Finding a Pastor

The search for a new pastor may seem daunting, but the process can be joyful — a time to refocus, refresh, and reconnect with God’s vision for your congregation.  Ohio Ministries is committed to helping you by providing guidance, resources, and prayer.  Below are some resources to help guide you through the process.

Pastoral Search Resources:
 Steps Used in the Process for Finding a Senior Pastor:
  1. Notify Ohio Ministries of the Church of God of the need for a pastor. Associate Director, Rev. Esther Cottrell (740-747-2916, esther@ohchog.org ) is the contact person.
  2. Establish a Pulpit Committee following the guidelines of the congregation’s by-laws and/or policies. If none exist the committee of no fewer than 3 and no more than 7 persons shall be appointed by the leadership of the congregation (i.e. Church Council, Elders, Board of Trustees).
  3. Clarify the assignment responsibilities with persons selected.
  4. Ratification of Pulpit Committee by the congregation.
  5. Pulpit Committee meets and organizes; selection of Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary.
  6. Develop a prayer ministry for committee and candidate.
  7. Appoint a Counseling Pastor (work with Esther Cottrell or your district credentials chair).
  8. Arrange for interim and pulpit supply. Esther Cottrell can provide a list of potential interims or pulpit supply. Seek to have an interim in place within 8 to 10 weeks.
  9. Assess needs of congregation. Ohio Ministries of the Church of God can assist you.
  10. Pulpit Committee develops Job Description from the congregational assessments, balancing what the congregation wants with what she needs.
  11. With input from the Trustees or Governing Board create a financial package to propose. Be flexible so it can be worked out with the new Pastor.
  12. Sources for potential Candidates:
    1. Decide how you will advertise your search. Church of God Ministries (JHhazen@chog.org) can list the church in a private online site available only to seeking, credentialed Church of God ministers.
    2. Resumes may come from the congregation, Ohio Ministries of the Church of God, pastors that you seek out AND
    3. Unsolicited resumes.
  13. Develop criteria for evaluating resumes established from the job description and assessment of the congregation.
  14. Evaluate resumes, matching the needs of the congregation with the gifts and strengths of potential candidates. Ohio Ministries has assessment tools to help you in this process.
  15. Select the THREE TO FIVE strongest candidates for initial interview. (Are they still looking/interested in your congregation?) All candidates the you contact ought to be kept abreast of their status with you.
  16. Check ALL references. Have Esther Cottrell check on their standing in ministry and credentials.
  17. Actual interviews.
  18. Pulpit Committee comes to an agreement on a person to present to the Governing Board.
  19. Perform a Criminal Background and Credit report. Ohio Ministries can assist you.
  20. Prepare material on candidate. Submit candidate’s name to Governing Board for approval.
  21. Send name and biographical information to the congregation.
  22. Arrange for Candidating Weekend.
  23. Schedule Congregational Business Meeting to vote on the candidate. Unless by-laws prohibit, this is best done the Sunday of the Candidating Weekend.
  24. Inform candidate and congregation of the vote.
  25. Plan and execute Installation of new pastor.