Seeking Pastors

Transformation Ministries (TM) is pleased to assist our Covenanting Churches in the most important process of pastoral leadership transition. The time of transition from one pastoral leader to another should be a time of discovery and vitality for any church. This transitional time is best seen as a process that involves a number of steps. One of the Ministry’s Team Coaches will assist a church through this challenging process.

Transforming the Search for a Pastor into an Opportunity for Discovery and Vitality
At the beginning of the process, we provide the church leadership with a detailed Search Team information guiding church leaders through the entire process with forms, samples, interview questions, contracts and budget planners.

STEP ONE – Move Toward Closure

The departing pastor, the church and a TM Church Ministry Coach will work together to disseminate information in a sensitive and timely manner, deal with issues such as friendships, grief, vision and finances.

  • This is also a time to schedule a Church Advocate to discover the congregation’s strengths, opportunities, and challenges for ministry.
  • Develop and begin an Interim Ministry Plan, including the selection and hiring of an interim pastor.

STEP TWO – Getting Leadership Organized

The TM Church Ministry Coach will provide resources to assist the church in appointing a “Pastoral Search Team” of godly, mature, competent people — typically five to 7 individuals.

  • Selecting a Pastoral Search Team
  • PST Training and Assignments
  • Discovery Weekend – Self-Study Process

STEP THREE – Preparing the Search Team and Congregation

The Pastoral Search Team develops all the materials needed for the pastoral search.

  • Consider the findings of the assessment.
  • Produce a pastoral job description, including roles and responsibilities.
  • Approve a salary and benefit budget.
  • Produce a church prospectus or profile to provide to interested pastoral candidates.

STEP FOUR – Conducting the Actual Pastoral Search

The Pastoral Search Team, assisted by the TM Church Ministry Coach, will refine selection criteria, take full responsibility for candidate selection, and conduct all interviews with potential candidates.

STEP FIVE – Making Sure of the Right Choice

The Pastoral Search Team will select the candidate for pastoral leadership whom they believe will lead the church from where it is today to God’s best for the future. This takes place after a series of interviews, background check, salary and ministry negotiations, and final agreements with the pastoral candidate.

STEP SIX  – Presenting and Approving the Candidate

The candidate is announced to the congregation as the official candidate. The TM Church Ministry Coach will assist the Search Team and the church leaders in planning for the presentation of the candidate to the church.  The congregation votes on whether to extend a call.

STEP SEVEN – Completing the Process

Once a call is issued, the congregation prepares the way for the new pastor.

  • Some churches conduct an installation service within a month or two of a pastor’s arrival.
  • TM helps connect the new pastor to a Pastor Mentor Group for encouragement, training, and accountability and offer coaching, mentoring and training opportunities.
  • After a pastor has been in the church for three (3) months, we recommend a feedback session to assess progress of relationships and the progress of ministry.

Finding Pastoral Leadership

No ministry we perform is more strategic to the future of churches than helping them find new pastoral leadership when needed. In Transformation Ministries, there are two dimensions of this ministry. We work to have a strong list of pastoral prospects, which is developed in three ways:

  1. The greatest number of names comes to us when pastors contact us directly, indicating their interest in seeking a TM Church.
  2. Additional names come from contacts we make with pastors whose ministries demonstrate outstanding leadership in evangelism, church growth, Biblical preaching and teaching, leadership and mission.
  3. We seek to recruit outstanding seminarians through various evangelical and theological seminaries. We also find qualified candidates through our contacts with like-minded denominations, schools and organizations.

The Ordination Standards Council of Transformation Ministries examines candidates seeking ordination to the ministry and deals with issues related to clergy competency and integrity.

For more information concerning our use of the services for background checks, contact

Policy Regarding Pastoral Recommendations

We must consider both the needs of our Covenanting Churches and the needs of pastors. Our first priority is to assist churches in calling committed, capable and godly pastoral leaders. When appropriate, we will share with Pastoral Search Teams information about both the strengths and weaknesses of prospects they are considering. Our being less than honest is not helpful in the long run to neither the church nor the pastor. It is important for everyone concerned that congregations have confidence in Transformation Ministries giving them accurate and helpful information as they make this all-important decision for the future of their church.


More healthy churches. More changed lives.


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