“We are looking for an innovative pastor, who will attract young families, grow our Sunday School, increase giving by 20%, while at the same time connecting with the older members and preaching inspiring sermons, without making any fundamental changes to the church.” Many congregations begin the call process with this mindset. How can we call pastor with tons of personality, who inspires us with great sermons and Bible studies, attracts lots of young families, and increase our numbers of people in the pews and dollars in the offering plate? Now find us a pastor who can do all of this without fundamentally changing anything about us. When churches enter this transitional phase in the life of the church, they do so with much fear, apprehension, and uncertainty. With all those emotions flowing through the congregation, it is no wonder they want to play it safe. They know things will be different from before, so the tendency is to find a Shepherd, who will lead them into this new reality but in a way that does not upset the apple cart too much. So how do we call a pastor that is right for what God will do in the congregation moving forward?
Take the time to do a detailed Self-study.
Jesus teaches us that preparation is essential in Luke 14:28 he says, “Just imagine that you want to build a tower. Wouldn’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to be sure you have enough to finish what you start?”
When we are about to embark on a decision that affects how God’s mission is carried out among His people in that community, wouldn’t it make sense to consider prayerfully what God’s will for your community of believers is? A congregational self-study gives the congregation a chance to examine its ministry direction, programs, and access any problems needing to be addressed. It affords the leadership an opportunity to really ask the tough questions.
Questions about may be why the former pastor accepted a call to serve somewhere else. There are many reasons why he did, financial, conflict with leadership, family needs, or a movement of the Holy Spirit to help a new group of believers. Whatever the reason now would a perfect time for the church wrestle with an intense time of prayer and reflection.
I can help your congregation do a detailed self-study that will aid the group to discover what type of shepherd this fits the next chapter in your ministry story.
For more on the actual assessment tool;
The CAT is a customizable instrument. To the standardized benchmarked assessment, you can
- add up to two supplemental modules of your choosing.
- Transition Module – In this section, we would like to know how you anticipate your involvement in the church may change during the transition to our next Pastor. We would also like to know how you feel about the change and your thoughts about the future direction of the church.
- Interim Module – In this section, we would like to know your perspectives on how you think the church is doing during this transitional period of our transition.
- Pastor in Charge Module – In this section, we want to understand how you believe the church is doing under the leadership of your Priest/Pastor in Charge.
- Critical Ability Module – In this section, we would like to know what you believe are the most important skills for our next Pastor to possess.
- Strategic Planning Module – Your answers to these questions are designed to help your leaders develop a strategic plan for your church.
- Missional Church Module – Tries to gauge the comfort level members have in sharing their faith with others.
- Financial Campaign Module – These questions are designed to learn your perspectives on the campaign to reduce the church’s capital debt. Your candid responses are paramount.
- Building Fund Campaign Module – These questions have been developed to learn your perspectives on the proposed campaign to make changes to our facilities that are designed to strengthen the ministry and mission of our church. Your candid responses are crucial.
- Building Fund Campaign Module – These questions have been developed to learn your perspectives on the proposed campaign to make changes to our facilities that are designed to strengthen the ministry and mission of our church.
- Flow Module – As Christians, we are called to be living water flowing out into the world.
- Add up to five additional questions unique to your church
The cost for the online and PDF tool is:
The cost of this instrument is based on your average worship attendance.
- $415 plus the cost of interpretation (35-149 persons)
- $515 plus the cost of interpretation (150-499 persons)
- $620 plus the cost of interpretation (500-749 persons)
- $750 plus the cost of interpretation (750-999 persons)
- $1000 plus the cost of interpretation (1000+ persons)
The cost for me to come and interpret the results and provide six months of coaching: $1,500 plus travel expense. For congregations in Northern Illinois District, the district offsets this cost. The cost for you is only $350 which goes back to fund missions.
My contact information is email firstname.lastname@example.org
Cell Phone: 708-305-4241.
Source: Congregational Assessment Tool