Too often search committees will look at a number of different candidates, rank them, and conduct a kind of pastoral skills tournament, all while sincerely wanting the best for their church. But does our church really need to have a good pastor who is better than other good pastors? Consider how a man looks for a wife.
Through natural relationship networks, he gets to know them one at a time. Admittedly, elders can approach a pastoral search as if it were a beauty pageant too. But hopefully, as elders, they will know better! Search committees tend to be too risk-averse. And the only way to satisfy everyone —often—is to find the middle-of-the-road, milquetoast candidate. Most commonly, committees prefer experience over character and giftedness.
Like us on Facebook
And a humble character which seeks wisdom from older, godly men is a sign of a good leader. God raises up young men who watch their life and doctrine closely and are gifted to teach his Word publicly. Young pastors make mistakes. Pursue that person until you are certain he would not be good.
a church that loves God and loves people.
Now, elders looking for a pastor can be resume-happy, too. But again, the elders—as men chosen to lead a church because they can ably teach the Word—should know better. Often search committees travel with some secrecy to other churches, hoping to observe a pastor in his natural habitat his current church in order to see how he operates, all unbeknownst to his present congregation with whom they are worshipping. One of my favorite memories is, one Sunday morning in the service, asking a visiting pulpit search committee to stand so that we could pray for them. I also remember talking to one search committee about various folks they were considering—each of whom were flourishing in their current churches—and asking them to consider carefully why they would ask them to leave such flourishing ministries.
Such committees should understand that this kind of ladder-climbing really tempts some men in ministry. But why do we think God loves our congregation more than the one whose pastor we would take? Why would we be so secretive? Does this suggest that something may be amiss? Do you know where your pastor was preaching last weekend? What does this suggest about how this potential pastor might treat your congregation one day? Search committees also tend to require credentials. Degrees provide a commonly accepted currency of pastoral proficiency. Keeping these problems in mind, we can try to make our search committees better.
The fact is, God has charged leaders with raising up other leaders 2 Tim. Why take it away from them for this most important task of finding the senior pastor? You can find him on Twitter at MarkDever.
Purchase a Print Edition. Our work is possible by the generosity of our readers. I believe that the lead pastor gets the vision from God.
What’s Wrong With Search Committees? Part 1 of 2 on Finding a Pastor : 9Marks
Frankly, being the bearer of the vision is one of the most essential functions of the senior pastor. The very first task of leadership is to set the vision for the organization. Whoever is establishing the vision in your church is the leader of that particular church. A church will never outgrow its vision and the vision of a church will never outgrow the vision of the pastor.
It comes to life and is lived out in community, but the source of the vision is the calling of God on the senior pastor to lead your church. A pastor without vision feels the lack of direction and privately questions his ability to lead. And a lack of vision from the pastor opens a leadership void that others will be happy to rush into, creating a cacophony of vision which ultimately leads to division and dissension.
A pastor leading the charge on a church-wide vision builds confidence and brings momentum, fruit, and growth.
Your Next Pastor: Guidelines for Finding God's Person for Your Church / Digital original - eBook
Either you are not called to lead this movement. Others will supplement or help refine the vision, but the leader must give birth to it so that he is fully committed to it.
Very few of us will create vision out of nothing. We are better at adapting and adopting than at creating from scratch. The wow compels people. We must rely on God to fulfill it. The how describes how we accomplish our vision. If possible, we would like see every New Songer, young and old, have the privilege of leading someone to Christ. Brothers Chip and Dan Heath, in Made to Stick , teach us how to communicate ideas in ways that make them memorable.
An emotional idea makes people care.
Have you ever tried to cast vision for something and no one joined in? Here are four ways to see your vision take root and spread. So pray. Cast the vision tentatively. They will help you refine the wording of your strategy.
Visions are adopted in concentric circles. Start with your closest friends and most likely adopters. With them on board, shop the vision to your next most likely adopters. Mention that John, Peter, and James are already on board and excited. Get their input. Refine the wording and presentation more.