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The call packet

Before the congregation extends a call, they will need to invest significant time in preparing a packet of information to send the pastor they call. It will include an introductory letter, a signed call form, information about the congregation, and details about compensation and benefits. This packet should be sent within twenty-four hours of the call meeting.

Call packet contents

The call form

The call form is the official, signed notice of the call the congregation has extended. It includes a summary of the general work of the pastoral office, along with space for specific duties or areas of focus. It also includes a summary of the support to which the congregation obligates itself. The form should be signed and dated. The congregation should consider printing it in color on quality paper. If the call packet is sent digitally, include a scan of the completed call form. In addition, the original signed form should be sent separately by mail. Click on the thumbnail below to view and print the call form.

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The cover letter

In two to four pages on church letterhead, the cover letter introduces your congregation, its ministry, and your community to the pastor-elect. It also provides details about compensation, moving support, and ministry reimbursements. It invites the pastor to reach out with questions and lists contact information for various people who will represent the congregation well. Since the letter speaks for the congregation, it should be shared with your congregation before the first call meeting together with invitation for feedback. Proofread it well and ensure it has a professional appearance.

Click on the thumbnails below to view instructions for writing the cover letter and a sample cover letter.   

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Compensation worksheet

WELS Human Resources has developed an online compensation calculator to simplify the congregation's efforts to determine and articulate a compensation package that meets or exceeds what we as a church body have determined to be appropriate compensation for called workers. It allows for considerable flexibility to meet the experience and needs of the called worker and the circumstances of the congregation. Congregations are strongly encouraged to use the calculator and to include the its worksheet in the call packet. 

The twenty-two page WELS Compensation Guidelines document includes a Bible study you might use with your congregation, as well as explanation of the various components of the compensation calculator.

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Other materials

In addition to the documents explained above, the following materials are typically sent in a call packet. Please include what is applicable to your situation together with any other documents or links that will be helpful to the pastor-elect as he deliberates.

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