First, the elders created a job description/list of expectations for the members of the search committee (see the list of Expectations here). Next, they put together a slate of recommended names and presented that slate to the congregation for approval.
For nearly ten years, I worked at a Christian curriculum company, developing K-12 courses for the homeschool and Christian school markets. That’s where I learned the importance of being part of a team.
The salespeople would tell us, “You people in the office wouldn’t have jobs if it wasn’t for us, out there making sales & bringing the company revenue.” Those of us in product development replied, “Without us making products, you wouldn’t have anything to sell!” Although it was all good-natured fun, there was an important lesson to be learned.
In a similar way, we have elders AND deacons in the church, each with different responsibilities (Acts 6:16). Deacons serve (mainly) physical needs while elders serve (mainly) spiritual needs. Different roles and responsibilities, but each is necessary.
It’s the same with Christmas and Easter.
I’ve heard Christians in heated discussions about whether Christmas or Easter is more important. The debate goes something like this:
“If it weren’t for Easter (the cross & the resurrection), our salvation wouldn’t be possible.
“True, but if Jesus hadn’t been born, there wouldn’t be anyone to resurrect.”
God intended it to be both/and, not either/or. From before the creation of time, God ordained the incarnation. Likewise, He ordained Christ’s brutal death and resurrection. Both are required for our salvation. The Father sent the Holy Spirit only after Christ’s incarnation AND death AND resurrection; both Christmas and Easter are required for our sanctification.
So this Christmas, enjoy the fun and festivities with family and friends, but don’t push Easter out of your mind. The incarnation was Christ’s first step on the road to the cross.
Hope to see you at church on Sunday!
This is part 2 of a 2-part post. You can read part 1 here.
Our search committee worked with a search consultant, Dr. Charles McGowan, of McGowan Search. He was well worth the cost involved; he has years of experience in the PCA and the larger reformed community. Along with that experience comes a wide range of contacts. Plus, he provided us with a wealth of forms (sermon evaluation sheets, reference interview forms, etc.) that we found very helpful. We spoke with him nearly every week – sometimes more often – discussing the process as well as specific candidates.
I say all this as prelude to the second thing that our committee got wrong. We followed Dr. McGowan’s advice closely – except in this one thing.
I mentioned in my last post that I chaired our church’s pastoral search committee. We just recently completed our work, with our pastor starting three weeks ago. We met one final time to discuss what we learned, what went well, and how we could have done better.
All evidence indicates that the new pastor is the right man for our church at this time – we got that part right. One thing that we didn’t do as well as we could have is work with an internal candidate, a man in our congregation – I’ll call him Rusty – who applied for the job of solo pastor. It probably goes without saying that this kind of situation can be awkward at best and perhaps painful at worst.