Posts Tagged ‘gift of a pastor’

I witnessed a wonderful scene this evening.

A church voted to extend a call to a new pastor.

I’m currently serving as an interim pastor at a church in the Northeast.  The church’s founding pastor resigned a few months ago and the leaders quickly assembled a search team and began searching for a new pastor in earnest.

The search team received resumes … sent out questionnaries … interviewed candidates on the phone … interviewed candidates on Skype … reviewed resumes … read the answers to questionnaires … and prayed passionately that God would lead their church to the right person.

Several weeks ago, the search team invited a candidate and his wife to the church for a weekend.  The candidate met various leaders, preached in two services, and answered questions in group settings.

Then he went home to await word of the congregation’s decision.

The atmosphere this evening at the church was electric.  The worship center was packed.  As members entered the sanctuary, their names were checked off of the membership roster and each member was handed a ballot.

The board chairman announced the process … thanked the search team … read Scripture … prayed … and then asked the members to cast their votes.

While they were being counted, the congregation sang enthusiastically to the Lord.

When the vote was announced, the pastor overwhelmingly won a plurality of the ballots cast.

After the pastor’s call was announced, people were invited to stay for cake and coffee.

The process of calling a pastor is long … and tedious … and frustrating … and nerve-wracking … and very, very emotional.

So when a pastor is finally called, it’s a glorious day for the church … and for the pastoral candidate himself.

Pastors are gifts from the risen Christ to His church.  Ephesians 4:11-12 says: “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up …”

People from this church have come up to me and said, “Thank you so much for driving across the country to come to our church.  When our pastor left, we didn’t know what we were going to do.  We’re so glad you’re here!”

Those sentiments say little about me … but quite a bit about how much the presence of a pastor means to a church.

It’s Pastor Appreciation Month.  I hope your church invites the congregation to donate toward a generous gift for your pastor and/or pastoral staff … and that you donate toward that gift.

But there are many ways to thank your pastor for who he is and what he does.  There are websites that can suggest many more ideas for you.

But whatever you do, and however you do it, let your pastor know in a personal way how glad you are that he’s your pastor.

Before tonight’s meeting, I spent a few minutes talking with a lay leader who worked closely with the church’s previous pastor.  This leader viewed himself as the pastor’s protector.  He told me stories about how he used to contact people whenever someone was unhappy with the pastor.

In other words, he was the pastor’s “spiritual bodyguard.”

When a pastor has a few such bodyguards around him, he can minister in a freer and more effective manner … as long as his bodyguards don’t turn around and stab him in the back.

Assuming your pastor is a gift from the risen Christ to your church …

How can you let him know you’re thankful for him?

I’d love to hear your ideas!

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