how to handle it?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by baptistboy1, Dec 26, 2006.

  1. baptistboy1

    baptistboy1
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    I am new, and not sure where to post this, or if it is even something i should post.

    I am a preacher that has been at a church for nearly 2 years, and the church seems to be satisfied with me, as well as I with the church, if my home town church that I was brought up in, and taught in, should find themselves looking for a preacher, (for their preacher of 20 years has suddenly been called for another position), should I consider applying for the job, and if I should feel that the Lord is leading in that direction, how do I tell the church?

    I do not want to upset them, or lie to them, but feel I need to at least apply for this job.

    any thoughts? or advice? perhaps someone has been through this before?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Welcome, Baptistboy,

    I'm coming from the perspective of one who has served on two pastor search committees.

    First, submit a resume to the committee only if you believe the Lord is leading you to do so. If His leading is not so clear, go ahead and submit it, anyway. God will either close that door at some point or leave it open.

    You have no obligation to tell your present church anything. Pastors float resumes out there all the time. If your home church does eventually call you as pastor, that will be the time to inform your congregation and basically give them notice. You are not deceiving your church by maintaining a confidentiality to the pastor search process.

    If the search committee hears that you've told your congregation that you've submitted a resume, it puts them in a difficult position. The committees I've served on maintained a tight silence about our work, specifically about individuals. You wouldn't want a committee member to tell your church, so you don't tell them either. It will do you no good, and could cause problems for both you and the search committee.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    Tom's point is right on from a search team perspective. From a pastor's perspective, if you let your current church know you've sent a resume out, you will have immediately ended the possiblity of ministry there. They will look at you as if you're just treading water waiting for a better pulpit.

    In terms of sending a resume, it seems that you have to ask yourself a question: Is God through with me here and is leading me to leave?

    I know the lure of your home church is great, but it is really hard to overcome the view that you are still "little johnny".
     
  4. TomVols

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    Let me continue the Tom show :)

    I concur with Tom Bryant. Your home church is probably the hardest church to serve. Unless there is a substantially different membership, they'll see you as little Johnny, as Tom put it.

    I would disagree with Tom Butler on one aspect. Unless you feel compelled to submit a resume, don't. The pastor search process can be a minefield. Let's say you're "testing the waters" and submit a resume. The pulpit committee shows up unannounced (happens all the time). Your present charge will immediately begin to be suspect and you may get the question "Pastor, are you sending out resumes" or something of that sort. Then you're in a precarious situation. Do you lie? Do you tell the truth and torpedo your ministry there? About ten years ago, a local church's pastor had a pulpit committee come visit. The pastor denied any interest in leaving to his church. He preached at the church in question in view of a call, calling it a "one-day revival" to his then current church. The church called him as pastor and he left. The former church adopted an unspoken policy: if our pastor is overtly interested in another church, we fire him immediately. More than one church has actually terminated a pastor who has been sending out resumes.

    I say all this to say: handle this discreetly. Handle this prayerfully. Handle this ethically. If you do not, your problems and the problems for both churches will be numerous.

    I may start another thread dealing with how to deal with this situation when you're a sitting pastor.
     
  5. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Well, TomV and TomBr, you've got me to thinking, and rethinking.

    Never thought about the possibility that a church might fire its pastor if he's sending out resumes. I've led a sheltered life, I guess.

    By showing up unannounced, do you mean the pastor is surprised as well as the congregation? I can't imagine a search committee coming to a church unless the pastor knows their coming.

    In the case of our present pastor, we went to his church to hear him preach, with his permission, then invited him to preach in view of a call. With today's technology, video cassettes, DVDs, even audiocassettes, etc., that visit to his church could now be eliminated. When we showed up, the jig was up. Everybody knew he'd already been talking to us.

    I'm thinking now that that under no circumstances should a pastor allow a search committee in his church. If we want to hear him preach, we'll ask for an audiocassette, or see his preaching style (is he a stomper and spitter), we'll ask for a videotape or DVD.
     
  6. TomVols

    TomVols
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    Most pulpit committees want to hear the pastor at his church or another church to hear him in person. Many like the "surprise" because the pastor doesn't have the chance to pull out a "sugar stick" and the committees feel they get the best taste of what the pastor will be like on a Sunday by Sunday basis.

    I have had many pulpit committees come to my church unannounced. (I flat out asked one church that I knew had my resume..they said they wouldn't be coming to hear me, that they were just looking at resumes. They were at my church the very next Sunday). I know many others have as well. They got my resume from a friend, a D.O.M., or the seminary/Bible college placement office.

    Remember that the church will likely require a man come to their church so the entire body can hear him before a vote can be taken. Unless a church has an elder board or a type of Presbyterian system of government, the church will want the final say on whether a man is called to the church, and that means he must preach to the church at the church.

    As for not allowing a committee at my church, any pastor that tells a committee that will have his resume shredded immediately. That's the way churches operate by and large.
     
  7. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    That's a good idea, Tom. One of the weaknesses - in my humble but totally accurate opinion :tonofbricks: - of Bible colleges and seminaries is that they don't prepare men for the nuts and bolts of pastoral ministry such as how do you work with and lead deacons; how to run a business meeting, how do you candidate for a church, how do you deal ethically with other pastors and churches.

    Doctrinal issues are vital, but I've seen more guys quit the ministry unnecessarily because of frustration and unrealistic expectations than because they were immoral or doctrinally wrong.
     
  8. blackbird

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    TomVols is right here! I had a preacher friend once who called me --- "Buddy! There's a church over in the next county looking for a pastor. I feel the Lord leading me to send your "name" in ---- drop me off a resume!"

    So I casually send the resume to him for him to send to the pastorless church.

    Here's the diliemma I got into

    Instead of him forwarding the resume to the pastorless church PERSONALLY --- he hands the resume to one of his church members to forward ---- because this church member has "Family" at this particular church!!! The thing about it was ---- his church member so happened to be my next door neighbor --- and the word passed on from there like a California wildfire!!! It took me a while to hose down that wildfire!!!!

    Be careful --- "rehearse" what may come of trading off resumes and be careful --- in a Southern Baptist church --anything can happen!! He may have family in the next county and still be your next door neighbor in this county!!! See???
     
  9. TomVols

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    Typically, the practical areas are learned through mentoring and from the local churches men are called out of. Neither is happening like it should be.
     
  10. JoeKan

    JoeKan
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    Tom, Tom and Blackbird,
    Excellent insight and knowledge. Thanks for passing that along. I've always wondered (I'm sorry if I'm hijacking this thread) how does a pastor candidate at another church while pastoring the one he's at without someone knowing what's up?? Again, my apology if this is a thread drift.
    Just curious,
    Joe
     
  11. blackbird

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    :laugh: :laugh:

    Ya can't!!! Not hardly!!!

    There seems to always be some "detective" --- some "private investigator" type that just goes on a hunch

    Somebody knows somebody who knows somebody whos somebody's 3rd cousin once removed goes to the church you are "candidating" for --- who knows somebody who works with somebody's friend who sat next to the table as the Chairman of the Deacon of your current church at lunch at the mill --- and this person put two and two together aaaaaaaaaand . . .

    It can be a mess ---- but it usually isn't!! Regardless of what who tells the Deacon Chairman at the lunch table ---- the preacher's mind is usually made up about 99.999999% of the time.

    I happened to be paying attention in seminary class(NOBTS) once and heard the PROF of Pastoral Work say something along the lines

    "If you're not interested in a church ---- don't flirt with the Search Committee!!"
     
  12. Tom Bryant

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    By the time most pastors and prospective churches preach or hear a candidating sermon, the decision has been made. Not all the time, but most of the time.

    The times I left a church for another, I told the Deacon Chairman. Thankfully, I've always been able to develop a confidential relationship with Deacons, so the news never went farther. But I always felt they deserved to know because if I left they would still be there.

    But Blackbird is right, it will always get out.
     

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