Your church has invested a lot of time, effort, and probably money in a ministerial search, and you no doubt want to enjoy a long, fruitful season with your new leader. The interactions the search team and congregation have with the incoming minister throughout the covenanting and start-up processes will directly impact that person’s level of engagement and length of tenure. Consider how you can offer the following:
Motivation. Ministers who feel heard and cared for (emotionally and financially) will be eager to come to work each day and give their best. This will translate into better sermons and Bible studies and more enthusiastic pastoral care.
Encouragement. Ministers who hear not just constructive criticism but also affirmation will see the pastor-parish match as a good one. They will be much less likely to jump ship for other ministry opportunities.
Flexibility. Ministers whose reasonable personal needs and family responsibilities are honored by the congregation will be more fully present when they are at the church. They will be less distracted by the tug of other roles.
Alignment. Ministers who understand (and have agreed to) what the congregation expects will know better how to concentrate their efforts. This prioritization will result in deeper engagement and broader creativity and will make it easier for the clergyperson to empower others in their discipleship.
Small gestures of hospitality around these four areas can make ministers feel focused, energized, and invested for the long term. Constantly be on the lookout for ways to build the clergy-congregation bond.
Photo by Grant Ritchie on Unsplash.