Thursday, July 22, 2010

Where to Look for Your Next Pastor

And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.- Jeremiah 3:15 (KJV)

Pastoral search teams may be in the midst of either a quandary or a quarrel. It may be the mix of both. Some may want the loyal preacher who has been by the previous departed pastor's side for the past ten or fifteen years to take over beyond serving as interim pastor. Others may argue that the church is in need of new blood with fresh ideas because the church is dying and nearing a split if something isn't done soon. This may sound familiar. If not, please beware. It comes about in the life of most churches every time there is a transition in the pastoral leadership of the church.

There's division that comes with it. There's doubt and despair that emerge among the deacons and trustees. Debates surge. Divisions grow.

What can you do?
  • Look Inside: See what your people need in their leader. What do they expect out of the leader who will replace the one who baptized their children or even them? What do they need out of the person who will eulogize their loved ones and preach the Word Sunday by Sunday? See what it is and be mindful of it during your search.

  • Look Outside: Do not neglect what exists beyond your own church campus. Visit other church websites and read "About Our Pastor" and the pastoral message/ greeting. Talk to local churches that have done a pastoral search recently. Check with your district associations and state conventions, even local ministerial associations and networks. Identify what is out there that your church needs.

  • Look to God: Pray throughout the process. Spiritual warfare will slip in at any point that it can get in. Pray for spiritual power to withstand the process. Integrity will be tested. Faith will be tried. Many will simply cave in to pressure. Stay prayerful.

Remember what God shared with Jeremiah. He said that He would give the people "pastors." Let God orchestrate the selection process. It will surely show when you go along with God. It surely will not last nor be fruitful. He will give the people shepherds and pastors according to His own heart.

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