Sunday, January 31, 2010

Unsolicited Advice to A Pastoral Search Team

Today’s Episode of The First Reece is being preempted for a personal message to the committee charged with finding a new Pastor for Highpointe Church. The usual mix of laughter, wit and inspiration will resume tomorrow.

Dear Pastoral Search Committee:

In the January 4, 2010 entry of this blog I observed that “Some board or committee or other entity is going to read resumes and interview candidates, and present me with my new pastor”. I now know who the members of that committee are. You are all good people; Godly people; people whose judgment I trust. And so it is with excitement I await your findings. Meantime, I wish to offer this unsolicited advice.

Don’t try to replace Darren & Michelle Pilcher. They are irreplaceable. If God moved them on, then God has an incredible plan for Highpointe Church. That plan is what we seek.

Don’t get in a hurry. In the Kingdom of God timing is everything. But that timing is God’s timing. At the right time he will open the right door and we will have the right Pastor. In the meantime there’s a whole ball team’s worth of able preachers and teachers to tend the flock! Fat and sassy with ministerial excellence, are we!

Throw out the man-made model. God gave a multitude of ministry gifts to the church, but somewhere along the way the “modern” church changed the plan. The term “Pastor” has been redefined to become a person of many hats. In churches all over America they no longer have Evangelists preach – the Pastor does it. He gave Teachers to expound his doctrine…but now that’s the job of the Pastor. Administrative gifts…God gave us a slew of them. But many Pastors make all the decisions, by force or desire. I don’t mean to imply that Highpointe Church has ever followed this pattern, but many do.

Oh, a Pastor may ultimately do all those things, and more. But first and foremost, he is the shepherd of the sheep. So give me a Pastor who has the heart of a Pastor. I’m not interested in how large the congregation can grow. I’m not impressed by multiple services or satellite locations. If it happens, it happens. But when it happens will my Pastor still know my name, what I do for a living, and what gifts God has placed in me? Here’s what I want in a Pastor – someone who has a picture of me in his heart!

Sound selfish? Perhaps. But remember what Paul said in Ephesians 4 – my Pastor is God’s gift to me!

So if there is a litmus test for the position of Pastor, it’s this: Would he leave the ninety and nine, and seek the one? Find a Pastor who would seek to know his sheep; who would seek to tend his sheep… and you will have done a good thing!

I know you folks already know all this. I just wanted to make it look like it was my idea!

And by the way…thank you for your service!

Sincerely, Reece

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