Saturday, May 11, 2013

thoughts on searching for a pastor

Serving on the Pastor Search Team (notice we're a team, not a committee... we're a cool kind of Baptist church) has taught me a few things. We began our search a couple of months ago, and I am privileged to have been nominated and selected to serve our church by sitting on this team. I am serving in the role of Vice Chairman, mainly out of a kick in the teeth conviction in our first meeting in which I truly felt that God was telling me to volunteer for the responsibility of the position. To this point in the process I do not regret that move. I have learned more about leadership, networking, professionalism, prayer, and commitment in the last couple of months than I ever would have expected.

Among the biggest truths I have seen through this, the sovereignty and promise of God has been evident. We share at each meeting how God has been working in our lives over the past week, and I am never left without amazement at the unity of the Spirit. It seems each week that as we share our own personal walk of the week, that the message to each of us is a variation of the same message we each share. This past week seemed to be centered on the power of prayer and focus, and the need to keep the communication between each member of our team and God as open as possible. The ultimate point was that we can easily be led down a path that seems right and good, and a path that pleases us as men and women, but if we are not careful, diligent, and prayerful as we do so, we will easily find that the path that pleases us, does not please God. We must be willing, at intervals throughout this journey, to take a quick pause and examine the path we are on, and take stock of how we got to that point. One of the biggest fears for our committee is following our own, worldly desires. We know and trust that God has the man selected who is to be our next pastor, and that as long as we are serving obediently, that we will be blessed to find him. We have been and will continue to pray for this man, his family, and his church... we know we will be causing an uprooting and ultimately be causing a ripple-effect of change through many lives. It is not a task we take lightly.

For the sake of implicit confidentiality I will not share anything concerning the search process, and I really have no desire to. But I will share this, if your church is going through this same process, be in prayer for those serving in this capacity. For most of us, it is unfamiliar territory, a strange path, and daunting at best. If you are serving on such a team, maybe you can take some peace in a couple of thoughts that have come out of our times meeting together:

1) “I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, In paths they do not know I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them
And rugged places into plains. These are the things I will do, And I will not leave them undone.” Isaiah 42:16

2) On their journey out of slavery, to the promised land, when the Israelites reached the Jordan River (at flood stage), God called a few of them to go out into the water, and stand. It was only after this act of obedience by a few that God stilled the waters, walled it up, and allowed the rest to cross on dry land. Take peace in knowing that If you are willing to obediently step into raging water, you can help lead your church closer to the place God desires you all to be.

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