Ask Alban: Choosing Your Next Clergy Leader

The most frequent mistake clergy search committees make is to focus too much on the perceived weaknesses of the previous clergyperson. If the predecessor was personable but poorly educated, the search committee scours the world for a Ph.D. and takes social skills for granted–after all, doesn’t every minister have them? If the last minister was an active organizational leader but an indifferent preacher, the next will spend most of the work week writing sermons and assume the laity will run the church. The trouble with this approach is that congregations are organized around the strengths of previous clergy more than their weaknesses.

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