In this phase the church has the chance to remember who it is apart from the identity of the former minister, thus loosening the grips of anxiety and reactivity on the search process. The to-be-named search team will then be better prepared to invite appropriate candidates to consider journeying with the congregation, and the called minister will be able to connect more quickly and deeply with members and mission upon arrival.
Befriending the past and anticipating the future: answering key questions about identity and direction
Before the search can begin, your church must celebrate its past and contemplate its future, listening deeply for God-given direction. In this phase congregation-wide work rekindles hope and fosters deeper connections among weary and wary members. These conversations also provide the basis for describing the minister best suited to accompany your church on the next part of its journey.
Note: This work usually occurs here when led by a transition expert (e.g., intentional interim minister, transition facilitator/consultant, judicatory representative). If the search team conducts this piece of the process, it will take place before the congregational profile and position description are created.