Thursday, October 31, 2013
Preacher Checking References on a Church
...read the previous three blog posts on checking references on prospective preachers.
Several years ago, an elder from a church searching for a preacher asked me to send a résumé, three tapes, and three references. I told him I would be glad to do that. I then asked him to send me the average attendance and contribution for the past five years, three tapes, and three references.
He asked, “Why do you want me to do that?”
I asked, “Why do you want me to send my information?
He said, “Because we don‟t know you.”
I replied, “I don‟t know you. I need that information for the same reason.”
I call this, “equalizing the pressure.” The examination phase should not be one way. A successful try-out is determining if we fit, not getting the invitation to come. If we talk and find out we do not fit and do not work together, we are just as successful as when we talk and determine we fit and decide to work together.
I like to interview the preachers for past twenty years, secretaries, members, members who left the congregation happy, members who left the congregation unhappy, and preachers for congregations in area.
I prefer talking in person. Often that is not possible or practical. If not, I call, tell my purpose, and ask for a telephone appointment. I ask for up to an hour of their time, determine when it is convenient, and call back. I establish a rule of confidentiality and proceed to learn what I can that will be helpful in assessing my fit with this congregation.
Questionnaire guidelines that I have used: