Q. Is MCC’s search/call process moving toward appointment (ecclesiastical) rather than call (congregational)?
A. No. The search and call process for settled pastors is completely in place and is greatly respected as an essential tenant of a congregational system. However, in the last decade, MCC has experimented with using the appointment system for placing Interim Pastors. All in all, this seems to have worked well.
Q. How are decisions made about whether a church in transition has an interim, no interim, intentional interim, interim who can apply for permanent position, etc?
A. Someone from the Office of Church Life and Health engages the Board of Directors in partnering to do an assessment following the pastor’s departure. Based on the findings of this collaborative assessment, a decision is made about what the church most needs in the “interim” time.
Q. Why does it appear there are more and more executive searches? Is that a direct result of denominational leadership taking on a larger role in the search process?
A. When asked to mentor the Pastoral Search Committee, a staff member from the OCLH meets with the search committee to talk them through their options in terms of the kinds of searches they might choose. The up sides and down sides of each option are laid out and the search committee decides which option they believe will work best for them.
Q. When executive searches are undertaken, what is the process for creating a list of candidates? Who (individual or group) provides feedback/evaluation on the names on the list?
A. When a PSC asks for names, the request is taken to the Senior Leadership Team for input. A primary focus of these conversations is the Pastor Profile that the search committee puts together that describes the kind of person for whom they are looking. Other staff members, especially in OFLD and OCLH may also offer input into the list of names.
Q. Why aren’t all pastoral openings publicized (whether executive or open search is chosen) so that all qualified/interested applicants can be in contact with the church?
A. There is a list of all churches in pastoral transition on the OFLD site where the email addresses of the chairs of Pastoral Search Committees are listed as well. All clergy are free to make contact with the search committee/s.
Q. Are some pastors at risk of not having opportunities to change churches because they may have angered someone with the power to keep their names out of consideration?
A. Absolutely not. There are multiple voices around the table and it is not our practice to hold grudges or impose personal biases.
Q. How does the denomination become involved in pastoral transition?
A. By invitation. The denomination, typically through the Office of Church Life and Health, offers assistance to congregations in pastoral transition when there is an invitation by the Board or the Pastor who is leaving.