Shared by Gay Craig, January 8, 2014
With the end of the holiday season and the calendar year, customs call for a prospective view of the upcoming year. After reflecting on the past year, we set goals and make resolutions to change our habits, all with the plan to “improve” ourselves or our lives. I was thinking about that task in light of the Search Committee. We all know what the ultimate goal is – to find God’s man for our church. This process of finding him is like a journey. There’s many phases and steps that require planning, education, self-examination, reflection and patience. It is much like planning a trip. A successful trip hinges on identifying the correct roads to take, what towns you will stop in, what sightseeing or activities are offered there, and where you will stay. Once that’s completed, you are ready to embark on your journey. I believe that’s where we are in our search – ready to embark.
So looking forward to the next few weeks and months, I tried to imagine what lies ahead. First, we should claim the promise made in Jeremiah.
“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Next, we should want to strive to be in His presence to know His will. Here are some suggestions for how our committee can seek out His will.
BE OPEN AND DO NOT LIMIT GOD - HE IS OUR COMPASS ON THIS JOURNEY.
True dependence is not just asking God to bless what you’ve decided to do but having an open mind and heart and asking God to plant His desires within us. We have done our research and have identified a pastor profile. Now, we need to ask God to help us apply it to each of these candidates that we look at. It must be God’s profile of this man, not only our profile.
God has blessed our committee with a variety of views, insight, opinions, skills and gifts. As we move into the next few weeks of information gathering and reporting within our committee, I believe we need to be reminded of some guidelines we can continue to follow as we strive to seek out God’s man for FBC.
- First and foremost, we must each be HONEST with each other. God will work through us individually, so it is imperative to express yourself. We need to continue to have a safe secure environment to do that.
- In order to maintain that safe environment, we must LISTEN to each other. When members report back from visits or research, listen to their impressions, concerns or doubts. They all must be addressed and resolved in order to move forward.
- SPEAK in kindness to each other. We will have differing opinions in the weeks to come. Remember to use edifying words with each other. Be sensitive to the views of others. There’s a reason God has laid those opinions on that person’s heart and why they are being expressed. As a committee, let’s consider them earnestly and in a spirit of love.
- Part of being open to God is being THOROUGH. We need to be diligent to hear the man, research, compare to pastor profile and earnestly pray. Don’t decide on someone before you’ve considered all aspects. In other words, don’t pick a favorite at the expense of disregarding all others until you have completely investigated all candidates.
DON’T BE DISCOURAGED – WE MIGHT GET LOST
Sometimes, God asks us to wait, to trust Him in the uncertain times. The more extreme the circumstances, the more likely we are to see His glory and power at work. This search process may not be a path of continued successes. It may hold multiple disappointments. We must be prepared for that. Our congregation and committee want a new pastor NOW. That may not be God’s timing. We need to be careful that we follow God’s agenda, not ours. With total dependence on Him, we will enjoy the blessing of a new pastor. He will provide the man, not us!
ANTICIPATE THE OUTCOME – IT WILL BE BETTER THAN WE CAN IMAGINE
God loves each of us. We are his children. He loves our church and has provided for us through the years. He’s not finished with us. He has a plan for our future. I can’t wait to see it!!
Now to him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21