Friday, October 7, 2011

Seeking, again.

I just discovered today that we are seeking a new pastor for our church.

There's something hauntingly numbing about that. Perhaps it's because it's still sinking in, and that we only had her for five years.

That sixth sense of mine had me suspecting our pastor's resignation was on it's way, but still, I find myself anxious about the search that is about to ensue.

I'm curious, if your church has recently undergone a pastor search, what did you find helpful in seeking and narrowing down candidates? I'm not on the search committee, nor would I wish to be. But I'm wondering how other church's have included the mass parishioners in helping with the search so that the best fit for all is found.

Was a survey performed, perhaps? If so, what questions helped define the church's needs?

Please pray for our church as a whole as we traverse this pastor hunt once again, and also pray for our pastor who has made this difficult decision to resign. Many souls are affected when a pastor leaves. Strength and healing are just two of the things we need. In God's amazing grace we will get through this, though, I know.

May you all have a blessed weekend. For us in Canada, it's a long one--Thanksgiving Weekend. Happy Thanksgiving to all us Canadians!

Surrendering to Him,



Katie Ganshert said...

Man, I could imagine that would be super, super hard. We've always had the same pastor, but I think, if he left, another pastor in the church would rise up to take his place. I'm not quite sure how that would work.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Katie, I wish we had a second pastor to step up to this position, but we're a small country church so we just have the one.

Jessica R. Patch said...

Just prayed for you and your church. We've always had the same pastor, but I would think our General Council would bring in people and the board and people would have some kind of vote...I don't really know!

That's a tough situation to be in and a little scary since you don't just want someone good, you want someone right.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I will pray.

I think I'd want to search for someone who is a strong leader, humble and authentic.

~ Wendy

Joanne said...

Happy Thanksgiving ... Wishing you good food, good company, good conversation. And great coffee with dessert ;)

Keli Gwyn said...

I feel for you and your congregation as you search for a new pastor. It's hard to say goodbye to a beloved shepherd. I trust God to bring you a new one who's a great fit for your church.

When our senior pastor moved on, an interim took over while our search team interviewed candidates. Once they had one, he and his family visited our church after which the congregation voted on whether or not to call him to serve as our pastor.

Happy Thanksgiving, Eileen. I hope you have a wonderful time celebrating with your loved ones.

Lily Whalen said...

Hi Eileen,

Our church has been searching for a new pastor for the past year. We have a search team that was largely selected by the congregation. One of the things the team did was to conduct a survey. I don't remember what questions were asked, as this was several months ago. In the meantime, we have had excellent teaching from the remaining pastoral team, and the search committee has provided regular updates and opportunities to give feedback and direction.

Prayer is a huge part of a successful search. If your pastor has decided to resign, no doubt it was God-led. Now you need to trust Him to bring the right person to lead your church through a new season.

Blessings, and Happy Thanksgiving.

Loree Huebner said...

We have a senior pastor and several associate pastors. It's a big church...not a mega church but big so they can afford others. We know the associates well because they do Saturday evening service or early Sunday. The senior does the main service.

I pray for your church to find the right pastor to take over. It's not easy when that happens. I've seen some churches split. It's good for the canidates (after narrowed down to a few) to run the service several times to see who is a good fit and to get feed back from the congregation.

Sandra Orchard said...

Hi Eileen, I'll pray for your church during this transition. Like you, we've always attended small churches and we've experienced this transition a couple of times. Where we first lived, a search team that included lay people and church elders decided on who to interview. Once they settled on a candidate, he was brought in for a weekend to speak and meet everyone, and then the congregation voted. In the second one, the logistics went much the same way, except I believe only elders were on the committee, and after the congregation met the candidate, they could convey their impression to the elders, but the decision was made by the elders alone. (I didn't like that as much, but it's probably more Biblical.)

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Eileen,

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you have a wonderful family celebration. We are having a small meal on Sunday, and then everyone is meeting at a restaurant for a mid-day meal on Monday. Should be fun.

Sorry to hear about your pastor leaving. It's hard, especially when it's someone you've really bonded with. The church I work at has gone through this process twice now and each time it has taken 9 mos. to a year to find a replacement. Luckily this time I had a wonderful interim rector who I got along well with. We now have a new rector and we are in the 'getting to know each other' stage. This church picked a team of people to be the 'selection committee' - different ages, races and cultures to represent all aspects of the congregation. It is a grueling process.

I'm praying that your new pastor is found quickly and easily!


Unknown said...

We haven't had to go through the process in a long time. I'll say a prayer for your church.

quietspirit said...

My present denomination has its pastors assigned to the churches. I do remember when I was in another group of churches. The time between a pastor leaving and a new pastor being hired can be a minimum of six months. I remember a search committee who waited until the sucessful candidate finished seminary and received ordination before he was officially on the job. At that church, the first interim pastor suffered a heart attack while serving the church and his full-time job.

Terri Tiffany said...

I'm sorry your church is going through this. I have been in a church where we had to search for a new pastor. Usually the committee just brought people in and had them candidate.