Essential tasks

  • Getting to know one another on a more profound level. Sharing within the team beyond surface details and opinions lays the foundation for trust.
  • Building second-level trust within the search team. This deeper layer of trust makes it possible for the search team to have difficult but important conversations.
  • Naming whether unanimity (everyone agrees), consensus (not everyone agrees, but those who don’t will not stand in the way), or majority (most agree) opinion will be the basis for taking action. Before any major actions are undertaken, the team must identify what level of agreement there must be prior to moving forward.

Reflection questions

  • What does each search team member bring to the process?
    • Loyalties
    • Hopes
    • Concerns
    • Skills/talents
    • Personality/participation style
  • What does each team member need in order to participate fully in the process?
  • What do we expect of one another in terms of engagement, confidentiality, accountability, and handling disagreement?

Best practices

  • Sharing faith stories
  • Taking a personality and/or conflict style assessment as a team so that members can better understand themselves and one another
  • Creating a search team covenant
  • Letting one another know the most effective means of being reached, such as a cell phone number and/or a personal (i.e., not shared) email address


From the candidate's perspective

  • Could be serving elsewhere with no thought of seeking a new position.
  • Could be seeking a new call and keeping ears perked for opportunities. Might begin tracking your congregation’s progress through the transition time and looking for a position announcement.


Are we ready for the next stage?

  • Search team members understand one another’s stories and personalities better than before team-building.
  • Search team members have committed to concrete ways of helping one another bring their best to the search process.
  • The search team has named and agreed on members’ expectations of each other.
  • The search team has settled on a means for approving actions.
  • The search team has communicated to the church what it has been doing and how this work benefits the process.

Go to next stage

If you want to read more