Sunday, July 24, 2005

Processing a new pastor

Our church's Founding Pastor is stepping down from the role of Senior Pastor so we've been in search of a new senior pastor. This is weird as there has never been another senior pastor except for Brian in all of our church's history (he and his wife and some friends founded it, after all.) But, I think it's time and I'm all for that decision.

Most of you know that I have had issues with our church and its leadership for awhile and some specific situations regarding Brian. This means that I have a very strong opinion regarding who should be the next "head" of our church.

This weekend, the man who our Senior Pastor Search Team recommended to our Leadership Team as our next Senior Pastor came with his wife to visit our church and our area. Granted, a few days will not be enough to really get a feel for what's going on on either side of the situation, but that's why God is in control of this and we'll all just do what we can with what time and other resources we have.

So I heard this man speak this morning during our church service and we also attended the Q&A/Meet 'n Greet afterward. That went on for awhile but it was worth it in my opinion.

All along I've thought that the new senior pastor's theology is the least of my concerns and that lots of other issues ranked higher up in my list of what's important. I want someone who will help get things done, who cares about each member of the congregation, who cares about the next person who walks through the church's doors, who is available to the congregation, who has leadership abilities and can pull teams together and encourage them, etc.

I was surprised to find while listening to the candidate that his theology comforted me. He was really on-track with my theology, which I wasn't even sure of myself. It's not that he said anything new or earth-shattering or different from Brian, but it was nice to hear it from someone who is not in the thick of trying to bring that message to the world at-large as the appointed spokesperson for the emerging church. I'm not saying that Brian's role as such isn't important, but it's not what I need right now and I'm a little tired of it. So, to hear this guy just "be" that kind of person with that kind of theology and be passionate about it was refreshing.

From what little I know, I really like the candidate. I think he's a good guy and will get the job of senior pastor done well and he seems to mesh with our church's personality. My biggest (maybe only) concern is that their family will need to move here from England. They lived in Cincinnati for awhile and he pastored a church there but from what I can tell from others who have come to our area to work in our church, the Baltimore-Washington metro corridor is not like most other parts of the country. Good or bad, it is what it is - fast, driven, I don't know what. A senior pastor isn't something that we ultimately want to gain and lose and gain and lose a few times in the near future. It would be nice to have one for awhile. This is a big deal. So I'm afraid of his family not fitting in or liking living in our area after making such a huge life change to be here. Of course, nobody is going to know whether they will like it or not until they've been here awhile, so we just have to let God make the final decision, eh?

Next weekend the church congregation will vote on whether to accept or reject the candidate as our senior pastor and then he and his family will be able to accept or reject the offer.

I think I'd really like for him to be our new senior pastor although I'm afraid to voice that out loud.

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