Pastoral Selection

Steps Toward Securing a Pastor in the Evangelical Methodist Church

The very important Pastoral Relations Committee is charged with the responsibility of working with the Conference Superintendent to consider potential pastoral candidates, then inviting one of the candidates to be presented to the congregation for a vote to extend a call to serve as the pastor of the local church. This committee’s work will have a significant bearing on the future of the church. The committee should be thorough and prayerful in fulfilling the duties it has been chosen to carry out.


These steps (summarized from the Discipline of the Evangelical Methodist Church) should be taken in the process:

1. Pray for the guidance of our Heavenly Father in seeking to fulfill the duties involved in securing a new pastor.

2. The Conference Superintendent who is familiar with both the denomination as well as the local church and has access to the availability of potential candidates will make his recommendation to the Pastoral Relations Committee. He is also responsible to make the initial contact with all potential candidates on behalf of the church. He will provide resumes, photos, taped sermons, and other information available. (¶252) If a person is a non-EMC credentialed minister, he/she must first be approved by the Board of Ministerial Relations.

3. ¶253 of the Discipline states, “The local church shall first attempt to secure its pastor from among the ministerial members of the denomination.” Any Evangelical Methodist Elder in good standing is eligible for consideration by the local church. (¶252) However, the committee should give prayerful consideration to the various potential candidates in consultation with the Conference Superintendent who will know the “track record” of the ministers of the conference and will be able to make recommendations which will be helpful in choosing a qualified candidate for the church.

4. After a review of these preliminary materials, the church may at their discretion choose to invite the minister for an initial visit to preach one or more sermons, and be interviewed in person by the Pastoral Relations Committee (including existing church staff if they so choose), and Board of Stewards. The local church shall be responsible for transportation, lodging, and other expenses involved when a candidate (or potential candidate) visits the church.

5. From the list of potential candidates, and after consultation with the Board of Stewards, the Pastoral Relations Committee shall choose and submit ONE NAME to bring before the congregation as a formal candidate. They shall also cooperate to make necessary arrangements with the Board of Stewards for the candidate, and spouse, if possible, to visit the church. The candidate should be invited to preach one or more sermons, and be interviewed by the Pastoral Relations Committee, negotiate salary and working conditions with the Board of Stewards and Finance Committee, and meet with any other appropriate groups. It is recommended that plans be made for the candidate to spend several days in the community in order that the minister and the church may become better acquainted with each other.

6. If the Pastoral Relations Committee is prayerfully convinced to call for a pastoral vote on this candidate, and the minister has prayerfully made a decision to be presented, a Special Church Conference on Pastoral Relations shall be called by the committee in consultation with the Conference Superintendent. Time and purpose of the proposed meeting shall be published at least two Sundays prior to said meeting. The District Superintendent or his appointed representative shall preside. (¶243 and 252)

7. Initial two year call (¶256) of a new pastor shall be by two-thirds vote, by ballot, of those PRESENT and VOTING at the Special Church Conference. Absentee voting is not allowed.

8. Immediately following the congregational vote, the Chairman of the Pastoral Relations Committee shall communicate the decision of the church to the candidate being voted on and the Conference Superintendent. (¶254)

9. The pastor-elect, having received a call from the local church, must reply within fifteen days after having received notification, regarding his acceptance or rejection of the call. (¶255)

10. Salary, financial arrangements, and working conditions shall be determined in negotiation between the candidate, the Finance Committee and the Stewards. The Finance Committee shall make recommendation concerning salary and benefits, to be voted on at a Special Church Conference on Pastoral Relations. (¶276 (3)) The local church shall be responsible for the moving expenses of the incoming pastoral family.

11.The Pastoral Relations Committee and the Board of Stewards shall lead the congregation in supporting the new pastor and cooperating with him in seeing the church go forward for Christ.

As Your New Pastor Comes…

The call of a new pastor is an exciting time in the church. Your attitude toward your new minister will have a definite bearing on his success or failure as he assumes the leadership of your congregation.


Here are some suggestions which will be helpful in receiving your new pastoral family.

Your Community: Collect and send information and brochures about your city and community which will soon be your pastor’s new home. A good map will be invaluable in helping to orient the new pastor and family in their new surroundings.

Your Church: Prepare an up-to-date directory of the members and friends of the congregation. A note about each family would be helpful giving age bracket, something about the family, positions held in the church, and anything unique about the home and/or family.

Your Church: Prepare an up-to-date directory of the members and friends of the congregation. A note about each family would be helpful giving age bracket, something about the family, positions held in the church, and anything unique about the home and/or family.

Parsonage Preparation: Make a survey of the parsonage and care for any maintenance needs there may be. Be sure the carpet is clean and that bathroom and kitchen are “shipshape.” Make certain the yard is freshly mowed, hedges trimmed, and flower beds in good order. Be sure the utilities are on and deposits paid.

The Day They Arrive: Plan for a welcoming committee to greet the pastoral family and to help them move in. Remember they are in a strange community and no doubt feel a certain uneasiness about their new surroundings. Plan for someone to take in a meal, invite them to a home, or take them to a restaurant. Be sure the family has proper lodging for the first night or so, perhaps with a family of the congregation or at a nearby motel.

Meals For The First Few Days: As the pastoral family settles into their new home it will take several days to get things in order. Carry in some of the meals, invite them to homes, or take them out to eat.

Orientation is important! Do all you can to provide help in getting the family oriented in the community. See that they know the location of the bank, the grocery store, service station, schools, and other appropriate places.


For a copy of this information in brochure form, contact the EMC Headquarters at 317.780.8017.