I believe that the foundation for healthy mutual ministry is laid in the pre-covenanting conversations that clergy and congregations have with one another – namely, the search & call process. It’s a time of determining whether our strengths and purpose align with a church’s needs and mission. It’s a means of sussing out whether there’s a possibility of the two parties growing and serving together, of belonging to one another. It’s an imagining of what could be as minister and ministry setting leave behind what is known.
Because of its importance, this season of discernment can be at turns exhilarating, overwhelming, and downright frustrating for ministers looking for a great-fit position. Search teams move at different speeds, and some are more communicative than others. It can be hard to know how to present ourselves (on paper and in person) in compelling ways. We usually get gut-punched by “no” a few times before we can celebrate a “yes.” And even after a call has been extended, there are so many details to tend to – salary negotiations, leaving the current position gracefully, moving, starting the new position well.
It’s a lot. Sailing Uncertain Seas: A Workbook for Navigating the Search & Call Process is here to help. First published last year, I’ve strengthened some of the coaching questions and added six pages of content to the second edition, primarily around the end of the call process. Here’s what the workbook covers:
- 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?
You can print off a PDF of the workbook and use the coaching questions within to prepare for each phase of your search.
If you’re looking to make a move, this 64-page guide is a great place to start. Click here to purchase it. (Note that a free copy of Sailing Uncertain Seas is included in a search & call coaching package. If you’re interested in learning more, go here to schedule an exploratory call.)