19 August 2009

searching questions

OK, so I don't post often. I'm an unrepentant introvert which means I'm more lurker than commenter and very rarely Blogger. But I want to lay a question out there in the blogosphere:

What did you wish you had known about the church before you accepted a call?

in other words, what should I be asking these committees? I finally got a nibble (after 3 months and WAY too many rejections). I've checked out the church's basic statistics with the national judicatory, so I know numbers for membership, attendance, giving, etc. But what questions do you ask when you're feeling out a call? and which ones do you ask, but later in the process (could I see a copy of your budget?)


sanctifyingsarah said...

I always ask those on the committee, Why they choose to worship at this place of worship? Also, I like to know how much vacation/continuing ed time they offer. This helps me see if they want to help their pastor grow or work her like a horse. Also, What is the best memory you have of this church, or of a sermon, or of a worship experience etc. If people can think quickly and positively of their church it's a good sign.

Gannet Girl said...

I think there is at least one Ask the Matriarch on this.

Yay! on the nibble.

Althea N. Agape said...

I went back and reviewed the old ask-the-matriarch posts. they added some interesting ones like:
- what is the greatest challenge facing this congregation in the next 3 years?
- what is this church known for in the community?
- what is this church's great passion?
- How does this congregation deal with conflict?
- What are each of YOU on the committee looking for in the new minister?

Gannet Girl said...

Those are great questions. I'm thinking that I could provide a clear and concrete answer for each one with respect to my home church (if we were looking) and I'm thinking that's a good sign of a healthy church. I also think that the consistency in the answers would be a good sign; for instance, I think the answers to both 2 and 3 would be the same for us (social justice) and so would 4 and 5 (collaborative and transparent leadership) -- and I think that that kind of consistency, regardless of the content of the answers, indicates a church that is clear about its identity and mission.

And now that I think of it, I think the answer to 3 would be both social justice and spiritual growth, which I think indicates another sigh of a healthy church -- a congregation focusing intently on and developing leadership in an area for which it is not yet known in the community.

1-4 Grace said...

I've asked about worship before too (what is a favorite service and why)? if they cannot tell me one in particular or something about worship they like, then not so good.
Also, recently I have had questions about what I will do to rejuvinate/regrow/revitalize the church.
I answer, but then ask what they are willing to do also.
So far, they look at me like I have two heads.
I also like to see how much of budget is spent on benevolences from anuual budget.
It is an interview for you on church as well as for them on you. Ask the hard questions.