CHURCHES SEEKING PASTORS
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Churches should be in touch with the Ministerial Committee of their presbytery as soon as a pastoral position is open. The Search Committee should consult with the presbytery Ministerial Committee throughout the search process. In addition, the resources below were designed to help Search Committees with their task.
This audio series is designed to train pastoral search committees with Bible-based, professionally tested interviewing skills for screening applicants for service in the church. This material also is applicable to any church committee that is selecting applicants for various positions.
PASTOR CLASSIFICATIONS IN THE EPC
There are three classifications of pastors in the EPC, the Lead Pastor, Associate Pastor, and Assistant Pastor.
• The Lead Pastor is called by the congregation.
• An Associate Pastor is called by the congregation and has a specific area of ministry responsibility.
• An Associate Pastor is only eligible to be nominated as pastor under certain conditions (see Book of Government 11-8).
• An Assistant Pastor is called by the Session for a specific period of time with a specific area of ministry responsibility.
• An Assistant Pastor is not eligible to be nominated as pastor.
SEARCH COMMITTEE PROCESS
When a church enters the pastor search process, the congregation should elect a Search Committee. The committee then follows the following process.
• Develop a profile of the church and a position description, and send to the presbytery and Assistant Stated Clerk of the Office of the General Assembly.
• File a Church Information Form with the presbytery and Office of the General Assembly.
• Solicit and screen potential candidates from a variety of sources.
• Interview potential nominees.
• Secure the consent of the presbytery Ministerial Committee to proceed with a nominee.
• Contact the Session to inform them of the nominee to be presented to the congregation.
• Session calls a congregational meeting
• Typically the nominee preaches and meets with various individuals and groups prior to the congregational meeting.
• Congregation votes on whether or not to call the pastor.
• Presbytery examines and approves the pastor.
The EPC Church Information Form (CIF) is a helpful resource for congregations to assess themselves in preparation for seeking a pastor. Some churches also use the CIF to introduce themselves to potential pastors prior to an interview.
A Personal Information Form (PIF) is required of all ministers seeking membership in a presbytery. Most Search Committees also require candidates to complete and submit the PIF.
When a church loses a pastor, whether under positive or negative circumstances, it goes through a significant time of transition. The EPC encourages churches in transition to seek interim ministers to assist them through those times. For more information about EPC interim ministries, download the Guidelines for Interim Pastoral Ministry.
MINISTRY STAFF OPPORTUNITIES
The EPC maintains a Ministry Staff Opportunities list of positions open in the EPC. Listings are posted upon permission of the church.
To have a posting in the Ministry Staff Opportunities, send a paragraph describing the position available, the church, and contact information to the Office of the Stated Clerk via email, fax to 407-930-4247, or mail to:
EPC Ministry Staff Opportunities
5850 T.G. Lee Blvd., Suite 510
Orlando, FL 32822
For more information or if you have any questions, contact the Office of the General Assembly at 407-930-4247.