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Pastor Search Correspondence

In order to fulfill your role as a Pulpit Committee, you will need various types of pastor search correspondence. Please note that it is becoming more and more of an accepted practice to use email for most communication. Use your best judgment when deciding on email versus a letter. For instance, you may want to send a packet of information and a questionnaire via the mail. But all other correspondence might be done through email.

Below are some samples of what you may need.

Invitation to Submit a Resume

You don’t have to choose only potential candidates who don’t currently have a pastoral position. In fact, some of your best choices are probably currently serving other churches. So you will need to find, through recommendations, pastors who might be willing to submit a resume’.

You may want to word a letter like this:

As you may be aware, our church is currently without a pastor. We, the Pulpit Committee, have been charged with creating a list of potential candidates for this position.

We are writing to you because you were recommended to us as someone who might be interested in submitting your resume’ for our consideration. We would welcome your application.

Please know that your submission will be guarded with the utmost privacy unless and/or until we ask you to candidate at our church.

If you’d like to submit a resume’, please include it along with a completed copy of the enclosed questionnaire by (input date here). We also need a CD or DVD of a recent sermon you preached.

Please send the documents to the address below. You may call Tom Smith at (123) 456-7890 if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Grace Church Pulpit Committee 1234 Church Ave. Somewhere, MI 48857

Thank You, But No Thank You

This email or letter should be sent to potential candidates when either their resume’ has been rejected or when the pastor is no longer in consideration. Here is a sample:

Thank you for submitting your resume’ and questionnaire to our Pulpit Committee. We sincerely appreciate the effort you put into it. However, at this time we have decided to pursue other candidates. We pray that God will clearly reveal his will for your life and future.

Please Complete Our Questionnaire

When you receive a resume’, you will want to request that the person complete a questionnaire. Here’s a simple way you can request that information.

Thank you for submitting your resume’ to our Pulpit Committee. In order to be considered for our open position we are asking each person to submit answers to the questions attached to this email (or included with this letter). This will give us a better understanding of who you are and of your beliefs and values.

Please send your completed questionnaire to:

or to the address below:

Thank you,

Grace Church Pulpit Committee 1234 Church Ave. Somewhere, MI 48857

References Questionnaire

All potential candidates should provide at least three references. You can then contact those references using wording similar to this:

John Smith is being considered for our open (senior, youth, worship, etc.) pastor position. In his application he listed you as a reference. We value your thoughts and will give them careful consideration as we evaluate John.

Please answer as best you can the questions in the email attachment (or included on the attached page).

  1. How long have you known this person?
  2. Describe your relationship with this person. What role do you play in his life (friend, pastor, teacher, mentor, etc.)?
  3. What do you believe to be his Spiritual gifts?
  4. What do you see as his strengths?
  5. What do you see as his weaknesses?
  6. In your opinion, does he exhibit the godly qualities required of a pastor?

Thank you for your input. Please return this reference form as soon as possible using the enclosed envelope.

Update on the Process

One problem that potential candidates face is not knowing where they stand in the overall process of your search for a pastor. It is helpful and a good idea to keep the potential candidates informed. Send pastor search correspondence when any of the following occur:

  • When you receive an application packet. Use pastor search correspondence to explain what the next steps will be in your consideration of his application.
  • When you decide that the respondent will no longer be considered.
  • When a potential candidate is moved to a new step in the process.
  • When the application packet is complete. That is, when all the following are returned: references, questionnaire, and a CD or DVD.

In each of these cases, simply send a note by email explaining where they stand in the overall process.

Conclusion: Pastor Search Correspondence

Your pastor search correspondence doesn’t need to be long or overly eloquent. All you are trying to do is communicate your needs and keep the potential candidates informed.

Now that you have your pastor search correspondence, you will probably want to define your pastor qualifications.

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