When their pastoral offices becomes vacant, many Baptist churches form what is know as a “pulpit is committee”. A pulpit committee typically consists of several church members whom the body has tasked with seeking, interviewing, and recommending pastoral candidates. Have you ever wondered what kinds of questions these churches ask pastoral candidates? How do you think potential pastors should answer these questions? In this on-going series, I will provide actual inquiries from a questionnaire sent to me by the pulpit committee of a Southern Baptist Church, along with my answers. Each part of this series will examine a different question and answer from the church’s questionnaire. Feel free to interact in the comment section with your own opinions of how the questions should have been asked and answered.
(Note: The identity and location of the church has been replaced with generic terms).
Barring statistics, what is you goal for “longevity” at XYZ Baptist Church? i.e., is it your goal to make XYZ Baptist and Anytown, USA your home for the duration of your life?
Proverbs 16:9 says “The mind of man plans his way but the LORD directs his steps.” I think it is folly to plan to make one particular place home for the rest of one’s life. Abraham, was called to leave his home to fulfill the task the Lord has prepared for him. The Lord calls us to be salt and light wherever He has directed us. I think it is unfortunate that some pastors do “career planning” where church life is concerned. XYZ Baptist would not be considered a career “stepping stone” for me. In other words, I would not make it a goal to leave the church but rather a goal to shepherd the church for as long as the Lord allows. Optimally, churches would be able to raise their pastors from within their populations without seeking someone from the outside to be hired in as pastor. Most of the time, this is not the case. The Lord has blessed me with the career prospects to be able to support my family in secular work without making a career out of church work. It would be a blessing to serve bi-vocationally and not fall prey to the temptation of looking for the next big church job. Pastors should consider themselves church members just like everyone else and endeavor not to leave the church unless they needed to move out of town (and being mysteriously “called” by God to a bigger church with a bigger salary is not the kind of moving I am talking about) or something like that. My goal at XYZ Baptist would be to lead it to be a church that reflects the New Testament for as long as God allows me to do so.
*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use