Senior Pastor interview questions and answers

Essential questions you should ask when hiring a Senior Pastor.

For this article we will be looking at the first main church role which is the senior pastor and what we think are the best interview questions to ask a senior pastor. Now as a refresher the senior pastor is the lead pastor of the church and the spiritual leader focused on the spreading of the gospel and the discipleship and shepherding of the congregation and the overseeing of the church staff. If you’re here, then you’re probably looking to hire a senior pastor but are not quite sure what you should be looking for, but we at JustChurchJobs are here to help!

The senior pastor is the primary lead role of the church and holds probably the most responsibility out of all the main positions of the church and as such it is important to ask questions that pertain to the job description and responsibilities. So here is what you can expect: We’re going to run through what we think are the best interview questions that you should ask when hiring a senior pastor. We hope that these questions will help you to determine if a potential senior pastor is the right fit for your church. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

What is your testimony?

Here at JustChurchJobs, we think that this question is the one question that you want to open with for filling any pastoral position. You need to first and foremost get a good picture of what their faith walk looks like. Not only does this allow for you to know more about the candidate and how they came to know Jesus, but it also allows for you to see several other helpful things like how they share the gospel, how God has transformed them, things they have struggled with, and if they have the capacity to be vulnerable.

What does spiritual leadership look like to you?

The candidate needs to have a good grasp of what spiritual leadership is and some good principles that they can bring to the table in their role as the spiritual leader of the church.

How would you handle conflict whether it is within your congregation or in your church staff?

The candidate should handle any situation in the manner above with grace, love, and most importantly truth according to scripture. If they give you an answer of how they would handle the situation as one being totally justice driven with no room for grace or one with all grace and no truth sweeping the problem under the rug, then they are not fit to be the leader of the church.

What would you say is the mission statement of your ministry?

The candidate should have a passion for ministry and asking them this question would reveal exactly what they value in ministry, what they are passionate about in ministry, and what they want to see done in the ministry of the church.

What does sabbath mean to you?

Sabbath is very important for the church and its staff, and you need to be sure that the candidate you are looking at knows the importance of sabbath and rest not only for themselves but for the rest of the staff they would be leading. You don’t want to hire someone who is going to burnout or cause their staff to burnout.

What does accountability look like in your life? Do you have a current accountability partner?

Accountability is a huge policy of any church for their leaders. Accountability is what helps to keep church leaders in check and to ensure that they are staying above reproach in everything that they do. Asking if they already have accountability is a great question to ask because it not only gives you an indication of their spiritual maturity but also shows that they, even in a leadership position, are comfortable with mentorship.

We hope that this list helps you in your search for the right candidate to fill your senior pastor roll and gives you an idea of what you should ask during the interview process! It can be tough to find the right one for the job but we at JustChurchJobs are here to help however we can and if you’re struggling to find quality candidates, we would love to help!

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