A Question: the Nominating Process

 “I’ve got a question.”

“I would like some ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ about nominating committees and the election process in churches. Also is it good for a pastor to serve on the nominating committee?”

From an anonymous reader
November 2012


Thanks asking about the process of nominating and electing officers and board members. At its core, it’s simply recruitment — a process for identifying appropriate people for a particular task and inviting them to serve. Whether or not it works well depends on several factors.

  • Does the nominating committee have a job description for each open position? The job description would start with information from the constitution or bylaws on the responsibilities of that position, but would add additional helpful info such as the purpose of the position, benefits of serving in this position, and frequency of meetings.
  • Is the nominating committee prayerfully and seriously looking for the best-qualified people to serve?
  • Would those who are serving or have served agree that their service made a meaningful impact on the church and was a productive use of their time?
  • Is the church as a whole intentionally training leaders for the future?

I’ve been a member at many Lutheran churches, and virtually all found it difficult to fill elected officer and board positions. Several have moved to a policy-based form of governance in response. Certainly, when it is difficult to recruit for any ministry position in a church, it only makes sense to examine why that is so and to look honestly at what that tells us about the way we’re doing ministry.

In general, a pastor can often provide good input on a person’s suitability for a ministry task. When the pastor will be working closely with the person, the pastor’s input is especially appropriate. Whether the pastor serves on the nominating committee would be determined by the church’s bylaws, policies and customs.

Related to this question:
How to Recruit
How to Discourage Your Church’s Volunteers
Governance Change . . . Volunteerism Change?

Comment, or ask a question of your own, below.

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