A few years back I enjoyed reading a little book about a missionary’s experiences while on deputation. Anyone who has been close to a missionary knows the joys and trials of trying to raise support. I have often thought someone should write a book for mission committees on how to handle the deputation process. Having been a pastoral candidate a few times, I am glad someone has written a book for pastoral search committees. Chris Brauns has done churches and pastoral candidates a great service with this book, subtitled Biblical Principles and Practices To Guide Your Search.
Republished with permission from Voice magazine, July/August 2012.
After the initial shock of hearing the words, “and my resignation is effective…” confusion is bound to reign for a while. What do we do after our pastor resigns? Generally, a pastoral search committee is formed to go about the task of finding another shepherd for the flock. But the congregation needs to do more than just seek another pastor. While it’s not as easy as A B C, the information that follows will help address other needs of the congregation.
Assessment comes in the form of asking questions, even the hard ones. Where are we as a congregation? Did the pastor leave under difficult circumstances? Were there moral, ethical or other problems that damaged testimonies? Is the congregation and/or board divided? What are the vital signs of the fellowship? What are the strengths and weaknesses? Does the church need outside help to be objective and put things back into perspective? Are there problems within the congregation that need to be handled? What will be the process? Are there relationships to be reconciled outside the church?
On the invention of the “teenager” and today’s permanently (?) teenaged church…
When Are We Going to Grow Up? The Juvenilization of American Christianity