This conversation will be centered on how to approach the on-site visit from start to finish. We’ll talk about how to research the church’s community, prepare yourself for the intensity of the visit, and what to be considering and evaluating while you are on-location for an interview.

Now Playing: The On-Site Visit​​

Key Takeaways

After you watch the video above, read through these key takeaways that will help guide and reinforce the main points you just viewed…

  • Church Website
  • Church Social Media 
  • Google Maps (pictures and street view)
  • Google Reviews
  • Watch a service
  • Don’t accept an on-site visit if you AND your spouse can not see yourself living in or working at this church.
  • This can’t be a vacation opportunity or a chance to see friends in the area.
  • This is not a timeshare deal.
  • Ask for a schedule of your time there.
  • Be sure you have enough time to renew and refresh
  • After you review the schedule, carefully offer input if necessary
  • Do they make opportunities for connection with your spouse?
  • Will they include your spouse in any part of the interview process?
  • Come with a list of questions about the community and the church
  • Every interaction counts. Every one.
  • Ask great questions.  If you can google it, don’t ask it.
  • This is really no different than a zoom interview, except the stakes are higher and the conversation is more serious.  Be prepared and make a good impression.
  • If you hit it off online, chances are you’ll hit it off in person. They like you, that’s why they’ve brought you in. The purpose now: IS THIS A FIT?
  • Do they give you opportunities to talk freely with staff or do they control those situations?  Why or why not?
  • Is this an 'incognito visit'?

Do they give you the opportunity to tour the community?

  • Imagine living in this town
  • Imagine being on this staff
    Imagine your kids going to this school
  • Imagine your family attending this church
  • Have they let down their guard and started to (willingly) show their imperfections.
  • Are they still superficial?  Are you able to start building some trust and relationship?
  • What do the questions they’re asking you tell you about their values?
  • How much past conflict has the church endured?
  • How do you compare to the last person that held the position?
  • What are they postponing until you arrive?
  • What is the existing leadership structure and where do you fit?
  • What are the motives of the person who picks you up at the airport?
  • What is the church’s financial situation?
  • What are the cultural and theological issues of the day?
  • How many people are related to each other?
  • What does the first year look like?
  • This may or may not come up.
  • If they ask you what you need, have an answer in mind. But be careful.
  • If they don’t bring it up, you probably shouldn’t either… at least yet.
  • Sometimes you don’t know the salary until they make an offer (we hate this)
  • Search firms (like Chemistry) hopefully will filter you by your financial needs so that there is no severe mismatch at the end.
  • An offer?
  • “We’ll get back to you”
  • A mutual feeling that this isn’t a good fit
  • Salary negotiations

Thank them and follow up. They've invested a lot of their time and money in making your visit happen.  Be sure to be appreciative (even if the weekend doesn't go as planned).

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.

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 Additional Help With Your Search?

Check out these additional resources from our partners at

Our video critique will take a look at your current resume and give specific recommendations to make drastic improvements. We’ll critique your resume based on our 20 resume benchmarks:

Ministry Stability | Ministry Experience | Current Employment | Employment Consistency | Education Level | Ministry Sustainability | Employment Timeline | Stage of Life | Family Dynamics | Online Presence | Picture Quality | Humbleness Quotient | Resume Presentation | Cover Letter | Video/Work Sample | Grammar and Spelling | Font Treatment | Contact Effectiveness | Resume File Format

We’ll compare your current resume against our 20 resume benchmarks. You’ll gain the knowledge to drastically improve your resume in 24 hours or less.

We’ll go over your Resume Self-Assessment step-by-step in our one-hour call together. We’ll discuss each of our 20 resume benchmarks along with specific recommendations to make your resume better. After you make the suggested edits to your resume, we’ll provided video feedback with any follow-up items

One-on-one mentoring during your transition will make a huge difference. You’ll have a trusted partner and confidant to work with your throughout the search process. We’ll dive into areas that are important to YOU…

Should I Say or Go? | Rediscovering/Clarifying Your Calling | Determining Your Best Fit | Resume Advice | Interview Preparation | Salary Negotiation
On-Site Visit Preparation | Family Health and Relationships | Literally Anything Transition-Related!