The In-Person Visit

Things really start to get serious when you start bringing people in for a visit.  When the ‘boots hit the ground’, we’ll help you come up with a great plan for your candidate visits, and highlight a few key mistakes you’ll want to be sure to avoid.

Now Playing: The In-Person Visit

Key Takeaways

Here are some important things to remember when you start bringing candidates in for their ‘boots-on-the-ground’ in-person visits:

Make your expectations clear.

Is it just the candidate? Candidate and spouse? Candidate, spouse, and kids?

Our recommendation: two visits

First under the radar 'incognito'. Second the 'fishbowl' visit.

Let them know the ground rules. Communicate the expectations.

Of course, the hurch pays for everything.

If you schedule a second visit, the candidate should bring spouse (and possibly the whole family). "We'd like for you and (spouse) to come out and spend some time for us").
We recommend that the candidate:

Attend service, see what it's like from the pew

See what a weekday at your church looks like

Observe the leadership culture. (They'll be ascertaining 'who will I be working with? Who are the key influencers?)

Let them explore the community. The parks. The schools. The housing options. The shopping.

This probably takes at least three days.

Be sure to build in time to allow the candidate to process.

Don't overschedule your time.  Avoid the temptation to pack things in.

The power shifts in the relationship.  You need to market your church and community.

Remember: this is a bitter/sweet process for the candidate and their family.  They are excited and sad. They'll need time to process, with your help, how God might be at work in this.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not including the spouse.

CAVEAT: You are NOT hiring the spouse.

Be sure to plan for their time as well. Craft an experience for the spouse.

Caring well for a spouse will speak volumes to a spouse.

The spouse can NOT be an afterthought. They may feel isolated and forgotten.

Additional Resources

We’ve assembled some great supplemental learning tools that will help you in your search for a healthy, long-term fit for your staff team.  All of these exclusive Chemistry Staffing resources are available for free download for you and your search team.

Ask Us Anything...

It’s important to make a great impression when you bring a candidate in.  In reality, you are ‘selling’ the candidate on your church and community at this point.  What questions can we help you answer about setting up your on-site, in-person candidate visits?

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Your Presenters

Todd Rhoades

Todd has invested over 30 years in serving churches, having served as a worship pastor for over 15 years, a church elder for more than a decade, and in various ministry leadership roles in both the business and non-profit sectors. As the original founder and developer of, Todd fundamentally changed the way thousands of churches search for pastors and staff on the internet. Todd served for over a decade as a Director with Leadership Network, providing him exposure to the innovative trends in today’s church and inside knowledge of how healthy churches operate. A graduate of Cedarville University, Todd lives in Bryan, OH with his wife, Dawn.

Matt Steen

Matt has served the local church for over two decades as a youth pastor, church planter, and executive pastor. Originally from Baltimore, Matt currently lives in the Orlando, FL area with his wife Theresa, and has a B.S. in Youth Ministry from Nyack College and an M.Div. and MBA from Baylor University. Certified as an Urban Church Planter Coach by Redeemer City to City and as a StratOp facilitator by the Paterson Center, Matt has made a career of helping churches thrive through intentionality, clarity, and creating healthy cultures. He is convinced that a healthy church is led by a healthy team with great chemistry, and loves partnering with Chemistry’s churches to do great things for the Kingdom.

Need help with Getting Started With Your Search Finding Candidates Identifying a Healthy Fit Discovering Your Non-Negotiables Scoring Resumes Making Great Decisions Interview Questions Compensation Packages Your Search Team On-Site Visits Video Interview Strategy Developing Your Benefits Package Onboarding Your New Staff Member ?

As part of the purchase price of this course, you also receive a free 30-minute consultation with one of our Church Coaches at Chemistry Staffing to help you in any area of your search.  Need some help finding qualified candidates, sorting resumes, or developing your compensation and benefits package?  We’re here to help and guide you in any area of your staff search.