Saturday, November 06, 2004

Ministering through the process

It strikes me that the candidacy process must be very difficult for a church. Oddly enough, I have never been a part of a church that was completely without a pastor. I have been in churches during the transition of an associate pastor, youth minister, or the like, but even then the process has turned around quickly enough that a replacement was found before there was a vacancy. Because of this, I have never personally known what it would be like to have a hole in the ministerial staff of a church-- or the total absence of a ministerial staff, as is the case in many of the churches I am looking at.

I suppose it would be quite difficult indeed. A small church without a pastor could suffer tremendously, and even a larger church that goes without a key pastoral staff member-- like a youth pastor, for example-- would feel the crunch of their absence.

In light of this, I want to minister to the churches that I candidate with in every way possible. How can I be praying for their search? How can I encourage them in it-- even as they decide that I am not the one for them, and face the certain discouragement of yet another candidate-pastor who will not be ministering to them permanently? I am called to be a shepherd to the Church-- not just to a particular, local church, but everyone in the Kingdom as it is appropriate. Therefore, I must view my role as a shepherd as being applicable in the placement process. Perhaps never more so.

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