Needing advice

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by bobbyd, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. bobbyd

    bobbyd
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    About a month ago i had a pulpit committee show up on a Sunday morning before ever meeting with them...a bit of a shocker when the congregation is only about 80. Anyways, my wife and i met with the entire search committee this past weekend and now they want us to return in view of a call. We are praying about this decision...and i am leaning in that direction.
    This is a first for me like this, so if you have any input on how to handle this with the current congregation i would love to hear it.
     
  2. bobbyd

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    bumping b/c i'm still looking for advice! Thanks!
     
  3. StefanM

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    I've never been there. The only time I left a church I did so because I could not financially remain there. The salary was only part-time, and the economy of the area was extremely depressed. Despite my best efforts, I could not find a job that would allow me to remain in that place of service. I felt like it was God's way to let me know it was time to go. I announced my resignation without having anywhere to go.

    The church where I just started called me from "nowhere" because I just moved to seminary.

    I'd just pray a lot and fast. It would be horrible for things not to work out then you come back with your tail between your legs.
     
  4. TaterTot

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    WEll I am not a pastor, but I live with one and since no one else is answering, I will put in my 2 cents.

    When I first read this thread, a red flag went up. A committee that shows up unannounced is not very prepared as a committee. For one, they stick out like a really sore thumb in a small church. I think its kind of rude for them to jsut show up. They should consider your relationships with people there. Even if things dont work out, you still have people there that are going to be hurt.

    I am not saying God isnt leading you to the new place of service, but I would be wary, if thats how they do things.
     
  5. StefanM

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    Very true. In a church of 500, a committee might not stand out. In a smaller congregation, though, it's going to be obvious.

    But, in all truthfulness, they are there to pirate the pastor! :laugh:
     
  6. PastorSBC1303

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    bobbyd, I feel for you, the entire system is flawed. The committee was not very smart in just showing up unannounced, and I am sure they wouldn't take too kindly to a committee showing up at their church like that. So I agree that is a red flag to keep in mind.

    The best advice I can give you is just make sure you and your wife spend a lot of time praying about this and do what yall really feel the Lord is leading you to do.

    No matter what you do, there is a risk of hurting folks, so just do what you all feel the Lord wants and let the chips fall where they may.
     
  7. exscentric

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    No more a red flag than the pastor that had sent a resume and showed up at an evening service in a group of about 25.

    Naturally someone ask if they were visiting the town and the stammering/stuttering made it obvious he was very uncomfortable answering, finally told the group who he was.

    Up frontness is best on both sides.

    I must say pulpit committees have done this for many years that I have heard of, they are usually less obvious and just send a couple or two.

    For pulpit committees it helps them know if they even want to approach someone.

    As to advice, seems you've had some good advice - pray lots. God s much more able to lead you than anyone here :thumbs:

    If you have a mind to respond start moving forward and ask the Lord to close the door if it is no His will - He is able to make things clear.
     
  8. TomVols

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    I concur. Huge red flag that they just showed up. I've had it happen to me several times. In each situation, it wasn't the only red flag I saw.

    How to handle it with your current church? Well, you could tell them the truth - that you have been contacted, that you're looking at them, they're looking at you, and you're considering it. But you run the risk of alienating your present flock. You'll never win them back. Churches want their pastor to be their pastor, not looking to be some other church's pastor. It's a very "Catch-22" situation.

    I'm not advocating lying. I would share no more than necessary. I would not volunteer any information to your present church. You cannot unring the bell if you allow this church to "court you" with your church's knowledge and then you do not accept. I've known more than one church to preemptively fire a pastor who was being looked at by another church because they felt he was looking to leave, so they made it happen for him.

    Be discreet, be ethical, and be prayerful.
     
  9. chuck2336

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    Be discreet, be ethical, and be prayerful.


    Tomvols spoke the words I was thinking, I hate it when he does that because it always sounds better coming from him!
     
  10. SaggyWoman

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    Personally, I would say nothing to my current congregation until I knew I was leaving. If people asked, I would not lie, but it would depend on who asked as to what I would say.

    As far as the church just showing up--I don't know. There is nothing like visiting churches to see what it is like....
     
  11. Major B

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    Mistaken Misidentity

    I had a funny incident a few weeks ago at the church where I have been pulpit supply for about 13 months. There were several visitors that day, who were unacquainted with each other, but who sat together by providential design. One couple were friends of ours who are looking for a church home. After the service, three of the older ladies of the church (sweethearts every one of them) came up to me with much concern and said, "You aren't leaving us are you?"

    They had incorrectly identified the "chance" group of visitors as a pulpit committee.
     
    #11 Major B, Mar 8, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 8, 2008
  12. Tom Butler

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    I have served on two search committees. On one occasion, we heard the prospective pastor at a church where he was preaching a weekend revival. His church was two states away and it saved a lot of travel time as well as the knowing looks from the members.

    The second time, we did hear the pastor at his church. When some members asked us, I replied, "Yep, we've come t get your preacher."

    Looking back, it really wasn't necessary. We already had heard two sermons on tape, and were well aware of his preaching style and the content of his messages. We already had a clear and unequivocal doctrinal statement from him. We realy could have skipped the visit to his church.

    These days, with camcorders and other videotaping equipment, many prospective pastors will simply tape their service and send it to the committee. A visit to his church is no longer necessay. Many churches put the pastor's sermons on their websites.

    Technology has changed the way search committees function.

    One retrospctive. Our chuch minutes recorded more than one occasion in the early 1900s when the congregation met to select a pastor. Nominations were made from the floor and the one with the most votes was contacted by a committee to see if he wold accept the call. Often, he was not even aware of the church's call until the committee showed up. If he accepted, fine. If not, the church had another meeting and repeated the process until somebody said yes.
     
  13. 2serve

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    The best advice I ever heard in this spot is when you think that you know what to do, take a weekend, get a hotel room by your self and get alone with God and don't come out until you get the answer.
     
  14. TaterTot

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    We had a pulpit committee show up unannounced and unsolicited this past week. We are a small church and it really caused a disturbance. I was mad that they did that. Its very inconsiderate to the pastor who has to calm the chatter afterwards. They even told our church members who asked who they were and that they were preacher shopping.

    A pulpit committee is often a group's most mature members, and I tell ya, even if we were looking, God would have to make it REAL clear for us to even talk with them.
     

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