As I mentioned in my last post on this topic, my church has been without a pastor for almost two years. During that time, we have been praying for God to lead a man who would shepherd us under the Word of God.
I love my church because we did not have a preacher’s parade where men were on trial as to whether they could cut mustard. We didn’t have a series of months where we tried on men’s sermons like a derby hat. Our elders listened to sermons by men and talked with him and narrowed down the men to one man – who was invited to preach on a Sunday. The reason the sermons were tested by the elders first has to do with whether the man was accurately handling the Word.
So many pastoral search committees treat their job as though they were baseball scouts. How charming is this guy? Can this guy woo a crowd? Is he a Maxwell-like leader? Unfortunately, so many search committees do not have theology on the forefront of their minds. Even more, the congregation views the process of listening to the sermon as though they were in the emperor’s coliseum – thumb up or thumb down.
I am thankful that our elders have taken their time to listen, debate, prod, and invite. May more pastoral search committees, or group of elders, not parade people in front of their congregations so that they can try them on. Truth is, if the man were to preach what the people wanted to hear, ears would be scratched and hearts unmoved.