I have very much enjoyed the diversity of thoughts communicated by the other members of the Pastoral Search Committee. We have such a variety of ages and personalities on the committee that Pinelands can be assured that not just one clique or demographic alone represents them in narrowing down this choice for our new pastor. I say “narrowing it down," because I do want members of Pinelands to remember that their committee does the difficult “search and analyze” job to present the church with the best prospect, but THE CHOICE is ultimately up to the church members. The church as a whole has the power to vote the candidate up or down.
With that in mind our committee has made a point to try to be as open with the congregation as possible and even to elicit opinions from as many from the congregation as want to give us their input. It is much healthier if everyone at Pinelands feels a part of the choice, so that everyone has a stake in the success of our new pastor.
It has been interesting hearing the questions and comments. I enjoy it. The most common trait people have told me they wish a pastor would have is “approachability.” That tells me that Pinelands wants a pastor who listens, cares about us, and wants to get close to us. That may not come out in written applications and essays, so we will have to rely more on our careful attention to references…..and to our own meetings with the candidates. We will pay close attention.
I am pleasantly surprised that several young people have shown intense interest in how the process is coming along. One recently wanted to express that the next pastor be “humble” and willing to accept criticism about his short comings. I was curious about that. Certainly we will attempt to find a humble, servant-leader, someone like Moses…called the most humble man on earth at the time in Numbers 12:3.
That, too, will be a difficult one to discern, so we ask the congregation to pray for us in recognizing true humility. I see in my own fallen heart an ability to see lack of humility in others but not so quick to see lack of humility in myself. I wonder if God will help all of us at Pinelands to reflect on that.
Just so everyone knows, we are also looking for powerful preaching ability, prayerfulness, great knowledge of the Scriptures, heart for outreach …..along with humility and approachability…..wow….everyone, please get to praying!!!
Judy, first and foremost, I would like to thank you and the committee for keeping us "in the loop" on the proceedings of the Pastoral Search Committee through the blog on our website.
In your blog you mention comments on traits that members would like to see in a new pastor. When I reflect on all the traits I want in a pastor, I realize that one man could not possibly possess all the traits I want in a pastor...if so, that would have to be Christ himself! I personally need to trust God more with the details. God will give us the man of His choosing, knowing fully well what Pinelands needs for such a time as this.
We know God is faithful and that those praying for you all are asking that He give you His wisdom and discernment, knowing His character, He will grant you our requests. Each one of you have the Holy Spirit indwelling and He is receptive.