Pastor Searches

Some friends of ours were just visiting and talking about their search for a new pastor.  This is not a particular new venture these days as pastors seem to bailing left and right on their congregations. I find this a sad thing.  I have always wondered why a pastor would leave before there was another shepherd to take his place.  I am not sure why that is.  I do understand there are times when pastors must step down for various reasons, but it also seems in reality, to be a lack of good shepherds these days.  Why is that?  Some blame seminaries.  I am not so sure.

For me, I think it is a matter of sowing and reaping.  For many pastors, the art of discipleship has been missing on their radar.  We as pastors often do not keep in front of us the need to reproduce in others what God has done in us.  Here is where we are reaping what we have sown.  One would think that making disciples would be an obvious thing to do coming out of the Great Commission in Matthew to “make disciples,” but somehow it gets overlooked.  You see, discipleship is time intensive–and what pastor has time to spend on one person?  Discipleship is dirty–you have to get your hands in sin sometimes and the web of sin is often hard to untangle.  Discipleship is also individual.  It cannot properly be accomplished in a class, or through a lecture.  Christ was very good at making disciples–but not everyone “got it.”  Crowds followed him, but only a very few were genuine disciples.  However, these men “got it” and they began to make disciples and the ministry of the gospel flourished.  Paul “got it” in 2 Tim 2:2 when he explains the proper way disciples are made: give yourselves to others who will in turn give themselves to others.  Good men reproduce good men.  This is goes back to Genesis where God commanded His creation to reproduce “after their kind.”  Certainly a pastor who loves shepherding people because the Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ has shepherded him, can then in turn shepherd and disciple another pastor, can’t he?

I love church planting, but there is such a need for godly men who will give themselves to discipleship who will then shepherd God’s people.  Who will take the time?  Who will take the interest?  Who will fill the spots that are open across this nation and shepherd people to a greater understanding of the Great Shepherd?  I say, “Lord, here am I, send me!”

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5 comments on “Pastor Searches

  1. matt says:

    This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

  2. Jon Bell says:

    Could one problem be that there is a lot of laziness? While it takes a lot of work to preach in a way it is easy to spend a lot of time preparing sermons as opposed to discipleship. I am no pastor but I find it much easier to get up and say something from the pulpit when I preach or give scripture lesson than it is to ask someone one on one, “How is your walk with the Lord?” Also, in Fundamentalism I think there has been a lack of real accountability. There has been some good articles on that recently.

    • graceisflowing says:

      For sure, Jon–as in all of life, laziness is part of our brokenness. We are not as we were created. Because of our real sinfulness, we hide–we don’t want accountability. I recently wrote and article for the Pastor’s Magazine that is put out by Jerry Thacker’s group called “The Buddy System” that encouraged pastors to have accountability in their lives by other pastors and by their own people. What a novel idea–“submit to one another??”–except for pastors. Hmm…..
      Thanks for reading. I am just getting started–there is so much more I want to say and this is all Todd’s fault. He encouraged me to write down some of these things, so I am doing it in blog form–for whoever will read it. So, read away.
      Grace to you!

  3. David George says:

    Eric – just so you know . . . there ARE others reading this!

    • graceisflowing says:

      Great, David. Welcome to my world of wandering thoughts! Let me know your thinking as well. I always value your friendship and input.
      Had a great time with Kris and Andrea!
      Grace to you,
      ES

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