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The Search Committee

3.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  331 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
They started out seeking a pastor. But what they found was each other. When a small-town southern church throws a hodgepodge of wildly different personalities together in a van and sends them out to look for a new pastor, the dust gets kicked up in more ways than one. There’s Travis, a young husband whose ambiguity about becoming a father is threatening his marriage. Dot, ...more
Kindle Edition, 382 pages
Published January 20th 2012 by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
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Jun 24, 2012 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Take seven people with different personalities, put them in a van to travel in search of a new pastor, and you have the makings of some funny stuff, or a disaster.

The book has a lot of humor in it. To me, the idea of a search committee is foreign to me. A handful (sometimes I think it boils down to one guy, the church boss) of people decide who the church will call, and members vote on him, so I was interested and entertained by how the search committee works. It actually sounds kind of fun.

Mar 17, 2016 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern
This is a gem of a book. I laughed out loud and even cried. It's just a fun book with such likeable characters. Great message without just slapping you in the face. I heard about it through my southern reading group. I love that it was set in North Carolina and the personalities showed the south for sure. I'm still laughing about the camp scene, referencing how SC people aren't as good as NC residents and the multiple stops for the ladies to use the restroom. If you want something fun and easy.. ...more
Sep 07, 2015 Tina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had never heard of this book until a friend suggested I read it. What I got in reading this book about a group of people on a Presbyterian Search Committee to find a new minister for their church was much more than I expected. Told with humor and sadness, this book is more than the sum of the people riding in a van every Sunday to covertly spy on other churches preachers for the perfect candidate. It's the story of each members lives past and current. A thought provoking story of forgiveness, ...more
Aug 10, 2012 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
During the last few months I’ve talked with and been observed by several search committees. The title and concept of this book stood out to me. It seemed current and important, a must read.

In Tim Owens first book, he tracks a team of folks who climb on a bus and go out in search of a new pastor for their church. The story jumps between segments of their personal lives, the trip, their church and interim pastor. Initially I found myself annoyed with the transitions. I wanted to follow one of the
Jennifer Short
Jun 13, 2012 Jennifer Short rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In The Search Committee, Tim Owens introduces us to seven people, all members of a shepherd-less Presbyterian flock. Their duty is to find a man (and some insist it must be a man) to pastor their congregation.

They are as unique as any seven random people in a congregation, and each week they travel in an old church van to hopefully complete their task of finding just the right minister. In an attempt to keep it secret from the churches they visit, they split up during the service and try to keep
Aug 07, 2012 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reading-again
Rating is 4.8... Loved this book. Imagine a group of 7 people in a van every Sunday morning in search of the next pastor for their church. Along the way they have lots of adventures. You will learn about their lives, the people in their lives, and the people at the churches they visit. You will laugh, you will cry, and everything in between. You will learn to love some of these people, like the one who keeps a journal of all the signs out in front of the churches they pass during their travels t ...more
I enjoyed the trips the search committee took to check out preachers to "steal" one for their congregation. There were some humorous situations and good characterization of the different personalities involved in the search. The other chapters, about the private lives of the committee members, were inconsistent. Some I really liked, and some I wondered why the people did what they did and why they didn't put their faith into practice--praying or going to the Word for answers to their problems. O ...more
Elizabeth Nelson
Mar 07, 2016 Elizabeth Nelson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. It focuses on a group of seven people trying to find the new pastor for their church, and as they explore the churches, we also get to learn more about them as people. At first the writing seemed stilted, but I was aware that part of it was that I'm a northerner who isn't used to southern speech patterns and values. I'm glad I stuck it through, because even the characters I didn't like at first grew to have struggles I cared about.
It was nice that even though this is a
Susan Mock
I did not hate this book. The writing was okay as the grammar was fine. The characters were okay but not particularly appealing. It really was a waste of time because it was okay. My book club picked this book because someone recommended it to someone in the book club and it got a lot of votes. I am sure that the discussion will also be okay. I think that books appeal to me that teach me something or that are entertaining. I think I have a reputation as a snob with this group because if I am goi ...more
Aug 28, 2012 Dyana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a light-hearted humorous book about 7 people (the search committee) in a small southern Presbyterian congregation who travel in a church van searching to "steal" a new pastor. They try to keep their mission secret in the churches they visit and along the way have plenty of misadventures. We also get to experience some of the sermons they hear along the way. We get a glimpse into their lives - past and present. There is Travis (a young married professional), Bill (retired from electric c ...more
Jul 11, 2012 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Search Committee is a fun book. Tim Owens wrote a good book about road trips with purpose. I say grab a glass of sweet tea and read this book. This made me laugh out loud. The book starts out with “The church van already had 187, 00 miles on it. It was a white Ford Econoline and Travis figures it was either a 77 or 78 model” and road trip here we come. Let me introduce you to this band of characters. We meet Travis Booth his mission is to drive and find a new pastor well he and 6 others, all ...more
Allizabeth Collins

When a Protestant church finds itself without a pastor, the church forms a search committee to represent the wants and needs of its congregation. In this case, when a Presbyterian preacher is called to Atlanta, the church's search committee, comprised of Travis, Dot, Susie, Bill, Joyce, Frankie, and Matt, pile into a white '78 model Ford Econoline and start searching for candidates. Just because they have been elected to agree on a new pastor, doesn't mean that they agree on anythin
Jan 05, 2012 Tammy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all my friends
Having been reared in church all my life and now serving as a pastor's wife I couldn't put The Search Committee novel down because Tim Owens "hit the nail on the head" with this novel.
Imagine a committee from church being sent out on the road to literally "steal" a pastor. But the committee must all agree on said pastor. And after visiting church after church the wear and tear of being together on the road begins to break down the defenses of each of the committee members. We think we know peopl
Jun 14, 2012 Sara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Being originally from a small town in the South, I thoroughly understand the concept (and the pitfalls) of a church search committee. My mom was even on a search committee when I was in middle school.

And just like I have mixed feelings about search committees, I have mixed feelings about this book.

After a slow start – it took a long time for me to figure out exactly where this book was taking place, who was who, and to settle in to the flow of things – I was able to enjoy parts of the novel. Th
Jan 13, 2012 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, fiction
“It had occurred to Travis that it was hard work trying to steal a preacher. There was no easy way to do it.”

When Tim Owens’ book became available via the Tyndale House Blogger Review program, I had to get it. Its title, ‘The Search Committee,” caught my attention as I had an idea of what it would be about. I was not disappointed. And it was about more than I expected with an ending (that you will have to read for yourself) that I did not see coming.

Now in my 25th year of being a minister/pasto
The Search Committee is written by Tim Owens and published by Tyndale House Publishers.

This is a fun book! The characters are all interesting and make this book an easy read. The plot centers on a group of church members looking for a new pastor. Their personalities are well developed and make this book a must read.

Each person in this group of searchers has their own life and problems to handle as well as trying to find the right person to be their new pastor. From a single mom to a husband not
Jul 29, 2012 Faye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A plethora of personalities!

Seven church members are on a mission, to find a preacher for their small Presbyterian congregation. A van of personalities could not be more mixed, come along with The Search Committee as they look for their next pastor and reminisce about days gone past.

Will they find the pastor of their dreams?

I loved the character diversity, and how each person had their own stand-out personality. I really liked getting to know the characters and when it went back to revive some o
Jan 11, 2012 Tima rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story involves seven people who have been chosen to pick a new pastor for their church. They drive to each church and go in one by one so the church doesn't know they are evaluating the pastor. Each person has a chance to tell their story and why they are in this small southern town.

The story flowed smoothly, but at times slowly as the church committee searches for a pastor that will help their church grow. It was hard for me to keep track of all of the different lives and what was happening
Feb 26, 2013 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The pastoral search committee and search process is a setting that allows the various characters to come together and interact. This book is really not about the search but about the relational dynamics that come from the setting. There are quite a few characters that appear immediately and at first it can be difficult to keep track of who's who. As the story progresses each character is developed, revealing their backgrounds, their hopes, hurts, disappointments, and secrets. The author includes ...more
Jul 06, 2013 Karen rated it really liked it
Occasionally, very occasionally, I buy books for myself. Usually they are classics. Or, like with The Search Committee, I know the author. In this case, he is part of my writers' group. I have read short pieces of his before and know him to have an intriguing voice in his writing and a strong sense of humor and some quirky characters. All of that is present in The Search Committee. I was, however, surprised by how Southern this novel is.

The real main character in this book is the setting. I had
Lilibet King
Jan 14, 2012 Lilibet King rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Has your church ever searched for a new pastor? Have you ever been on the search committee? Even if this isn’t the case, you’ll be able to relate to The Search Committee, the debut novel from Tim Owens.
A search committee is usually made up of a cross-section of the church membership, and this one is no exception. There’s the retired church elder that drives the van, the opinionated woman who talks non-stop, the resident socially-awkward genius, and the transplanted Yankee. The story is told thro
J.W. Cunningham
Sep 27, 2013 J.W. Cunningham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a delightful novel this turned out to be. The book is written by a first time author and was, as so many are, rejected almost 50 times before being reworked and accepted. It is likely to be tagged and noted as Christian Fiction, but I assure you ahead of time that it does not belong in the group of cheesy books that so often define Christian Fiction. This novel is a beautiful picture of the south as well as the importance of a church community. Even more than these though the book tackles m ...more
Aug 31, 2012 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mismatched team of seven hit the road in an Econoline church van on a mission to find a new pastor. They don't agree on much other than the stops at Hardee's for coffee and a biscuit. But they stick to the call, trying to slip undetected into worship services across the Southeast—all in hopes of stealing a preacher for their congregation.

Each member is wrestling to balance their own busy life and personal struggles. And they're trying to keep their issues to themselves. Forced to spend countl
Ellen Dark
I enjoyed the book I received through NetGalley. The Search Committee attracted my attention because our church had recently formed a search committee in order to find a new senior pastor for our church.
Tim Owens writes of a search committee made up of members of a Presbyterian congregation, each person representative of a different demographic in the church. Together they spend their Sundays driving from church to church looking for a potential minister to "steal". The reader learns about the s
I think I would have liked this book a lot more if I was Presbyterian or any other religion where search committees are a thing. A lot of it went over my head given that I'm Catholic and priests are assigned parishes rather than recruited. I didn't connect with the plot at all.

Aside from that I thought that the characters were fairly flat. The book is built upon the lives of main characters, and yet, I was often bored with them. They were pretty one dimensional and just blah. No one was exciting
Carolyn (in SC) C234D
This book was okay--not terrible, not great. Some of it was quite funny, but I would have liked more character development. You learned a little about the committee members' backgrounds, helping you understand why they did what they did, but not in any depth. The whole process (of a search committee) was something new to me, so that added interest. On the whole, I found it rather rambling and lightweight, but readable.
Jun 06, 2016 Shantanu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Doesn't look like a great piece of work but it is. The search committee members searching for a new pastor also end up searching their own lives and finding God's grace for their lives. Amazing book
Apr 03, 2012 Bonne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For those who are familiar with the "call" system, I'm sure this book will connect in many ways. However, even those of us who are appointed, as opposed to called, it seems that church people are church people wherever you are. In fact, one could move out and say people are people wherever you are. And people create humor, sorrow, love, hope, trust, distrust as they journey through life. When it is happening to us, it always seems that no one else has ever experienced life in this manner, but th ...more
Apr 03, 2012 Theresa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
I was hoping for a lot from this little book because I was on a search committee for my church at one point, and was hoping to be able to process a little bit through a fictional account. I knew going into it that the premise was a bit different...these people seemed to focus on the search part, and we spent a lot more time in the committee part. I liked the idea of all of these different people getting to know each other, and I liked that they became more aware of one another, and it seemed to ...more
Kevin W. Jerrell
Apr 19, 2014 Kevin W. Jerrell rated it really liked it
A good, slow read.

This is not a book with a lot of excitement or action; however, it is a good story with several character storylines.
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Tim Owens has a doctorate in environmental engineering and is the co-owner of an environmental engineering firm. He also holds three patents, is a Scoutmaster, and participated in disaster relief in Honduras and Mozambique as a water systems engineer. He currently resides in Summerville, South Carolina, with his wife and four children.

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“Faith is keeping your eyes open. Keeping your eyes focused on God. Not letting weariness, or doubt, or fear, or even brightness get in the way of keeping focused on God. Faith is keeping your eyes open.” 0 likes
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