by DeAnn Pitts, Pastor Search Committee member
There has been quite a bit of activity, all within this one month that we have been meeting:
- Schedules for the team have been cleared as we have coordinated prioritizing our meeting times for the next many months, as well as scheduling additional meetings.
- We spent a couple hours in a training session with Tony Wolfe as he outlined some procedures for us as part of the training by the Southern Baptist Texas Convention on pastor search committees. (Who knew they actually had a training handbook?)
- We’ve already begun preliminary work in evaluating the job posting for the position. Time is being invested in evaluating the current description as well as receiving resources from other churches.
- The team met at Camp Copass one weekend for a prayer retreat that has been revealing itself to be foundational in connecting the team in thought and understanding.
One value I have seen surface through our many hours together so far has been that a definition of terms supports an alignment of heart. I confidently say that everyone selected for the committee came together with common commitments and hearts for what makes MacArthur Blvd unique but, just like in any family, we may use the same vocabulary and yet have different application. I believe this past month of discussion and prayer has been significant in further aligning as well as clarifying our thoughts and expectations to ensure that we are of like mind in our search. Quite a bit of time has been invested in bringing back to the forefront of our thoughts what are our MacArthur Blvd distinctives, so that they may be guarded in this process. As we search for our new pastor, it is not just about our future but it is also in recognition of our past. The time that has been invested in prayer has been truly beneficial in helping us to set aside ourselves and our own personal preferences to just become increasingly aware of the body that we represent and the distinctives that we are to uplift. It has been truly beautiful to be part of such a diverse group and yet to see how quickly the Lord is building a unity of heart and mind.
Camp Compass Prayer Retreat
Meeting together at the prayer retreat was another moment of the unexpected application of wisdom. We all know how important prayer is but it was such an incredible reminder that this whole process is not about seeking a candidate. The Lord has us in this season not to seek after a man but to seek after him. To have such a large portion of time dedicated to just simply seeking the Lord in the process will remain instrumental in continuing to align and realign our approach throughout this process. May this season become one of deeper seeking after God for both the committee members as well as the church body. God has already provided so many pastors who pour into us; they know him and seek after him, but it will never be the leadership that is truly guiding us or providing for us. It is God himself that we want.
One thought that I felt impressed on me was a reminder of a weakness of our current culture. Due to the abundance that we have available to us, we are often likely to delegate. There is strength in this as it can help us to prioritize and ensure that what matters most gets the bulk of our investment. But, if we aren’t careful, we can delegate responsibilities that we are intended to keep. It was during the prayer retreat that I had the reminder of the book of Nehemiah and in a time of building (or rebuilding in their case) that each group had a different section that they were to be working on. The application was that we are members of one body, different members of one body with different opportunities and different responsibilities. I believe that this is a season when we are to remain fully engaged, each one of us 100% fully pressing on and seeking the Lord for our next pastor. My prayer for each one of us is that this would be a season where we individually embrace the grace to press on with all that we have so that we may find God’s best for each of us in this season.
How can the Church be supporting the Pastor Search Committee?
The biggest request that we could possibly ask for is prayer. To say we need the Lord is truly an understatement. There is not one of us who knows what tomorrow will bring, yet we do have thoughts and possibly even expectations that need to be sorted through. We need the Lord to guide us and to truly help us to see the next steps. It will only be the Holy Spirit that can help us to recognize his will in the process.
It is also important to be praying even more for the pastors that we have already been given. We are not in a season where we lack for leadership and our commitment to love them back well seems to matter even more as they carry additional responsibilities. The next season of our church will be much more about the ministry team that the Lord has given us than just about the one man that is placed in a specific position.
Thank you so much for praying for us! Know that we are also praying with you and for you.