If your church is looking for a new senior pastor, a pastor search committee questionnaire is important. Just as important is including the congregation in the selection process. Part of choosing the correct leader is taking the time to listen to the wants and needs of your church members.
With that in mind, we've created a pastor search committee survey for you and your congregation. This will allow you to hear from your members about the qualities they would like to see so you can interview the right pastors.
Best Practices for a Pastor Search Committee Questionnaire
When administering this pastor search congregational survey, there are a few things you should consider. If you're ready to start receiving your church's feedback about potential candidates for the pastor role in your church, consider the following.
Create a Time for Members to Fill Out the Survey
One of the biggest challenges you'll encounter is getting your members to complete the survey. If you simply mail it to them, many members will forget to fill it out or mail it back. If you can carve time into service or Sunday school, that can help. However, keep in mind that some members will take longer.
If you're giving your members time to fill out the survey, versus having them fill it out in service, make sure to provide frequent reminders. This can happen in the form of church announcements from the pulpit.
Consider a Survey App
This is an alternative method that allows members to fill out the survey anytime and from anywhere. If you have members that aren't tech-savvy, be sure to have a space where they can get assistance in filling out the survey. Depending on your congregation, this solution might not work for everyone.
Create a Document to Collect Feedback
It's important to have an efficient way to collect feedback and analyze it. Using a survey app can help with this. However, if you decide to use paper and pen instead, consider using excel or another format to compare and analyze responses from across the church.
Mail the Survey
Another choice is to send the mail via snail mail. You can have members send it back in a pre-stamped envelope or encourage them to bring the survey back for the next service.
However, you will have some members that inevitably forget to bring in the completed pastor search committee questionnaire. Make sure that you provide extra copies so everyone can give their input before the deadline.
Pastor Search Committee Church Survey Template
(Insert church name) Pastor Search Committee
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, as you know we are in the process of looking for a new lead pastor. We want to be sure that we choose a pastor that can lead us to a closer relationship with God and not an unhealthy pastor.
To serve the needs of the congregation we would like to hear from you about the qualities you would like to see in a new lead pastor. Please take the time to pray and consider the questions in this survey.
Once completed, please return your survey to the dedicated box in the lobby. We will review all answers and take them into consideration when reviewing potential candidates.
About You: Basic Demographics
Circle Your Age Group: Youth - 18 to 25 - 26 to 30 - 31 to 40 - 41 to 50 - 51 to 60 - 61 to 70 - 70 and older
What's your involvement level? Check all that apply.
- Sunday school member
- Church member
- Regular visitor
Circle your gender: Male Female
How long have you been attending?
Did you grow up in church? Yes or No
How often do you attend on average in a month?
Now that the search has started, we have a pastor search committee church survey for you. We wanted to share a few things you might want to consider as you help us choose someone to lead the church.
Here are a few qualities we should look for in our next pastor:
- A good teacher
- A good listener
- A good leader
- A good role model
- Available and approachable
- A good communicator
- A man or woman of faith
While these are the most common qualities you will find in a pastor, remember that the most important quality will be that your pastor is a man or woman of God, with a love for Jesus Christ.
Finding a Good Pastor
When looking for a new pastor, we know the above list may be overwhelming, but don’t panic because there is no right or wrong answer.
When considering different qualities in our pastor search committee survey, look at each quality and ask yourself, "Is this a quality in my present pastor?" What are some things you do and do not like about your present pastor? What do you want in a new pastor?
Short Answer Questions
Please answer the following questions for our pastor search committee church survey completely and thoroughly as possible. If needed, feel free to attach an additional sheet of paper.
- Do you have a preference when it comes to our next pastor's age range or gender? Please explain:
- List and explain any important qualities you believe our next pastor should possess.
- What do you believe would disqualify a candidate from serving in our church?
- What do you think is the biggest obstacle our new pastor will need to overcome?
- Are there old programs in our church you believe we should end?
- Are there any new programs you would like to see implemented?
- Are there any issues in the church currently that you would like to see addressed further?
- What do you like about our current/most recent pastor?
- Which of those qualities would you like to see carried over to our new pastor?
- What don't you like about our current/ most recent pastor?
- What do you believe keeps people coming to our church?
- Where do you believe our current church can improve? (i.e., outreach, making visitors feel welcome, etc.)
- Any additional comments?
Priorities for Our New Pastor
A pastor serves many functions and has a lot of responsibilities in the church. In our pastor search committee survey, want to know how you believe a pastor should prioritize those responsibilities.
Please rank the following in order from most important (1) to least important (15). Feel free to add categories if there are any you believe we missed.
- Attending committee meetings
- Attending various church functions
- Conducting weekly bible studies
- Conducting prayer meetings
- Counseling for couples, individuals and families
- Conducting business meetings
- Outreach and evangelism
- Getting involved in denominational meetings and groups
- Preparing and giving sermons
- Personal time, devotion, prayer and family
- Office work and administration
- Visiting church members
- Visiting potential church members
- Visiting individuals who are homebound or in nursing facilities
- Visiting individuals who are sick or in the hospital
Qualities of Our New Pastor
Below you'll find a list of qualities that pastors should have. In our pastor search congregational survey, please rank them from most important (1) to least important (11). If there are qualities not present that you believe are important, please feel free to add them.
Look at the attached sheet for an explanation of each quality.
- Ethics and morals
- Spiritual life
Qualities a Pastor Should Have
Below you'll find a description of the qualities included in this pastor search committee questionnaire. Read each carefully before choosing your rankings.
The love of Christ should be at the center of the pastor’s life and message. This love should be directed toward God, the pastor’s spouse and family, the church and its members, through service to others and toward himself.
Pastors must be communicative. They must be able to speak with members one-on-one and in group settings.
They need to be able to communicate the Bible’s truths clearly and convincingly and to communicate the church’s vision for ministry. They need to be able to communicate with other church leaders and with their spouses.
A pastor must be a community-minded individual. The pastor should be able to build bridges between those in ministry and those not currently serving in ministry.
The pastor should be able to create an environment in the church that people feel comfortable in, that they find a sense of belonging in and that they are eager to participate in.
A good pastor must be a leader. The pastor must be able to lead the church and to lead his family in a biblical manner. A good pastor can only be a good leader if they are a strong Christian and are growing in their own faith.
Ethics and Morals
A pastor is a spiritual leader. They should not be worldly, but they should be able to understand the world and its systems and be able to lead people in the right direction. A pastor should know the difference between right and wrong and how to deal with the two appropriately.
A pastor should be a man of integrity and always be truthful. They should not lie, steal, cheat or sin. They should be the first to admit when they are wrong and to apologize for his mistakes.
A pastor should be a spiritual man. They should not be a hypocrite, pretending to be something they are not. They must know what it means to truly live for God.
A pastor should be sympathetic. They must be able to show compassion toward both members of the church and non-members alike. They must have a genuine desire to pray for and aid the sick, troubled, and those who are experiencing hard times.
A pastor must be teachable. They must be able to learn from their mistakes and from the mistakes of others.
They should be humble enough to admit when they have made a mistake. They should be open to new ideas and new ways of doing things, but not so open that they accept everything.
A pastor should be willing to listen to the problems of others and willing to offer advice. They should be available to the congregation, even when they're not in the sanctuary.
A pastor should be a person of prayer. They should spend a considerable amount of time in prayer every day. Their prayers should be fervent and heartfelt. They should pray for the church, their family and those who are in need.
A pastor must be humble. They should not be boastful or arrogant about their position within the church or about their accomplishments.
They should be a person who acknowledges they don't have all the answers and that they don't know everything about the Bible. They should be honest enough to admit that they make mistakes as well.
Multiple Choice Questions
Would you rather A or B?
- Have a new senior pastor with experience at a church that's the same size or larger as an associate pastor or,
- Come from a smaller church, but have experience as a senior pastor
Choose the two most important from the following list.
- This pastor served as a senior pastor at a church
- They have a well-known ministry
- They're affiliated with our denomination
- They have a Master of Divinity degree
- They have experience growing a church
- They've been at a church that's the same size or larger as an associate pastor
Questions About New Pastor Traits
What age range do you believe our new pastor should fall into? Circle one.
21 to 30 - 31 to 40 - 41 to 50 - 51 to 60 - 61 and older - Not relevant
What gender do you believe our new pastor should be? Circle one.
Male or Female - Not relevant
How much experience do you believe our new pastor should have? (Please write the number of years or indicate if you're not concerned with experience.)
Do you believe our next pastor should have a certain level of education? (If so, what level do you believe is acceptable.)
Thank you for the time spent filling out the Pastor Search Committee Questionnaire.
Looking for Free Materials and Guides for Your Pastor Search Committee?
Hiring a new pastor is a big decision, and it isn't easy. That's why we built a free kit complete with...
- 49 sample pastor interview questions for your interviews.
- Pastor search committee sample letters to communicate with candidates and references.
- Sample form of an authorization of records to conduct a background check.
- Sermon evaluation form sample for pastoral finalists.
- Sample survey questions for your congregation to identify the characteristics most important to them in a future pastor.
- A pastor search committee handbook to guide you through the process of choosing a new pastor.