Friday, April 06, 2007

More like it

I had a telephone interview last week with a church that is approaching the placement process differently from the church I mentioned a few weeks ago: they are considering one candidate at a time, and focusing only on him. They have been without a pastor for 14 months, and I am the third candidate they have had interaction with; we've been in dialog for about 6 weeks.

What strikes me about this church is that their focus is on people. They are interested in me, my family, and who we are; they show clear evidence of caring for one another in significant, if subtle, ways. And this comes through in the way they are handling/pursuing candidates: they are more concerned about who the candidates are as people and how they fit (or don't fit) into their church.

One of the search team members commented that he couldn't keep up with more than one candidate at a time! And there is something to be said for that, as well: search teams already contribute a substantial amount of time and energy, and asking them to juggle a handful (or dozens) of candidates in their mind, keeping them straight and maintaining opinions about each may be asking too much. Again, this is about people-- not about processes or paperwork. And to protect their team from having to focus on multiple candidates is consistent with their value of people, too.

I understand why most churches employ a system that considers many candidates at any given point-- even down to the final few. Most of the rationale, however, strikes me as pragmatic rather than intentional accomplishment of a specific goal.

While this church might not be intentional about their process, the end result is much better.

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