Wednesday, April 29, 2009

search committee

Since it's inception in January, I have been part of our church's search committee. We are looking for a pastor/teacher. Not a senior pastor. Not 'the guy' or the one who does it all. We're wanting a man who can walk alongside us and help us mature and minister.

So there are 8 of us who were chosen by the church to search for this position. We scoured resumes, had many phone interviews, and then had 4 men here for face to face interviews.

It has been an interesting and learning and wonderful journey.

If we'd looked at men in the Bible, our search could have gone something like this:

Noah: He has 120 years of preaching experience, but no converts.

Moses: He stutters; and his former congregation says he loses his temper over trivial things.

Abraham: He took off to Egypt during hard times. We heard that he got into trouble with the authorities and then tried to lie his way out.

Paul: We found him to lack tact. He is too harsh, His appearance is contemptible, and he preaches far too long.

Timothy: He has potential, but is much too young for the position.

Jesus: He tends to offend church members with his preaching, especially Bible scholars. He is also too controversial. He even offended the search committee with his pointed questions.

I think that report is only half joking because the one thing I've learned is that a resume doesn't give you the whole picture. And the phone interview is still only a piece of the puzzle. Then the face to face interview isn't always the 'real' person because it's their only chance to show you what they've got.

Then add to that mix all the different personalities on the committee. Quiet, loud, opinionated, peace loving, the whole spectrum of personalities all tossed into the pot. From that you get all different perspectives. Did we hear the same thing the same way? Did we see the same thing in the same light?

Then add to that the huge responsibility of trying to represent the entire church body as each man is interviewed! Do we want to focus on a certain group? Does this person relate to that group? What is the vision for the church? Who can help us achieve that vision?

It reminds me of Stone Soup. We've all added pieces to the pot and it's been stirred. I believe it's been stirred by the Holy Spirit. We've prayed, the church has prayed, the candidates have prayed and I fully believe that God has been in charge from the beginning. I believe He has been leading us on this journey.

The unity from the beginning has been amazing. When we thought emotions would be charged, they weren't. When we feared disagreement, there wasn't. It's hard to believe that a committee could be in agreement over almost all points. I think that in itself could prove the existence of God!!!

It's been an intense journey. It's been lots of time but it's all been worth it. We'll make our recommendation next week and our part will be pretty much over. But the adventure will only be starting....

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Longview, Texas
In the autumn of my life, I am very content.