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“The most important work you will do is the work you do in preparation for the conversation with your candidates.”

That’s the No. 1 piece of advice Bill Wilson gives church search committees. Wilson, president of the Center for Congregational Health in Winston-Salem, N.C., talks about search committee dos-and-don’ts in a new Skype interview with

Skype Interview: Bill Wilson from EthicsDaily on Vimeo.

Wilson, who also has decades of experience serving local churches, discusses other keys for search committees, like a spiritual discernment process and a clarification of the congregation’s identity.

The latter must bring with it a distinction between needs and wants in a candidate.

Err on the side of getting what the church needs, says Wilson.

Also, “You’re in a recruiting mode, not an HR hiring mode,” says Wilson. Don’t sit back and wait. Identify who is doing what you need, then be proactive.

Wilson also cautions: “I think the tendency is to think what I just said is for someone else. That we’re the exception, and that we’re a very special church … that doesn’t need to pay attention to these details.”

And Wilson says the churches that do the best job seem to have at least one thing in common: humility.

Wilson also flips the tables and talks about what candidates need to keep in mind when dealing with search committees.

“Just to have the conversation with a committee is disorienting, and it’s distracting,” says Wilson. “You can’t just ‘date a lot of folks’ while you’re married to your current church.”

He also warns candidates against moving for the wrong reasons or trying to shape themselves or their resumes to suit a church. That’s a recipe for “misalignment.”

Watch the interview with Wilson at

Also watch an “extra” segment with Wilson about search committees and technology at

Learn more about Wilson and the Center for Congregational Health at

Read Wilson’s columns at at

Watch other Skype interviews at

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