Call Questions for a Pastor

I’m on a call committee at my church to bring in a new lead pastor. So, if you’re a pastor looking to come to our church, here’s the homework I am doing to have the best interview possible for you.

We are now to the stage of preparing questions to ask our candidate. We have a good direction on where we’re headed with our questions, but I’m always looking for ideas. I’ve been on a call committee before, but looking to freshen up on discussion topics for those in the ELCA.

We also are trying to anticipate questions we’ll be asked by our candidate.
If you’ve been on a call committee, what’s a good question to help get a good feel for how a person will be after a call?
What question got you the best response from your candidate?
What question fell flat?

Pastors, what’s the best question you’ve been asked in an interview?
What question revealed the most about you?
What do you want to ask a call committee when you interview?

You can post in the comment below or send me an email to

I greatly appreciate your time. If you’re curious about my affiliation, you can read this post.


2 thoughts on “Call Questions for a Pastor

  1. Hey Paul!
    A few years back I chaired the call committee for our church in Hayward. At that time we were able to do a mock interview with Tom Jolivette (former Waldorf College President). At that time he was employed as the Philanthropic Advisor at Luther Seminary in St. Paul. It was a HUGE help to our committee to have him do a run-through of our interview process and to critique our questions, give us ideas of things to ask/look for, etc.
    Hope that helps!


  2. I always like to make sure that new pastors understand how many funerals and weddings they will be involved with. We average 52 funerals a year and 30 weddings.

    I also would make sure pastors know who’s responsible for specific duties. ie: YOUTH! (That’s what our congregation is struggling with right now).

    Then there is the current ELCA sexuality question. Does your congregation care about the pastor’s position on blessing homosexual relationships.

    Ask specific questions and know how you want them to answer the question. Pastors are very good at giving you open answers to open ended question. You, as a reporter, should see right through that.

    One question I like to ask if they are part of a large congregation is. “If a congregation member comes to you to complain about a member of the church staff, what do you do?” What you want them to say is “I will urge them to GO TALK TO THAT STAFF MEMBER DIRECTLY”. What you DON’T WANT TO HEAR is they will act as an intermediary. You don’t want triangulation.

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