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Essential tasks

  • Understanding the process for extending a call, then communicating this information to the candidate of choice. Confusion around protocols can quickly derail the end of the search process and bring down the level of trust between the judicatory, congregation, search team, and candidate of choice.
  • Presenting the candidate of choice to the confirming body in a compelling way. Those beyond the search team have not been privy to the interactions the team has had with the candidate, the information the team has gathered from other sources, and the inner workings of the team’s discernment process.
  • Allowing the candidate of choice to demonstrate pastoral leadership. For those beyond the search team to catch the team’s enthusiasm, it is as essential to show as it is to tell why this candidate is the right one for the church.
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Reflection questions

  • In our denominational/congregational protocols, who has a say in whether to extend a call to the candidate of choice? How does this body come to agreement?
  • How can we help our candidate of choice begin to be liked, known, and trusted by the congregation and/or leaders?
  • How do we prepare the congregation and/or leaders to extend hospitality to the candidate of choice?
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Best practices

  • Being clear with the candidate of choice about plans and expectations regarding trial sermon, worship leadership, planned interactions with church members, etc., as applicable
  • Giving the candidate of choice access to church leaders during candidating visit
  • Urging the congregation to respect the candidate’s confidentiality needs, including refraining from posting on social media or using gender-specific pronouns when speaking with others
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From the candidate's perspective

  • Excitement as the potential of mutual ministry with your church increases.
  • Nervousness about putting best foot forward with your congregation’s leaders and/or members.
  • Uncertainty about the possibility of uprooting self and loved ones from church, jobs, community, schools, friends.
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Are we ready for the next stage?

  • The church is prepared to extend a call to the candidate of choice.
  • The church has taken care of any remaining expenses incurred by the candidate during the candidating visit.

Go to next stage