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Questions to Ask Your Next Church

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Talking to Stephen about his church search and discovered some of the questions he is asking possible churches in the process. He's interviewing them as much as they are interviewing him, which I respect very much. Here's his list of questions, reprinted with his permission:
QUESTIONS TO ASK A POTENTIAL CHURCH

1. What is it that really makes your church distinctive?
2. What are the non-essentials that you look for in hiring staff?
3. How is the church as a whole governed? Elders? Deacons? Both? Are there committees?
4. What were three stand outs (in terms of success) that happened last year?
5. What are the things that YOU personally look for and value in the next Middle School Pastor?
6. Why is the Student Ministry an important part of the church? Why is Middle School so important?
7. What is your picture of success in the Student Ministry? In the Middle School Ministry?
8. Is there a process for staff ‘evaluations’ with the Student Ministry staff? How does that look?
9. What kind of resources will the Middle School Pastor have? Interns? Secretary/assistant? Budget for the ministry?
10. How much will be expected of the next Middle School Pastor administratively / organizationally?
11. As of now, how many students are involved in the Middle School Ministry?
12. Do you believe the church is more evangelistic or discipleship driven? How about Student Ministries? Or, is there a good balance?
13. When you look at the Student Ministry, what strengths do you clearly see? What weaknesses do you see? From that, what are your 3 greatest needs?
14. How do you get things approved at the church? Is there a long process for things or is it a flexible environment?
15. Who would I be accountable to as far as staff over my department?
16. What percentage of large group attendees are also in a small group? Are small groups a strong part/value in the Middle School ministry? In the Student Ministry as a whole?
17. How significant/big is the volunteer base for Middle School currently?
18. Is there currently any type of ministry within Middle School that reaches out to the Parents of the students?
19. Will there be other pastoral responsibilities on the Middle School Pastor such as ‘pastor on call’ or ‘hospital visitation?’
20. How does the leadership team work? How long has the Student Ministries had that asset?
21. Are there upcoming building plans for the church / student ministry?
22. Does the church value families going to church together? Do students go to church w/ their parents or are students in their weekend service the same time parents are in their service?
23. Will there be someone who is pouring into me as I pour myself into others?
If you can think of or have used any more, post them as a comment.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:46 PM |

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6 Comments:

At 3/28/2007, Blogger B Dub said...

I would ask about the sr. pastor's involvement in the ministry and also the church. Is he a "micro manager" type or is he "let the leaders God has called take care of it type." It seems some major problems for student pastors, especially in smaller churches happens to have something to do with this.

 
At 3/28/2007, Blogger Mike Lovato said...

I'd ask about time off policies - is the church flexible about taking an extra day off after a camp or mission trip? How accessible do they expect staff to be (i.e. always answer cell phone when out of office, etc.)? And I know Stephen's single, but I'd still ask what do you expect of my spouse? How will they be supported and encouraged in this church?

 
At 3/28/2007, Blogger The SHAPE Team said...

I would ask about the following questions:

Do you believe in Pre or Post Tribulation? What is this church's stance on homosexuality? What do you believe about the gift of tongues? What level of heaven are the members of this church predominantly going to land in? Are the staff required to walk, ride a bike, and/or wear a name badge around town?

Just my thoughts!

 
At 3/28/2007, Blogger Tony Steward said...

I would ask what resources are consistently budgeted in regards to staff's professional development. (ie conferences, education, books, etc.)

And is it a priority of the church for their staff to be learners, and are they dedicated to resourcing to encourage them in that process.

 
At 3/28/2007, Blogger Joshua Griffin said...

Great adds ... JG

 
At 5/30/2007, Blogger Efraim said...

Hey Guys!

I'd ask about the long term vision of the sr. pastor (2 years, 5 years, 10 years) - to be able to base the middle school vision on.

Efraim

 

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