Question for Pastors

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by quantumfaith, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. quantumfaith

    quantumfaith
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    For those of "yall" who are pastors (or other ministerial staff), what goes into your decision to leave one church and accept a call or invitation to pastor or serve in another church? What are the primary things that go into making that decision?
     
  2. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Before I felt the direct leading of the Lord and peace/purpose in accepting a new field of ministry, I always felt - very tangibly - that my effective ministry had reached a level of fulfillment.

    Always more to do and could be effective for many more years, but almost an uneasiness, a loss of contentment in doing what I was doing. Like a burden "shifted" to another direction.

    This is not a typical "resign every Sunday night, rehired Monday morning" that some pastor feel. There are ups-and-downs and cycles in any ministry. But when the "burden" for a work is done, you know it. You can go thru the motions (and God will bless His Word) but there is a piece missing.

    Some men "hit the wall" like this and simply quit - walk away from ministry and unless something drops in their lap, they look for ways to make money. I have had this "loss" of burden and feeling that my effectiveness was over twice in my 43 years of ministry.

    Once when I prayed and cried and talked with the wife over what I was feeling after six years in a small-town rural parish, we laid it out before God. Within 24 hours a large church/school contacted me, said they'd heard me speak at camp, and wondered if I would consider this ministry. Wow.

    So it will vary from pastor to pastor, but the "physical/emotional" part (not talking spiritual leading of God) should be pretty evident to you.
     
  3. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    That is a good question.

    As I have dealt with this issue in the past (though not currently dealing with it) I have had two different experiences than have some commonalities.

    One of the first things is that I've never spread out resumes looking for new church positions while in a position. I don't really like that kind of thing, but understand people who do.

    In both situations I felt that after a time doing ministry in these churches, ministries which were growing and seeing lives changed by Christ, that it might be time to move on. To put it more succinctly, I felt freed from my position and believe God had allowed me to begin considering new avenues of ministry. Now only in one situation did an opportunity immediately present itself, the other took some time. But that sense of knowing you've completed your task and are ready to move on is important.

    Now, when I have been approached by churches (in both situations I was approached by multiple churches for mostly different positions) I begin walking down the path and have time to interview them as they interview me. I've prayerfully considered where they are and what they are willing to do. Asking probing questions about vision, past leadership, openness for change, desire to grow and flourish, and also to get handle on the situation within the church are all important factors.

    By being intentional I have been able to move on from most churches and have, in one case, dismissed all of them and considered what might be next. Ultimately the process gets down to where I get serious in talking with a church and that is where we both get more specific in our questions and the process.

    When I've felt called to a church I believe is it first a Holy Spirit led calling. If I don't sense the Spirit's commission I draw back and let the church go. If the Spirit is leading, we move forward. I get specific information about past attendance and programming patterns. An accurate (and honest) financial picture (one church tried to mislead me on that one...it quickly was done with me.) I also try to hear where the lay leaders are coming from and how they respond to a leader who pushed them to think more broadly.

    My wife's council is also highly sought out by me. She is able to pick up things that I might miss. If there is a site visit that is almost a guarantee that I'll be at that church. So we try to discern what else might be going on before that visit.

    My leadership style is certainly my own. A church needs to know that and I encourage them to call some of my references and learn about me. Of course, I interview them just as much as they interview me. By asking probing questions I can feel the hand of God and whether these folks know its presence as well. :)

    The big things that go into my accepting a call thus end up being:
    * My own freedom to consider a new position
    * Does the new church desire a strong leader
    * Is the new church ready to be led
    * Is the Holy Spirit in midst of this process
    * Is God leading me to join that church
    * Is this a Jesus loving people
    * What does my wife think about this

    Hope that helps.
     
  4. quantumfaith

    quantumfaith
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    Thank you Dr. Bob and Preachinjesus (Gentlemen) for your candid responses,, thank you very much. I can only "imagine" that such decisions can be profound and often difficult to make. On a personal aside, I have been considering retirement, but I know I am allowing the "stress of changes" to impact that desire. I am still relatively young to retire and KNOW that teaching is my life's calling and gift.

    Blessings to you both.
     
  5. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    I'm hearing the term leadership as an important factor to your ministry (and I'm not critiqueing you...sounds as if that's a strong point for you)..however I see a potential consternation with a church that brings in a pastor to lead without much impute or bother from the congregation. A strong leader can become a tyrant & ive seen that happen a few times...so how do you balance that to make the people do most of the things necessary to have the church grow and prosper?
     
  6. Tom Bryant

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    Dr. Bob and Preaching Jesus have given great answers. I have used Elijah's time at the the brook Cherith. God sent him there to get him away from Ahab. But then the brook dried up because God had another place for him to go. (1 Kings 17) But it's not about results being seen or prophest like Jeremiah and Ezekiel would have moved on. It is about God's specific direction to leave one place and go to another place.
     
  7. Earth Wind and Fire

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    OK, does God directly tell you to leave or is it that he puts obstacles in your path till your forced to leave.....people can & do become very complacent in their lives so I was just wondering.
     
  8. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Are you suggesting that your interested in a ministry?
     
  9. quantumfaith

    quantumfaith
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    No, EWF that would take as near an ABSOLUTE confidence as one could get. I was at one time a minister to Students when I was in college. However, if there was ever a need for support ministerial staff for a Northpoint Strategic Partnership in Dublin Ireland, I would "be all over that", provided God permitted all details to work out. :)
     

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