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Posts Tagged ‘pastoral search’


I’ve been thinking about my next writing project. Okay, I’ve been thinking about it for about four years. I’ve begun to do some research; over my study leave I read When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search.

Chris Brauns’ book is highly acclaimed, for good reason. It is an excellent book but I thought an insufficient book. Let me explain. The material he covers he does in generally excellent fashion. As someone who has searched for a call twice and has helped a number of churches find a new pastor, I thought he missed a number of issues important to the process of searching for a new pastor.

He does address key issues like unity (around the Word) in the search committee, the importance of prayer, the character of the pastor, evaluating preaching and interviewing. He keeps pointing us to the Word. His style is easy to read, and interesting. He uses some very good illustrations. In these areas it is a very helpful book. It should be read by those about to start searching for a pastor.

The bulk of the book seems to be evaluating the preaching of pastoral candidates. I’m not completely convinced of his “basic goal of preaching.” Much of what he says about preaching was learned from Haddon Robinson at Gordon-Conwell. I’m not saying that is bad (his was a good book). Brauns offers this as the basic goal: Truth nourishing God’s people. There are many good elements there. In preaching we speak Truth to people. We as shepherds are to nourish God’s people. We want to see them transformed by the truth.

But that strikes me as a tad reductionistic. Am I being nit-picky? Maybe. As I think of preaching using Frame’s triperspectivalism I think of worship and preaching as having three goals: exaltation of God, edification of God’s people, and evangelizing the lost. Early on he doesn’t sound very Christ/gospel-centered (I got redemptive historical preaching pounded into my head, and I need it pounded into my head). This is largely because of his focus on application (preaching a bullet). He rightly speaks of unction as well, though I’m not sure how you measure that in a recorded sermon. He didn’t really explain that but didn’t weigh it heavily in his evaluation form.

In the section on interviewing, which he compares to dating, he offers some excellent direction for committees. There were a few things that required unpacking. One was the area of leadership and a “right fit”. He didn’t bring us (earlier) through leadership style in trying to figure out who you are as a congregation. The type of leadership needed is an important part of that because there are many kinds of leaders.

This book helped me think more about the areas missing or glossed over in this book. I’m hoping that I can fill in that gap and supplement the many fine things that Brauns has said in this book.

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Yes, I haven’t been too active on the lately.  That is what happens when you are juggling three p/t  jobs.  Here’s what is happening, if you care.

In addition to my Stated Supply gig, I’ve gotten jobs at a hardware store, and the local hospital.  The church has called a new pastor, and my services will not be needed much longer.  So, a friend offered me a seasonal job in their store to accumulate some resources.  I also got an “on call” position as an EKG tech with the hope that with my foot in the door I can get a f/t postion if one opens up.  But now I’m in training for the better part of 2 weeks.

All this has me running in 3 very different directions.  Actually more since I’m still looking for a new church to pastor, and a full-time job locally for the transition.  Don’t forget the reality of being a husband and father.

As a result, there has been far less time for reading and writing.

The last couple of months have been busy on the pastoral search front.  There are a few churches that are considering me- nothing serious, but I’ve had more interviews in the last few months than in the previous 2 years.  So it is interesting to say the least.  We continue to pray for the right door to open up, and for God to provide for us during the transition.

It has been a long, strange journey the past few years.  We don’t understand much of it.  At times it has been quite painful for us- repeated rejection can be that way.  But we have been able to minister to a number of people.  My gifts have been used to the furtherance of God’s kingdom.  CavWife has been able to encourage others as well.  It is like we are on parade as evidence of God’s sustaining grace.  Not quite where we want to be, but there nonetheless.

For now we continue to be faithful, pray, wait and interview.  I’ll blog as I have time.  And maybe I’ll have some REALLY good news soon.

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