Review—Search: The Pastoral Search Committee Handbook

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Search: The Pastoral Search Committee Handbook

By William Vanderbloemen (B&H Publishing Group)

If your church is looking for a new pastor, then your search committee needs guidance and resources, often provided by denominational staff. Search, by William Vanderbloemen, can complement local resources as it lands comfortably within the long tradition of pastor-search committee manuals. It walks through a summary of common steps: From the “pre-needs” of a search committee, to the steps for finding a pastor, to “post-needs” of the new pastor-elect. Like many good search committee manuals, an appendix—of 13 resources—offers additional help.

Search 200Vanderbloemen’s background includes experience as a Presbyterian pastor, a personnel manager in a Fortune 200 company and now as a “head hunter” for churches. The book tries to combine those experiences to help churches in the “critical moments” of the interim period. The book is not oriented exclusively for Baptists, and it tries to cover a lot of inclusive ground for different traditions, cultures, leadership structures and denominations. It also tries to cover important—but extra—duties, such as figuring out a church’s mission before starting the search process.

Larger congregations might have the luxury of time and human resources for tackling the extras, but average Texas Baptist churches likely will find those goals out of the reach and beyond the duties of their pastor-search committees.

Nevertheless, the typical church will benefit from the author’s specific steps for finding a pastor.  

Karl Fickling, coordinator of Interim Church Services

Baptist General Convention of Texas


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