One at a time?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Greg Linscott, May 19, 2004.

  1. Greg Linscott

    Greg Linscott
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    Note: This question was spurred on by reading another post. I am not attempting to criticize anyone's personal practices, but after reading it I did wonder about my own.

    It has been my understanding that it is generally unwise for a church to consider more than one candidate for a pastor at a time. Most men I have spoken with refuse to allow themselves to be considered if another man is also considered to be an official candidate.

    Here is my question: shouldn't the same thing generally apply in the reverse? Shouldn't a pastor only consider one church/ministry opportunity at a time in the formal candidate process (in contrast with simple pulpit supply)?

    Example: after I had been invited to candidate at the church in which I am currently serving, another pastor invited me to consider coming to serve as his assistant pastor, continuing the same type of ministry (youth/administrative) I had up to then. I told the pastor I could not submit my name for consideration at that time, since I was already preparing to candidate at the other church.

    What say ye? Was this unecessary on my part? Or, for that matter, should churches be able to consider more than one candidate?
     
  2. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
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    Our church had almost 400 candidates (total) asked to be considered for our senior pastor position. It was narrowed down to about 80, then 10 and then 3. During this process, one more was eliminated and the two were approached. Both had received other offers! So, back to the drawing board.

    I would think if a pastor knows he has 'made the cut' and is seriously being considered for a position, he should 'hold himself open' for a time.

    Oh the other hand, I'm very sure that none of those men were the man God had chosen for our church. That man and that lesson is still out there.

    Diane
     
  3. TWade

    TWade
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    Aren't we supposed to 'know those among you' or recognize the ones in our congregation who labor in the Word? We are to take note of the ones in our fellowship who have been gifted to lead. How can it be that a church in Maryland can 'know' or 'recogize' such a man who from a church in Florida?

    It just seems to me to have become more like a business where 'candidates' give forth their resume in hopes of landing a job.
     
  4. Greg Linscott

    Greg Linscott
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    The same way the church in Ephesus could call a man from Derbe and Lystra, with previous ministry experience in Philippi, Corinth, and Thessalonica to become its pastor. In fact, with technology, communication, and modes of travel being what they are today, the ability to know someone's abilities and reputation are greatly enhanced. How many of us read or listen to only sermons, books, and articles written only by pastors or bible teachers from our own state? Christians for years have made efforts to participate in local, regional, national, and international conferences to encourage and fellowship with one another. Even this board allows us to fellowship and benefit from godly counsel across many geographical boundaries.

    I do understand some of your cynicism in regards to the corporate church model mentality, but there is something to be said for the value of experience in the Word and ministry elsewhere than the local assembly needing a pastor. Sometimes the situation in some churches virtually demands an "outsider" be brought in (take Timothy and Titus's experiences of being sent in to strengthen the doctrinal and ministry positions of several churches throughout Acts and referenced in the Pauline epistles).
     
  5. TWade

    TWade
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    Would you clear this up for me? Can you show me with Biblical accounts?
     
  6. Greg Linscott

    Greg Linscott
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    Timothy was from the area of Derbe and Lystra (Acts 16:1-3).


    Timothy spent an extensive amount of time serving with and under Paul in various geographical locations, such as...
    </font>
    • Thessalonica (Acts 17:14, 1 Thes. 3:2, 6)</font>
    • Corinth (1 Cor. 4:17, 16:10, 2 Cor. 1:19)</font>
    • Philippi (Phil 2:19)</font>
    Timothy eventually became the pastor at the church in Ephesus (1 Tim. 1:3).
     
  7. Squire Robertsson

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    And I doubt that Titus was a native of Crete. Though, that is where he was serving when Paul wrote the letter to him we find in our Bibles.
     
  8. Greg Linscott

    Greg Linscott
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    Good point, Squire.

    Please don't forget the original question, though. I am interested in reading your responses.
     
  9. TWade

    TWade
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    You can say Timothy was pastor of the church at Ephesus based on 1 Tim 1:3? Could have been, I reckon. Seems to me that he was there to set things in order; to give instruction. That's the purpose of the letter. Paul was to join him later. I don't know if he stayed and "became the pastor."

    How about 5:17?

    I don't know if Titus was a native of Crete. But his purpose in being there is found in the letter:

    5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee

    Titus was there for a specific purpose. He was then called to join Paul in Nicopolis.

    In any event, these are accounts of the establishment of the early church. They sent men to set things in order so that they would know how to function as a NT church. There is no evidence for a calling 'candidates' as we have today.

    Granted, there may be rare occasions where this may be neccesary, but it should not be the norm.
     
  10. Greg Linscott

    Greg Linscott
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    Aren't those, by their very nature, responsibilities of a pastor? Setting things in order and giving instruction would definitely fall under the responsibilities laid out in 1 Peter 5...
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    Answer to original question: Consider all the options, keeping them all open.

    Close them only as God closes them. I do not think it wrong to actively consider 3-4 different possibilities.

    But do agree that once you commit to a church to candidate, put all else on hold until you are sure that it is NOT the place of God's leading. Then go back to 3-4 options and seek the next place to focus on candidating.
     
  12. Artimaeus

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    It is the responsibility of the church and men involved to "discern" where and who the Holy Spirit has set as pastor. It doesn't matter whether this is one, ten, or a thousand people under consideration. The only reason for limiting candidates or churches is to make it easier, not more accurate.

    BTW, since when is it the responsibility of ANY pastor to "ordain elders in every city"?
     
  13. Greg Linscott

    Greg Linscott
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    It is consistent with the concept of churches birthing new churches. Paul exhorted Timothy to commit the things that he had learned to faithful men who would teach others- perhaps from these men that Timothy was expected to train and develop (as Paul and Silas had done with him) to begin or take over new churches.

    Thanks for the input on the original question. My personal concern, for example, in not "formally" considering more than one option at a time was to make sure that I was going where God wanted to use me. It would have been all too easy to instead evaluate the two situations on temporal things like financial compensation, quality of the community we would live in, etc.

    I would see similar dangers in a church "formally" considering more than one candidate as well. Choosing a pastor shouldn't be a "beauty contest." While obviously it is wise to have several names to consider in the process, I could see much potential for disunity in an "pick A or B" scenario submitted to a congregation.
     
  14. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    In our association, when a pastor is available for a call, he submits his name to the secretary. Local churches will often use this registry to consider men for a call. Seldom will a local church go out and call men randomly.

    We receive an invite to preach for a call. This gives the church an opportunity to hear the preacher. The administrative part is already done. How many candidates? At most I have known of three candidates at any one time. Seldom do we apply to a church for consideration. Students do this and are rarely successful.

    I smile at the number of candidates I have seen in some situations. What is the matter with men to-day that there would be 100's of candidates for a pastoral vacancy? Some spiritual development is definitley in order somewhere.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  15. BishopAPG

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    What would you have us do? I am currently in the process of finding another church. I pastor a small church in a small community. No one is beating down my door to have me come candidate. I know it is time to leave, and sending resumes is the only thing to do. If there is any spiritual development needed it is in church boards who are in small churces but are looking for the next Criswell or Stanley instead of hearing from God and giving us "small" pastors a chance!!!!!!
     
  16. Trotter

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    Amen, Bishop. If you are new to the ministry, or are the pastor of a small country church, you can almost forget it as far as most churches are concerned.
     
  17. IdahoLabs

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    For a church to receive resumes does not make them all candidates. A candidate is one who comes to the church and preaches in view of a call.

    For a Preacher to send a resume does not make his action candidating. When he is asked to come in view of a call, then he is a candidate if he agrees to go.

    If the church asks a preacher to come, and he agrees to go, at that moment all other prospects and possibilities should be put aside from prayerful consideration.

    Pastor Brian Tousley
     
  18. Greg Linscott

    Greg Linscott
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    I'm not sure I agree. Two crucial but often overlooked components in this matter is meaningful practical experience and establishing and maintaining relationships. I have had very little difficulty finding a place to serve (granted, I'm not starting out in a mega-church). However, I had already established my reputation as a dedicated worker in my previous local churches. I have also made it a point to maintain fellowship and relationships with the men God has used in my life over the years (former pastors, instructors, missionaries, and so on). These two factors were very significant in God's providential placement of my family and me from Iowa to Maine.

    [ May 28, 2004, 07:53 AM: Message edited by: Greg Linscott ]
     
  19. WallyGator

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    One of my pet peeves over the years has been when a church narrows down their search to final three and then doesn't notify the 2 prospects they haven't "called". On the other hand, last month, I received a letter from a church, who 4 months earlier, told me that I was still being considered and their search had narrowed to two men. What is a good balance? What is a churches responsibility? What is the candidate's responsibility? I truly believe that it's a matter of courtesy to promptly communicate by both parties when decisions have been reached.
    WallyGator :confused: :confused:
     
  20. Major B

    Major B
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    I have quit sending resumes. If a church wants to talk to me, they can call me in.
     

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