Recently, the Rochester Genesee Region of the American Baptist Churches held their initial meeting of the newly formed executive minister search committee. The meeting is a result of the region’s executive committee calling for nominations and selecting the members of the search committee.
One of the most important tasks at this meeting involved establishing a set of guidelines for the future work of the committee. Forming guidelines for confidentiality, respecting one another’s views, interactingwith applicants, and engaging the discernment process is essential to a well-functioning committee.
The committee agreed to work toward consensus by seeking to discern a candidate that every member of the search committee can fully support as their next executive minister. In order to achieve that goal, the committee will spend time not only getting to know potential candidates, but also getting to know one another’s strengths, preferences, and values.
Most search committees meet five or six times in order accomplish their work over a period of nine to twelve months. While the work of an executive minister search committee is similar to the work of a local church search committee in terms of following Baptist polity, it does differ in scope and responsibility. Members of previous regional search committees often express that such committees involved a lot of hard work, but also proved to be one of the most rewarding assignments that they had ever accepted.
The committee will be facilitated by Dr. C. Jeff Woods, Associate General Secretary for Regional Ministries. Woods brings experience in working with over twenty previous national and regional search committees as well as certification as a master facilitator. All of Woods’ regional consultations are fully funded by United Mission and come at no additional cost to the region.