Search Consulting

“Search Consulting” is a more limited service offered by Interim Ministry Partners that focuses on helping you find the right person to provide pulpit leadership for your congregation. It does not deliver the “consistent pulpit presence” or the broader consulting components of our full service relationship. But it does offer guidance for one of the most difficult and complicated portions of the interim period—the search process.

Building a Spirit-led, personalized, and effective search process is a great deal more complex than simply writing out a job description and posting an available position on a few web sites. But with a little guidance, your congregation will be able to identify the right person with the right skills to serve your church for the next season of its life.

One of our partners will work with your congregation to:

  • Explain the stages and components of an effective search process
  • Select and train a Search Committee
  • Conduct an assessment of the congregation and its needs
  • Encourage an understanding and pursuit of God’s “call” in the life of your church
  • Craft a specific and tailored description of your “ideal candidate”
  • Surface high-potential, high-competence, high-character candidates
  • Conduct effective interviews, vetting, and candidate assessments
  • Recommend a candidate to the elders for their approval [1]


What does a “Search Consulting Relationship” look like? There will be a mix of interactions between the participating church and one of our partners (e.g., on-site visits, video-conferencing, email communication), including a variety of services (e.g., preaching to prepare a church for their new minister, education and training of the Search Committee, guidance of the overall process and calendar), to focus your church on an effective search process.

  • An initial on-site weekend visit by a Partner to work with elders/leaders, explain the process, set a calendar, and identify members to serve on the Search Committee
  • One on-site weekend visit per month to work directly with the Search Committee and communicate/educate the congregation about the search process
  • Weekly video-conferencing with the Search Committee to provide guidance and offer advice about various stages of the search process
  • A final on-site weekend visit (on the first Sunday of the new minister’s work) to participate in the “ordination” and commissioning of the new minister
  • Expect the “Search Consulting” relationship to last nine to twelve months

Pros and Cons of the Search Consulting Relationship



  • Very focused on the search process and the Search Committee
  • Allows an experienced and skilled Partner to provide education and guidance for the search
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • The IMP search process surfaces high-quality, high-potential candidates for you to interview
  • The IMP search process protects you from spending time on unqualified, unsuitable candidates
  • Utilizes technology (like video-conferencing) to promote face-to-face interactions without incurring expensive travel
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  • Does not provide for a consistent pulpit presence
  • Does not provide for broader consulting services related to congregational health and growth
  • Depends enormously on the responsibility and initiative of the committee Chair and the committee itself

[1] This is a “Search” Committee, not a “Selection” Committee. In the end, the Committee will recommend one candidate to the elders—the candidate they believe to be called by God, competent and charactered, to serve the church in the next season of its life. The elders will be responsible to affirm that judgment and invite the candidate to work with the congregation.