Prayer for Pastoral Search

direpath

Member
My church has gone through a bit of turmoil this past year. Our elders fired our Lead Pastor and that brought all sorts of good and bad feelings out of the woodwork. We lost a few good people but we are still going strong and our congregation has grown under the leadership of our Associate Pastor. He has been humble and has never presumed to be the Lead pastor. He was even offered a raise to account for the extra duties that fell on him and he turned it down. Truly he strives to follow in Jesus' footsteps. We are most blessed to have him among us as our shepherd.

After several months, the leadership has decided that he is a solid candidate for Lead Pastor and will be putting this forth at an upcoming service. It sounds as though the congregation is thoroughly in agreement that he is the man for the job. I have just been advised that I have been nominated as a member of our Pastoral Search committee, tasked with working alongside our Interim Pastor (until his term ends shortly) to prayerfully consider candidates and what we are seeking in that role.

I would like to ask for some corporate prayer for a few things:

1. Our soon-to-be Lead Pastor. The Lord has been his rock over the past year as the demands of his job have been extensive. The community has really stepped up to help him. I would pray that he continues to have support and rely on God for his needs.
2. The church. I would like continued prayer for healing of the wounds caused by this whole process and all of the things leading up to termination.
3. Our former Lead Pastor. He is still a bit angry and resentful. Prayers for him and his family to find peace in the Lord would be most welcome.
4. Finally, prayers for myself and the rest of the committee that we might hear from God and be directed to the right candidate.

Thank you for providing this forum for this type of request. I strongly believe in the power of corporate prayer.

God Bless.
 
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ursen

Officer SOE/LoE/Where's "here"?
Pastoral changes rarely go without friction even in the best circumstances, will pray.
 

direpath

Member
I feel that. I was at the town hall meeting regarding the decision to end the Lead Pastor's tenure with us. It got pretty ugly. The elders were in a rough spot because they shared what they could. I commented at that meeting that there was no real win for them because if they told everything they betray trust and privacy, if they said nothing then people speculate and rumours fly which hurts the former pastor. They found the best balance they could and stuck to it. I did not envy them.

I think we are beyond the worst of it. I have yet to run across a member of the congregation who has ill to say of our Associate Pastor. He is in his 30s but has wisdom and passion for the Lord. I am honoured to be part of the search committee but it brings with it a lot of weight. I know some of those who were on the committee for the former lead pastor and they bear a lot of the weight for what happened.

Thank you for the continued prayers. I will update as we move forward. I think (and hope) we are looking for an associate pastor to fill the role of youth pastor. That has been a weak point in our ministry the past few years as the youth pastor moved onto other ministry several years back. One of my friends who lives on the farm has been a solid presence for those kids but he can only do so much as a volunteer with a full time job.
 

direpath

Member
Got a bit of an update. We had a candidate that the leadership had been considering. Everything about him fits the bill for what we feel we need. Well we decided to stop right there and pray about it. This lead us to forming a survey for the congregation to allow the Holy Spirit to affirm what we need (both for us and for the congregation). First off, we got a really good response. Out of 150 surveys the first week, we got over 30 back (anyone who has ever put out a survey will understand that this is a great return percentage). The results so far were calculated. So far, the congregation is right in line with where we were at in our thinking. What a great affirmation by God!

Also, there was one question regarding whether they felt the church should reach out as a church to the unchurched or if the focus should be on equipping the saints and letting the saints reach out more individually (Ephesian-style). It was an interesting question, as the former answer was the style of our former lead pastor who left and the latter is our current lead pastor's vision. Overwhelmingly, the responses were in favour of equipping the saints.

Anyways, we have been cautious and prayerful, yet everything is moving forward rapidly. I would ask for continued prayer that we continue to be prayerful and let the pace be set by the Spirit, not our own excitement.

This is my first pastoral search and it is an amazing experience to see God's will be so clearly manifest in the responses, the candidates, the discussions, everything. I pray that ever church that ever has to go through this may find themselves in a place of such unity.
 

direpath

Member
Update:

Our survey completed a week or so ago. The responses were very firmly in line with the same areas that the leadership had felt we were in need. Unity within the church to the degree which we have seen in this is amazing. We also got over 50% of the surveys back (which in any other survey would be a miracle in and of itself).

This week we are having our first interview with our prospective candidate. Prayers would be appreciated as we seek God's heart and look to discern.
 

direpath

Member
Update:

The flights are booked. We have our candidate coming next weekend and into the following week. I spent Saturday evening going back and forth with the chair over details, what needs to happen, etc. We came up with an announcement and I sent in some new slides for the media team. I had to brave our more traditional early service to make the announcement. It went well. I then joined our chair and helped announce at the later service which is a lot larger. The excitement was palpable. We had an emergency meeting yesterday evening to finalize the schedule. I volunteered to wrangle a last minute pot luck for next Sunday, so prayers for that. My wife is the social deacon but she just finished a big event so I took this on.

Prayers for the visit and for the Spirit to be upon everyone involved. We feel this is the guy but I want to see God move in the congregation to show them whether he is or not. God's will be done in this. I'm excited. I pick him and his wife up at the airport on Friday afternoon.
 

ursen

Officer SOE/LoE/Where's "here"?
Lots to pray about, have done so. Salvation Army is so much simpler, Division and Territory get together, decide who goes where, bing it's done. Except for tearful farewells, and anxious settling in.
 

direpath

Member
Well it definitely seems daunting walking into that first meeting, but I have to say that God has been paving the way for us. There are so many God moments in this it makes my head spin. If a pastoral search has ever been "easy" it is sure seeming like this one.

Thanks for the continued prayers!
 

direpath

Member
Update: Whirlwind courtship with our candidate this past weekend. Everything went well. Despite some last minute plans, we were able to coordinate and accommodate.

Our Candidate returns home today. I had my last opportunity to meet up last night at an informal dinner out with some of the leadership. The committee and leadership all agreed that he is a good fit. At this point, we are going to be waiting on his response to the call before moving forward towards a vote. We are pretty sure he will. Next challenge is receiving and addressing any congregational concerns before we post a vote. Pray that God continues to speak to all involved as to his will on this matter. We have heard Him clearly through this process.

At this point, my role as a committee member is all but over (barring either the candidate turning down the call or the congregation voting against his pastorship). It has been quite a fun (and fast) ride and a great privilege to be part of.

Thank you for your continued prayers. I will follow up with some more updates in the coming weeks.
 

direpath

Member
Final update to wrap this up. Our church has voted almost unanimously to call this new pastor. Our job is done and we look forward to welcoming them. Thank you for the prayers and praise to the Father.
 
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