Tactful Advice for Calling Your Next Pastor
By Gary Straub
A change of pastoral leadership creates a special kind of stress and strain on a congregation. Your church may prefer the more practical starting points, such as appointing a search team, getting assistance from a denomination, shoring up finances, addressing maintenance issues, and developing a quick timeline. Then there are the deeper matters: grief work, sober evaluation of effectiveness, prayer around core reasons for being, attending matters of the heart around communal healing and reconciliation, and authentic conversation about who we are called to be for the sake of the Gospel and the world around us.
Gary Straub articulates the dynamics of the pastoral search process from both sides of the equation. With more than 50 years of ministry experience—including calls to large congregations, interim positions, and coaching of pastoral candidates—Straub integrates practical advice with prayerful counsel. Healthy dialogue helps keep you passionately open to the Holy Spirit. Tactful Advice for Calling Your Next Pastor starts the dialogue and keeps it focused.
"What is the right way to conduct a search and call process for a new pastor? There is no right way. What is the wrong way to conduct a search and call process for a new pastor? Failing to develop a plan, and then work the plan unless the Spirit of God intervenes. If you are going to develop and work a plan, a great way to start is to have the search and call committee, and other church leaders, read Tactful Advice for Calling Your Next Pastor by Gary Straub. ―George Bullard, president, The Columbia Partnership, and author, Every Church Needs a Little Conflict
“Gary Straub is one of our church’s most experienced interim ministers. His helpful guide to the work of the congregational search committee is a thoughtful and clear resource for leaders who are engaging in this sacred work. I encourage persons who have been called to this special task to avail themselves of Gary’s wisdom for both clarity about their function and affirmation of the important work they have been asked to do.”—Rick Spleth, Regional Minister, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Indiana
"In Tactful Advice for Calling Your Next Pastor, Gary Straub takes search committees, judicatories and pastoral candidates on a journey of courtship, bonding and selection. As a minister with over fifty years of pastoral, counseling and coaching experience, Gary provides this gem of wisdom, reflection and encouragement. In this treasure chest, he supplies a trove of advice, tips and experience that will help any search team in any denomination to make the right call. ― Rev. Dr. John T. Myers, Eastern Virginia Association Minister, Southern Conference United Church of Christ
"Sherpa Gary Straub is at his best when masterfully breaking seemingly complex decision trees into easily digestible pieces. By thus dissecting the potential minefield of minister search, Tactful Advice for Calling Your Next Pastor becomes an easily understood plan for a successful search. From the “good goodbye” to the “healthy hello” the process is explained in easily understood prose, a gift to any Search Committee called to this transformative task." ― David G. Ruffer, Ph.D., Resource Chair, and twice chair of the Senior Minister Search Committee, Zionsville Christian Church, Indiana