Thursday, May 28, 2009

If I Were Ever On A Pulpit Committee...

And you thought I only did political commentary...

I imagine should I live so long, one day I may be asked to serve on a pastoral search committee, commonly referred to as a pulpit committee, which if you think about it is a rather silly name. Why select a committee to find a pulpit, especially today when so few of us who preach actually use one. Alas, you now understand why the committee has been renamed "pastoral search" committee. In some cases, I think the committee should have just went ahead and purchased a pulpit.

Most people who have served on a pastoral search committee have met prior to interviewing a candidate to discuss the theological questions that should be asked of the candidate, such as:

+What is your view of spiritual gifts
+What is your understanding of baptism - or a you just a dry cleaner?
+Are you a Calvinist or that other position I can never spell correctly (help me Justin)
+Do you believe in eternal security or eternal insecurity?
+How much $ can you get by on to be someone who helps us with eternal matters?
+Do you counsel - or do you need counseling?
+Are you interested in further education or do you know it all now?

If I were a part of a team searching for a person to be the pastor of a church I attended, someone who would teach us and preach, assist us spiritually through the crisis' of life, I don't think I would ask any of the above questions. Probably goes to show why a committee is necessary, rather than just one person huh! I would (and will) ask the following if the time ever comes:

1. Do you pray?
2.Could you tell me roughly how many hours a week you spend communicating with God?
3. Would you share with me a little about your prayer time, I mean, how you break it down?
4. How has your prayer life changed over the last 2 years?
5. What has God been sharing with you through your time of prayer?
6. Does your prayer time involve a quiet time, a time of listening for God to speak to you?
7. Do you and your spouse (if married) pray together? What has God been sharing with the two of you that you feel comfortable sharing with us?
8. If you were to become our pastor would you pray for us?

I am not as interested in how much someone knows or thinks they know about the bible, or how theologically in tune with me they may or may not be, or if they have the right (if there is one) view of the Millennium, Daniel, or if they are a 6 - 24 hour creationist or go for a longer creation period of time (I will pause giving you time to pick yourself up from the floor) as I am about whether they know the Lord they are going to share with me for the next several years. [BTW, I hope you were not hurt to bad from the fall]

You don't have to agree with me - this is just Life From My Point of View

What would you ask the candidate?
Hey, how's your prayer life?
Do you know Jesus or have you just spent time reading His Word and somehow missed out on getting to know Him?




  1. Alan,

    What a novel approach. Tell me, why would you want to know if someone who is supposed to lead people closer to God is actually close to God himself? That is craziness. Good questions. Challening questions. I hope that I can be more of a praying pastor as I go along the way.

  2. Thanks for the thoughts, my man! I think sometimes we make hiring our pastors a little more corporate style because we are taught to be PC and not to meddle. So, GET OFF MY BACK already! Another good question is ask about finances and debt, where your money is. . .

    By the way, this may not be Govt. political but it is political in nature. . . .

  3. Pastoral search sounds like "Field of Dreams" to me ;), but perhaps that is appropriate because it is a search for someone who is willing to put up with the religious dogmas of people for very little pay or respect. These are the doctrines of those who put their faith and hope in human institutions rather than in the Lord.