Praying in a New Season
A lot has been happening in the pastoral search process! It is starting to feel a lot like, well… Spring! For the gardeners among us, even though there is still very little that is visible above ground, there’s a sense of anticipation, as we know much has been happening beneath. As a Pastoral Search Committee member, I have found that along with the growing excitement, also comes an increased awareness of the weightiness of the task and our own human inadequacy.
During this next season of the search would you continue to pray with and for us? When I pray, I keep coming back to a few key prayers for the process and for the people.
For the Process
That we would not be overwhelmed. Reviewing a significant number of applicants can quickly start to feel overwhelming. We want to be thorough; we don’t want to pass over any too quickly or carelessly, but we are trying to identify the top potential candidates. Pray that we have clarity of thought and unity in our reviewing and decision-making times.
That we would keep in step with the Spirit. It can be a challenging line to walk: trying to not run ahead of the Spirit before we sense his leading, nor being overly cautious or myopic and dragging behind him. I have been so encouraged by the thoroughness of our leadership team and their desire to undergo this process in a very intentional, careful way. Pray that we will continually bow our process to His; and be ready to respond as He leads.
That we would not be anxious. Pray that we would not for a minute doubt God’s provision. He loves his church and He will provide for its needs. What He asks is that we trust Him with the timing and person that He chooses. Our task is to be purposeful and thoughtful in our search process; and then to acknowledge our dependence on our faithful God, the One who provides.
For the People
The Search Committee. Pray that we will dig in during this next phase of the process. That we will listen and communicate well with one another. That our wide range of perspectives and experiences will serve the group productively and not become stumbling blocks that divide or detract.
The Elders, Deacons, and Staff. Please pray for these diligent, faithful individuals who have not stopped shouldering the responsibilities of our church and ministries in the absence of a senior pastor. Pray that they will not become discouraged. Pray that the Lord will continually fill them with grace, as they continually pour out in service.
The Senior Pastor. He likely does not know yet that God is leading him to Grace Baptist Church. Pray that God will be preparing him and working in his heart and life. We aren’t asking the Lord to fill an open position. We’re asking Him to call a specific person to help lead our church.
As I said, there is certainly a growing excitement, but there’s also an increasing awareness that this process- every phase of it- ultimately depends on the Lord. I love this reassurance from 1 Thessalonians: He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. Thank you, church family, for continuing to lift up the process and the people to Him.