Monday, August 09, 2010

Things to Pray for during Transition

  • Pray that God would lead you in your search. Pray for wisdom and discernment. Pray that He would grant you awareness of key factors for your decisions. Pray that your priorities would be rightly aligned with His for your particular calling. Pray for clarity, and that He would make straight your path to fulfilling your calling in service to His church and Kingdom.
  • Pray that God would lead the search teams you have interacted with. Pray that they would be wholly submissive to His will and leading. Pray for their hearts to be made ready to follow the pastor He would call to them. Pray that He would give them wise and discerning insight into the candidates they are considering. Pray for the information that they need to make careful decisions to come to light quickly and clearly. Pray for their endurance through the search process. Pray that God would fill their pastoral needs in the timing of His will— and pray that His timing would be speedy!
  • Pray that God would protect your heart from discouragement and fatigue. Pray for Him to prepare you for the reality of rejection. Pray that you would be able to see His work of protection in those opportunities that tell you that you are not the right fit. Pray that God would protect your heart from bitterness and disappointment. Pray for God to raise up friends and supporters around you who will buoy your spirits and refresh your commitment to your calling. Pray that you would be able to press on when the search has become long and your endurance is tested.
  • Pray that God would protect your heart from a competitive spirit. Pray for earnest hope and expectation both for yourself and for your friends who are also seeking placement. Pray that you would know how to love and support one another through the season of candidacy that you will all face together. Pray that you would be able to rejoice with those who find placement before you do, and that others would rejoice in your placement in spite of their own lack of it. Pray for God to overcome on your behalf those temptations to envy, jealousy, and slandering of others in your heart and mind.
  • Pray that God would shepherd His flock well during the difficult seasons of transition they are encountering. Pray that the churches that you have encountered who are seeking a pastor would be sustained by God’s grace, and would weather the season of transition in a healthy manner. Pray for the members of the congregations to be made ready for their new pastor. Pray that God would tend and care for them through the leaders that are present, as well as through sister congregations and others who may come alongside them during this season. Pray for their patience and perseverance through a time of unknown and uncertain future.
  • Pray that God would make you ready for transition into ministry. Pray that the remaining weeks/months/semesters that you have in seminary would be useful for your pastoral preparation. Pray for your spiritual health and maturity to be well-founded and grounded in His grace, mercy, and love. Pray that you would gain the knowledge you need, as well as the experience, wisdom, and love to lead a congregation or ministry well in the capacity to which you will be called. Pray that He would prepare you (and your family) for the joys, difficulties, successes, and trials that lay before you in your calling to ministry.
These are just starting points. You might add more than double to this list, or it may be sufficient for sustaining your prayer life with regard to transition. And there are many other needs in your life to pray for— many of which, you alone will know. Nevertheless, it is my prayer that these suggestions will be nourishment to your soul through transition.


Aubrey said...

What an excellent post. And good reminders to me of how to pray for our situation.

Anonymous said...

hi! just a long should a pastor stay once he has made the announcement to not renew his contract? our contract ends in jan 2011 but the board wanted us to make the announcement in sept last month. so, both parties can start their own search at the same time. we disagree b/c the "lame duck" mentality will kick in as we stay longer. we think we should not stay beyond 4 months.

what's your opinion on this?

thank you and God bless!

Ed Eubanks said...

Thanks for that follow-up question (about how soon to give notice).

I am sympathetic to your concern about becoming a “lame duck” and thus cautiously approaching the giving of notice. In my opinion, two months’ notice is probably at the far end in most cases. One month is usually a good minimum.

Perhaps I’ll write more on this in a future post.