I, ____________________________, having been asked by the shepherds of the [church name] to serve on a Senior Minister Search Committee, agree to do so to the best of my ability and in a manner that is pleasing to Christ.
I recognize that this invitation implies a great deal of trust by the elders in me personally and conveys a great deal of responsibility as well. Others could have been invited in my place. In accepting this role, I affirm that the elders’ trust in me is not misplaced, that I take this great responsibility seriously, and that I will make my work on this search committee a priority in my prayers, time, energies, and efforts.
This commitment means (in part) that:
- I will devote myself to daily prayer on behalf of the church, this committee, and the candidates to whom God will lead us. I will also pray daily for myself in this role: that God would give me his heart and mind, show me his will, and help me conduct myself in a manner that is worthy of him.
- I will regard my service on the Search Committee as a spiritual endeavor, expecting to grow deeper in the Lord personally as a result and committing myself to being conscious of and encouraging the spiritual well-being and growth of all those who are affected by this process: fellow committee members, the church, and the candidates to whom we talk.
- I accept the idea that I am (and this committee is) an instrument of God as he pursues his will for the [church name]. It is his will that we seek, his chosen minister we want to find, his call for leadership we want to hear. I believe God “calls” people not just to ministry generally but to specific times and situations. I am committed to being sensitive to his calling as I serve on this Committee.
- I am dedicated to the unity and harmony of our church generally and of this Search Committee specifically. I will do all in my power to promote unity and avoid all speech and behavior that might promote factions or gossip.
- I submit to the leadership of the one who serves as the Chairman of this Committee. I recognize that, in asking him to fill this role, the shepherds of our church have expressed their own high regard for his character and competence. I will respect his role and trust his judgment. I will do all in my power (in word and deed) to support his leadership and ease his difficult work.
- I recognize and accept the importance of “communal discernment” in processes such as this. While I may (and should) have opinions and convictions about certain matters, I will defer to the Committee as a whole and honor the Committee’s collective wisdom above my own. I will not stubbornly insist on my own views but will trust God to speak through the people who serve on this committee with me.
- In a related way, I recognize the necessary tension between honest and open dissent and the need to honor others above myself. I will feel free to express my views and opinions (and even to express them forcefully) in the context of this Committee’s deliberations. But I will do so within the context of my commitment to the unity and harmony of the Committee as a whole and the spiritual well-being of the others who serve on it.
- I recognize the necessity of a confidential process and promise to say or do nothing that threatens the integrity of our work or in any way compromises the people or topics we discuss in the committee. I will do all in my power to guard my tongue and protect the privacy of our discussions.
- I understand that this is not a short term commitment, easily fulfilled and quickly finished. Rather, this commitment could extend for months.
- I recognize the importance of my full and consistent participation in the workings of this Committee. I commit myself to being at every meeting of the Committee, barring illness or uncontrolled circumstances. These meetings will be a priority to me. When assigned tasks by the Committee, I will accomplish those tasks in a timely and effective way so that the Committee as a whole can proceed with its important work. When it comes time to review resumes, listen to sermons, conduct phone or video conferences, and otherwise interact with candidates, I will—to the best of my ability—participate fully in these important tasks.
- During meetings, while I will feel free to voice my views and contribute my opinions, I will also keep in mind that the committee is a large one, other views need to be heard, and time is limited. I will respect the other members of the Committee by speaking succinctly and giving other Committee members a chance to make their contributions to the dialogue as well.
- I will be a faithful “ambassador” of the Committee to the congregation and candidates, careful not to speak for the Committee, but willing to carry messages (decided on and approved by the committee as a whole) to those members of the church and those candidates with whom I have personal interaction. Because of my commitment to confidentiality, I will not speak simply to satisfy the curiosity of others. But because of my commitment to communication, I will communicate clearly and enthusiastically whatever information the Committee has decided to disseminate.
In signing below, I am committing to this Search Committee for a period of 6 months. I will work to the best of my ability to fulfill the covenant items mentioned above for this period of time, barring matters beyond my control (such as serious illness). I recognize that the search process may take longer than 6 months, and if so, after prayerful consideration, I will decide at that time whether to sign another covenant to continue onward.