Pastoral Search Advisory Group (previously Advisory Board)

The Pastoral Search Advisory Group (previously “Advisory Board”) has as its primary function the specific responsibility of helping churches to find a new pastor when a vacancy occurs as well as working with pastors in identifying fresh possibilities for ministry in other places. The Group sees itself as a service group to pastors and churches.

The Group is made up of up to eight experienced BUV pastors, the Head of Pastoral Leadership, Support & Development and is chaired by the Director of Mission & Ministries. At any given point of time the Group will be co-operating with anywhere between ten and forty churches depending on the pastoral needs being experienced.

In the past, churches sought the assistance of the Group mainly for the purpose of appointing senior pastors (where there was a pastoral team) or solo pastors (where there was no team). Increasing numbers of churches are now also asking for assistance in the appointment of additional pastoral staff. With this level of demand there is a commitment to the constant improvement of resources for churches, together with ongoing changes to our modus operandi depending on the needs being communicated. The Group seeks to provide the highest level of service possible in what is certainly one of the most important decisions a church can ever make about its leadership.

The Group undertakes a number of tasks with a pastoral search committee, in particular:

  • Support is offered when an impending pastoral vacancy is notified.
  • A Moderator is appointed upon request to assist the church through the interim period and to give easily accessed assistance to the pastoral search committee.
  • On the basis of information provided by pastors about themselves, the Group liaises (via the Moderator) with pastoral search committees of churches seeking new pastoral staff.
  • Assistance is given in preparing a church profile and pastoral profile.

In every respect it is an advisory role only. Each pastoral search committee arrives at its own decision and, of course, the church membership itself has the final responsibility for the issue of a call.

There is also a commensurate level of assistance offered to pastors seeking fresh opportunities for ministry. While no guarantees can be offered with respect to outcomes, every effort is made to alert churches to the availability of pastors who have indicated their desire for such a move where their gifts and experience are seen to be appropriate to the needs of a given congregation. The Group depends heavily on information provided by pastors about themselves and makes comprehensive (and confidential) use of information provided by pastors. The co-operation of pastors in the provision of a BUV pastoral profile document is crucial.

If you are a member of a pastoral search committee, be aware of the energy and enthusiasm of the Pastoral Search Advisory Group to help you seek the Lord’s guidance as you consider the best way forward for the filling of the pastoral vacancy in your congregation. If you are a pastor feeling that the time may be right to be open to other possibilities in ministry, remember that the Group is there to help you also. Hopefully, as often as is possible, the needs of both pastors and churches can be happily matched in order that the Kingdom may continue to be extended.

For any further information please contact Lyn Williams, lyn.williams@buv.com.au or phone 9880 6188.

PSAG Pastoral Search Committee Resource Handbook

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