Month: April, 2014
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Your search team had a busy week this week. We met several times, as we continue to gather information for our church profile. We also signed a covenant as a team. We would like you as a congregation to read it. ( Below ) We would like you to consider joining us in at least the first covenant that we signed to do, and that is a covenant to commit to the discipline of prayer and time in God's word as a congregation, because we have committed to do this as your search team. To seek the clear leadership of God's Spirit, and the guidance of God's Word to equip us to make good decisions.
We are learning from this book, When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search by Chris Brauns. And what we are learning is we need all of you. It says that we need "an organized time of congregational pray when a great number of your people participate." So it's isn't going to do any good if you leave it up to your search team to do the praying. We need all of you. So what we are going to do is we are going to have a time of prayer at 8:30am on Sunday mornings in the Chat Café. And we'd like as many of you to come as you can. And we are going to have scripture base prayer times and we are going to pray for our church, and for our search team, and for our next pastor.
An excerpt from When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search explaining why it is so important. "Prayer is the "dental floss" of pastoral searches: something we know we should use but, more often than not, leave at home. Why is it that churches looking for pastors know that they need to pray, yet don't pray. Is it a false sense of self-sufficiency. Churches think they can do this thing - this impossible thing in their own strength." The author compares our situation as a church to the Israelites when Pharaohs massive army had them pinned against the Red See... they knew they were in trouble and that they couldn't possibly get out of the mess by themselves. It is the same sort of urgency in prayer that we need as we search for a pastor... we need to be a people of prayer. Psalm 127:1 says "Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain." So as we look for our next pastor, we need the wisdom that can only be found in God's Word to ensure that His blessing will be on the search.
This picture shows we need to have our roots growing down deep into God, into His Bible that He left us to read, and in prayer. We need to do it individually, we need to go it together. And we need to grow and thrive as a congregation. It won't do us any good if we just do it and our roots grow down deep, we also need to grow up like we learned in reFocus. We do need to make disciples and grow.
In order to get there, we leave you with Paul's prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21. He was praying to empower the church in Ephesus, we would like to pray it to empower West Center. "When I think of the wisdom and the scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through His Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in Him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen. " (NLT)
Covenant For Pastoral Search Committee Members
We, the members of the pastoral search committee of West Center Baptist Church, have been elected by the membership/ministry board of the is position of highest trust and responsibility.
We recognize the potential effect of our deliberations and recommendations to this congregation on its future achievement in God's Kingdom, the spiritual health of its fellowship, the teaching of its children, and the maturing of its membership in relationships characterized by grace and love;
We acknowledge and confess that discovering God's Will in the calling of a pastor is often confused and complicated by human factors not easily understood; therefore, we solemnly enter the following covenant together before God:
A Covenant of the discipline of Prayer and time in His Word
We will hold up one another in prayer and seek separately and together the clear leadership of God's Spirit. We must be renewing our minds continually with the truth of God's word so that we are equipped and able to make good decisions.
A Covenant of Honest Communication
We will speak openly and honestly with one another without taking offence, realizing that we need the opportunity of thinking aloud to help sort out impressions and responses as we study our church's needs and evaluate individuals.
A Covenant of Confidentiality
We will confidentially treat committee discussions and evaluations and deal responsibly with privileged information. We will not criticize activities of this team except face to face in committee session. We will destroy all Ministry Information Profiles upon selection of candidate.
A Covenant of Accountability
In considering a pastor, we will proceed with ethical sensitivity and thoroughness in all investigations and evaluative procedures. If a pastor has been engaged in conversations and is later dropped from consideration, we will notify him/her tactfully in writing. We recognize out accountability to our church and to God in our decisions.
A Covenant of Unity
We will present to the church for its consideration only such recommendations as we can fully support as a committee. Where there are honest differences of opinion, we covenant to work these out before making a recommendation to the Church.
Signatures: Steven Sims, Brett Pierce, Kennley Wright, Loren Rowland, Holly Molascon, Jane Nelson, & Sonya Thayer