, you will learn:

✅ Step-by-Step Hiring Process for a Healthy Staff

✅ Balancing business and spirituality from an Executive Pastor perspective

✅ Must-have qualities of a pastoral candidate

✅ Interview tips and tricks

Resources Mentioned:

Listen to episodes of Modern Church Leader: Modern Church Leader

Follow Tithe.ly on Instagram: tithe.ly

Follow Tithe.ly on Twitter: tithe.ly

Like Tithe.ly on Facebook: @tithelyapp

Check out more from Chilhowee Hills Baptist Church: chilhoweehills.org

Other Episodes You May be Interested In:

Critical Questions to Ask During a Pastoral Candidate Interview
The Role of a Pastor As a Shepherd with Tom Nelson
How Pastors Can Beat Burnout with Michael Mackenzie
The Growing Gap: How to Speak Across Generations with Dr. Darrell Hall

Here’s a glance at this episode…

1:45 - Intro to Chuck Morris

5:05 - What makes a great executive pastor.

7:00 - How Chilhowee Hills thinks about hiring church staff.

10:10 - How Chilhowee Hills writes a job description.

12:30 - How Chilhowee Hills handles the interview process.

15:20 - How Chilhowee Hills narrows down their pastoral candidates.

18:20 - What Chuck has learned from holding interviews and developing church culture.

19:28 - What Chuck looks for in an interview.

23:00 - Questions Chuck always asks a pastoral candidate.

26:26 - Why hiring for a pastoral position is so different from hiring for a secular position.

28:00 - How much salary and benefits come into play in pastoral candidate interviews.

31:51 - A church leader Chuck looks up to

33:32 - A book Church recommends to other executive pastors

36:26 - Where people can find Chilhowee Hills Baptist Church in Knoxville, TN.

video transcript

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