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).
What are your thoughts regarding visitation, specifically the visitation of members, prospects, the sick, shut-ins, nursing home residents, and the bereaved?
I think that the pastor should make it a point to periodically visit every member of the congregation, whether or not they are sick or shut-in. I believe it is incumbent upon church members, especially ones gifted for service and mercy, to visit the sick and minister to the bereaved. The pastor and deacons are, however, formally charged with providing this kind of care by virtue of their office. It is incumbent on every church member to share the gospel. “Prospects” should be the concern of every member of the church. The pastor is primarily tasked with spiritual care while the Deacons are tasked with physical care. I think those who fill these offices are reasonably expected to visit with and minister to each type of person listed.
*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
I’ve had some experience with pastor search committees of the Southern Baptist flavor. Too many questions about “relational” issues (“Will you be open to attending church barbecues?”) and “vision casting” (“How do you envision taking our church into the next level that God has for us?”), but very little about Biblical doctrine. Which must be a microcosm of the current state of the Southern Baptist Convention.