Sunday, February 04, 2007

Rejection = Protection

My friend Mark Long offered this equation to me about candidacy today.  I think it works.

When a church finds a reason to go a different direction, you should be glad for it.  It doesn't matter how small or insignificant you believe their reason is-- because if it was significant enough for them to eliminate you now, it would turn up as significant enough to spoil an otherwise strong ministry later.  They are simply saving you-- and the congregation-- the pain of that spoiling.

One of the churches I have been corresponding with did this for me recently.  I had submitted my name as a candidate, and felt like I was a very good match for what they claimed to be seeking.  Several people within that church had echoed my confidence, and at one point we (Marcie and I) thought I might be their strongest candidate.

I'm not out of the running entirely, reports the Senior Pastor, but they have several candidates that are a better fit in one way or another.  Thus, while I'll remain open about pursuing that position if they ask me to, I'm not going to pin a lot of hope on it-- nor will I give it much attention, unless the situation changes.

In my view, they have done me a great service: they have helped us see more clearly where the Lord is (and isn't) leading us.  They have also done their congregation a great service, by maintaining a firm stance on what they need and want in an Assistant Pastor.

It is short-sighted, therefore, to think of this as "rejection."  In the Lord's great plans, it is actually "protection."

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