Search Teams are very conscious of the need for confidentiality. It is stressed in the Regional Council training that they must undergo before any search work begins. It is stressed in the ChurchHub training video that they view for help in posting an Available Position. It is highlighted in the Pastoral Relations: Guidelines for Search and Selection handbook. All search team members must sign a confidentiality agreement. And they are further reminded of their responsibility to maintain confidentiality once again when they access the Find a New Minister section on ChurchHub:
Different strategies have been used by search teams in order to maintain the confidentiality of the ministers’ names on the Available list. Some change the password for the Administrator username so that only the Search Team knows the new password. Some ask the Administrator to sign the confidentiality agreement. Some simply instruct the Administrator to avoid opening the Find a New Ministry tile. But all Search Teams are very much aware of and make extra efforts to maintain confidentiality throughout the search process. However, that doesn’t mean that the information is never ever shared with others. We cannot completely control the human element.
Ministers worry about making themselves available on this list. However, they also want to know about what positions are available. The Available Positions list can be seen by everyone with access to ChurchHub, but they see only the beginning paragraph and some basic information for each position. This still allows a minister to get an idea about possible positions, and they can easily search a community of faith’s website for further information. But they will not be able to view the entire community of faith profile and position description until they make the request to be on the list of Available Ministers. And Search Teams understand that they only connect with ministers who are on this list, which assures them that the minister has been approved by the Office of Vocation and is a minister who is eligible and in good-standing. Ministers can also be assured that all Available Positions on the list have first been reviewed in detail and approved by their Regional Councils.
We are still improving on the quality of the information provided on the Available Positions and Available Ministers lists. Ministers can no longer make the request to be made available without completing their Minister Profile (there are still some ministers who are the list from 2019 who did not complete profile information and this has caused frustration for communities of faith). There are also many names that remain on the list after the call/appointment has been made. When a Record of Call/Appointment form is completed, both ministers and communities of faiths receive an email asking them to remove themselves from the list. Every 6 months a reminder is sent out to all who are on the lists asking them if they are still actively searching, and if so, they might consider reviewing and updating their details. We are also working on a process so that ministers who are being re-appointed will not need to have their names added to the list of Available Ministers (but will still need to be deemed eligible by the Office of Vocation). Communities of faith will then not be disappointed by contacting ministers who are not really available for a new call or appointment.