How To Candidate

by Jack Hyles

1.  Decide whether to be an assistant pastor or a pastor.


  • A.  Your age. (Normally, if you are under 25, you should start as an assistant; if over 35, a pastor
  • B.  Years spent in a good church. (Bro. Hyles pastured at 21 because he grew upon the front row of a church.)
  • C.  Your leadership ability; can you now lead people?
  • D.  The opportunity that comes up; (This should not be the one deciding factor.

2.  Decide whether to start a church or go to one.


  • A.  Your age; the older you are, the less likely – (35 or less is preferable if you are to start a church.)
  • B.  Time waiting for a call.  Set a time after which you will consider starting a  church.
  • 3.  Do not send resumes or write well-known preachers.  Contact only your best preacher friends, (home pastor, relative, etc.)

Once you have been invited:

4.  Insist on being the moderator of the church, (moderate church business mtgs.)

5.  Insist that the pulpit is yours.  (Choose guest speakers, etc.)

6.  Insist that the staff is responsible to you.  (Deacons ask you, not the staff member.)

(It is best not to achieve these things by ultimatum.  Ex. – Who is the church moderator? Can that be changed? Save your ultimatums until you have failed in your negotiation.)

7.  Have no general questions and answer time from the pulpit.  You should not expose yourself to public questioning from the entire church membership.  Answer questions only from the pulpit committee and deacons.

8.  When asked by the board committee, tell the truth.

9.  Do not tell anything else except what you are asked.  (Let them know which direction you are headed and assure them of a gradual transition.)

10.  Do not enter into a popularity contest for a church. (Ex. – 5 men in 5 weeks candidating)

How to call a candidate:

  • – Nominate pulpit committee
  • – Find the man.
  • – Bring him to the church with a recommendation.

(Bro. Hyles would not appear to candidate unless he was being recommended, because he was currently pasturing.)

11.  Do not tell them in one sermon all that you believe.  (Show them the highway you plan to travel but not all the towns.  Spiritual people can tell much about you and your beliefs by your message; bad people cannot, so they will not oppose you.)  (You change a church the way you administer medicine – small does.  If you give them the whole bottle at once, you are stupid; if you don’t ever give them the whole bottle, you are a compromiser.)

12.  Do not expect them to believe all that you believe.  God may send you there to make them your kind of church.  Fight one battle (one issue) at a time, or you’ll have more groups against you at one time.

13.  You can backhand sin without preaching against it.  (You are not saved because you quit your adultery, your drinking, your smoking, etc.)

14.  Read carefully the constitution and articles of faith.  You don’t have to agree; you are just sizing up the size of the battle you are going to have.  Learn everything you can about the church.

15.  Do not mention money, parsonage or other provision.  Let your needs be what your income is.  (Bro. Hyles was married three years before owning a car.)

16.  Do not excessively mention First Baptist Church or Hyles-Anderson College.

17.  Do not join them in criticism.  (In 27 years, Bro. Hyles has never criticized his predecessor.  The same people who criticized him criticized Bro. Hyles a year later.)

Check the financial condition of the church.

Candidating Messages:

1. I believe God

  • – We are both looking each other over.
  • – Let me help you decide.
  • – I believe God.
  • – virgin birth.
  • – Second coming
  • – Bible
  • – Etc.

2. Re-digging the wells

  • – Abraham re-dug the old wells that had been filled by the enemy.
  • – Billy Sunday dug some wells.
  • – Moody dug some wells.

3. Removing the Landmarks

  • – Bad people moved them over slowly.
  • – The Bible is a landmark.

4. Seek ye the old Paths

  • – The path of righteousness.

Never pastor or be an assistant near your former church.

Always take your wife often candidating.

Only consider convention churches if they agree to come out.

God knows my financial needs; I’ll trust Him to take care of them. Answer if asked about money.

Explore the Library...

Audio Sermons

Video Sermons

Pastor's School

Discover More Books Written by Dr. Jack Hyles

Find original prints, reprints, and never-before-published works of Jack Hyles in one place.