Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Short Course for Pastor Search Committees on Interviewing Prospects

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)




    Pastor search committees are entrusted with the responsibility of interrogating prospects for their churches.

    Most denominations have vetting strategies that precede interviews by the PSCs and congregations usually get to vote on candidates; however, PSCs bear the biggest burden of asking the questions that help discern hope-filled answers for particular churches.

    While I may be wrong and assume contentions, no question is out of bounds.

    Most pastor/church conflicts result from limited interrogatives by PSCs.

    Asking is the best way to attain/assess answers consistent/contrary with/to congregational expectations.

    Or as I warn churches, "If you don't dig it up now, someone in the church will eventually do it for you...and probably without redemptive intentions!"

    Or as I warn prospects, "Dump your garbage before someone digs it up and then starts a campaign to dump you!"

    Churches don't like too many surprises from their new pastors and it is incumbent upon PSCs to probe deeply enough to limit 'em.

    That's why it's best to ask uncomfortable questions about...anything; for, again, somebody will get around to it sooner or later and it's always good to know where the pastor will or won't stand before treading on the quicksand of life in so many of today's churches in which anybody's word is as good as anybody else's word on almost any spiritual, secular, silly, stupid, or superficial subject.

    Again, while I may be wrong and assume contentions, I believe it's best to cut to the quick and commence interviews with one simple invitation/interrogative: "Please tell us about your personal relationship with Jesus."

    Whether the church is left, right, middle, up, down, all around, or confused, the prospect's answer to this question will be emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, and practically apocalyptic.

    This invitation/interrogative is never offensive or "out of order" regardless of weltanschauung concomitant to ordination queries/affirmations.

    Beginning with this invitation/interrogative saves time, cuts to the quick, and avoids unconscious to contentious exchanges.

    Assuming PSCs are relatively representative of the theological and social values of their churches along with being literate, alert, and mindful of our Lord's counsel in Matthew 10:16, responses to this invitation/interrogative will betray leanings along with predictable confession, conduct, and countenance.

    Of course, if you're not concerned about inevitable conflicts and quick turnovers, asking about favorite TV shows, foods, vestments, vehicles, movies, and whether Taylor Swift and Katie Perry will patch things up will take up enough time to pretend due diligence during your search.

    Again, if you want to save time and secure the best barometer of who she/he is and where she/he will try to lead, ask about her/his personal relationship with Jesus.

    Uh, it is all about Him in your church anyway...isn't it?

    If so, ask!

    If not, that's why you're always searching!


Blessings and Love!


Shatter the sound of silence!

Wake up!  Look up!  Stand up!  Speak up!  Act up for Jesus!

Salt!  Shine!  Leavenate!




RJ said...

this is more my style
have fun - sent them to Presbyterians Today but not betting on it

Religious Dim Sums

Some are prone to say the Holy Land
is over there in Israel, Galilee and Bethlehem.
Except for what happened beforehand,
what’s so special about Jerusalem?
Seems to me what becomes truly sacred
is not determined by what is historical, but rather when hatred and fear are negated, and wherever faith, hope, and love are practical.

For Pastors:

If pastors wish to establish credibility It takes at least four years of stability

Pastors: working for the institution
Instead of God is prostitution

Good advice for rookie pastors newly christened, Is to shut up for a year and really listen

Right answers aren’t as fun or as worthwhile Than asking right questions free from guile

Staying fewer than seven years
Puts a church’s investment in arrears

You say you don’t take it personally,
Like hell you don’t, quite terminally

If you are worried about losing your position You’re in the wrong business and forgot your mission

Never get caught in a corner
If so, you’re a goner

Altars, Bibles, crosses, sanctuaries – merely things What alone is sacred are people, says the King of Kings

Personally, I learnt more about being a preacher By selling paint and being a school teacher

If talking about God begins to weary you Try talking with God in order to pull through

Fighting negatives with negatives is for fools Fighting negatives with positives is the only rule

“Pastor, you have such a lovely church,” they say “Yes they are,” is the better answer to convey

It is far easier to preach about the ‘what’ they know Preaching ‘how’ is when scripture begins to glow

Be ready cherished presumptions to discard Faith is more about discovering what is hard

Most of your parishioners really do
Work harder than you

When you’re a pastor a church serving
There is no day off, the call unswerving

You may think you are in charge
But that’s a mistake very large
We remain at the bottom of the pile
Equipping them in the midst of life’s trials

Screw those damn church squabbles and conflicts Take care of the children instead of church politics

Yes, they’ll forgive the lousy sermon very quick But not if you fail to visit the hospital when they are sick

You can use all those schedule planners indeed But your calendar is determined by people’s needs

Do you really suppose over there the grass is greener and purer; Never found a holy church yet when God is the final juror

The pastor who fails to read
Might as well concede

Running around trying to make happy my parish I couldn’t care less because it is an effort nightmarish It says more about your emptiness and need Sadly, if that is your focus, you’ll never succeed

A pastor who doesn’t know how to wait
Will never get the calling straight

The pastor who thinks he or she is good at everything Is likely to end up accomplishing nothing

Trust who you are
You’ll do better by far

Tolerance surely isn’t enough
God’s love demands tougher stuff
Even mere love isn’t enough
God’s justice-love can be rough

Since when is ordination a right?
When the call comes, the smarter take flight

Don’t get so full of yourself or puffed up neither You probably weren’t God’s first choice either But don’t fret, worry, or turn all grumpily Given Peter and Paul you’re in good company

If you’re encountering at least five persons a day You’re getting close to following he who said I am the way

Christians be warned: it really is a terrible confusion Equating church and the institution is a bad delusion

The old pastor warned me most cautious
Never keep a couch in your office

RJ said...


For Congregations:

Jesus is present tense
Now that makes perfect sense

Jesus doesn’t offer an idea, a cause, or religion Jesus offers himself to us, that’s what’s given

If you are spewing nasty toxins out
You must be sucking them up no doubt

We err by fussing about outcomes and results Rather than focusing on our source like adults

That a person may with you disagree
Doesn’t mean they lack integrity

Since when do people choose to do evil and be demons?
The problem is they do it thinking they do it for good reasons

People want bread not religion, that’s what matters Which makes us only the butter knife, fork, and platter

Truth is very nice to handle
Without charity it is an idol

Of course God is verb and action
Nouns demand false veneration

We’re in the business of Christ’s redemption The business of punishment isn’t our direction

Loving God and hating everyone else
Is an oxymoron of the self

It is far more than a rumor
Christians need a sense of humor

Is what you assume to be important now
Be as important when on deathbed you bow?

Who here can change what has been?
None, but you can change the who within.

Do you really think you’re sins are bigger than God’s grace?
To be so proud and so great is an alienating disgrace

Wherever you find truth
You find God, you sleuth

To what you pay attention
You become it by extension

If you’re looking in this world for justice It ain’t going to happen amongst us

If wanting to be warm is your desire
You got to move nearer the fire


Love God to the lees
And do as you please

Brian said...

Great stuff! Like you!