Hiring a new pastor is a significant (and sometimes scary!) process for any church.
But the first step is simple: Create a compelling pastor job description.
This complete guide will walk you through crafting a job description that attracts the best candidates and aligns with your church's mission and vision. We also give you a downloadable version of this template so you can get started!
Below is a pastor job description you can use as a template:
Welcome to [Church Name]! We are seeking a passionate and visionary pastor to lead our congregation in [Location]. If you are dedicated to spiritual growth, community engagement, and embody our values of [list 3-5 key values], we invite you to consider joining our vibrant and welcoming community.
Below are the qualifications we are looking for our new pastor to meet:
Here is a non-exhaustive list of the responsibilities and duties the pastor of [Church Name] must fill:
To apply for the position of Pastor at [Church Name], please submit your resume, a cover letter, and any additional relevant documents to [email address]. The deadline for applications is [date]. Candidates will be contacted for an initial interview, followed by a more in-depth assessment.
At [Church Name], we believe that finding the right pastor is a collaborative effort between the church leadership and the candidate. We look forward to welcoming a new pastor who shares our vision and is excited to lead this church.
If you feel called to be a part of our community, we invite you to apply and join us in fulfilling our mission together.
The above template will save you so much time as you prepare to hire a new head pastor.
But if you want to guarantee that your church finds the right candidate for the pastor position, your job posting needs to answer a few more questions:
Your job description needs to cover your church's vision for the role of the person behind the pulpit.
Articulating this vision will help new candidates know what they're taking on with this role at your church and it also helps weed out any applicants who don't share your ideals.
The template above includes a list of responsibilities. But your church has specific needs that won't be covered by a one-size-fits-all template.
Take some time to list out all the duties a pastor needs to fill at your church and include a condensed version of that list in your job posting.
What does a potential new pastor need to know about your church to make them a good fit? Is there anything specific about your congregation, facilities, or community that a minister needs to know? Share that information in your job listing.
Also, what skills do you need a new pastor to have beyond preaching, teaching, and administration? Do they need to be a handyman to maintain the facilities, do outreach for a specific demographic in your community, etc? List any special skills you expect them to have.
In addition to the duties, responsibilities, knowledge, and skills you need a pastor to know about, share any additional requirements that your church expects.
Do you want a seasoned leader to step into your congregation, or do you prefer a fresh perspective? Do you want someone with a seminary degree or do you prefer experience over degrees?
Your pastor job description will need to address these questions.
Some candidates will expect a salary that is outside of your church's budget. Adding a salary to your job posting will save everyone time and headaches.
If a specific salary amount can't be shared publically, consider posting a salary range that a candidate can expect.
Below are the 5 easy steps to create the best job description when looking for a new pastor:
What qualities make a good pastor?
Timothy 3:1-7 states that a pastor (overseer) must...
"...be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap."
What does the Bible say about pastors responsibilities?
The overarching call of pastors in the Bible is to be "above reproach."
But Titus 1:6-9 expounds on this by saying an elder or overseer must be...
"...who is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of wildness or rebellion. For an overseer, as God’s administrator, must be blameless, not arrogant, not hot-tempered, not addicted to wine, not a bully, not greedy for money, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, righteous, holy, self-controlled, holding to the faithful message as taught, so that he will be able both to encourage with sound teaching and to refute those who contradict it."
What do pastors actually do?
I'm sure your pastor friends have been asked that many times. If all someone sees them do is preach on Sunday mornings, it can seem like that's the only thing they do each week!
But a pastor does so much more than just deliver a sermon.
A pastor provides spiritual leadership and guidance to a church. They meet with the sick and hurting, counsel those who need wisdom, disciple new leaders, study the Bible deeply, and cast a vision for the church's future. And even that doesn't cover everything a pastor does for the church in a given week!
Remember, the more thought and effort you invest in creating a compelling job description, the more likely you are to attract candidates who are not only qualified but also genuinely passionate about contributing to the growth and well-being of your church.