It’s a standard trope: The young seminarian takes his first pastorate. He’s loaded for bear, brimming with theological conviction, eager to love the people. He’s ready to meet the devil on the battlefield. His first year’s sermons are planned. He’s dreaming big, praying hard, and ready to go.
And then he meets it: Torpor. Indifference. Spiritual laziness.
Seventeen years ago I went on a two-week trip to India and Korea to teach in a Bible college and some churches. Security at the airport was not as tight pre-9/11, so my family accompanied me to the gate. As I left my wife and three young children in the midst of a Michigan winter, my youngest daughter cried out "NOOOOO!" so long and so loud that the echo followed me down the jet way into the plane itself. She wasn't the only one who cried that day.
There are a lot of things a church should look for in its next pastor. But as your church considers different pastoral candidates, I want to make sure this is toward the top of your list: a supernatural faith in the power of God’s Word.
AS IMPORTANT ANY OTHER QUALITY
I’m not talking about a man who simply checks the belief box on the “authority” or “sufficiency” or “power” of the Bible.
Do your church members physically abuse their children? Maybe you think it’s so few that you don't feel compelled to teach publicly what everyone knows: don't abuse your kids. At most it's one or two bad apples, right?
Today I received an email from a woman to whom our church has been reaching out. She was asking if I'd be willing to lead a memorial service for her friend's mother who had recently passed.
Of course, I said "Yes". Who would pass up a gospel opportunity like that? But then I had that moment (not uncommon in my expierience of ministry) where I realize that I'm not sure about the next steps to take.
The below is a guest post from Brian Croft. Brian is the senior pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville, KY. Brian writes regularly on his own blog http://practicalshepherding.com/. He is married to Cara and has four children.
What lessons did I learn from a few seasoned pastors while in England and Scotland?