Over the course of fifteen years in ministry, I have observed the search process from a number of angles: candidate, search team member, interim minister, coach, and colleague. I’ve noted that there are many places where a search can go off the rails. Here are a few outtakes from my (lengthy) personal blooper reel:
- I was offered compensation that was barely enough to cover groceries while the church was patting itself on the back for extending a call to a woman.
- I went on an out-of-state, in-person interview for which I was offered no travel expense reimbursement.
- I was rejected by a search team, then called by the senior pastor at that church to come in for a 1-on-1 interview. (He had no clue that I’d been released from the process.)
- I was given a 5-page job description that would have taken about 80 hours per week to fulfill.
- I was BCCed on a form email releasing me from a search process for which I had been courted.
- And, the grand prize winner: I was held hostage during a candidating weekend in a family’s living room while the husband/dad grilled me about my stance on same-sex marriage.
These tales, plus those from ministry colleagues, are what led me to develop a congregational search framework that is rooted in hospitality.
Despite all the bizarre things search teams do, however, candidates have more means of influencing search processes than they often realize. That is why I have created Sailing Uncertain Seas: A Workbook for Navigating the Search & Call Process. This 58-page workbook, built from search & call webinars I have offered over the last year, coaching conversations I have had with ministers in active searches, the research for my search framework, and my own experiences, is a comprehensive resource for the Christian clergyperson seeking a new congregational ministry position. Each section offers tips and reflection questions with ample space to respond. The workbook covers the following topics:
- How do I know when the time is right to make a move?
- What does a “good fit” position look like for me?
- How do I attend to gaps in the experience I have and the experience I must have?
- How do I get my materials in front of a search team?
- How do I tell my story to search teams?
- How do I prepare spiritually, mentally, and emotionally for interviews?
- What do I wear for interviews?
- How can I reflect on interview experiences in helpful ways?
- How do I get the real story on congregations I’m interested in?
- How do I deal with search team gaffes?
- How do I juggle different search timelines?
- How do I navigate searching while serving elsewhere?
- How do I navigate searching while not serving elsewhere?
- How do I make good use of a search team’s “no”?
- What else do I need to make a good decision if a call is extended?
- How do I negotiate compensation?
- How do I leave my current call well?
- How do I get off to a good start in my new call?
The workbook concludes with links to additional resources.
Are you a clergyperson who would benefit from tips & reflection questions for every step of your search? If so, this workbook will be well worth your investment. Click here to buy.