Thursday, March 16, 2006

On Receiving a New Pastor

I recently had posted on my personal website a document entitled, “On Receiving a New Pastor.” It is essentially my notes for an address I have given to churches who are awaiting the arrival of a new pastor. There is not enough thinking about what a pastor is to do and as a result there is not enough thinking about how a church should receive one.

Here is the opening section:

Calling and receiving a new pastor is a significant occasion in the life of a church and therefore deserves some reflection. As a church you should, and I believe you do, want to receive your new pastor well. We would do well then to contemplate how you can receive him and his family well.
The primary issue in receiving a new pastor well is to understand the nature of the pastorate. This is absolutely essential. You must have a clear idea of what you have called this man to do. You have called him to be your pastor, but what does this mean? If you are not clear on this you might end up like someone who is:
- upset with a quarterback who has thrown dozens of touchdown passes but has yet to hit a single home run.
- upset with a baseball coach who has won lots of games but has yet to win a Super Bowl.
- upset with a math teacher who did not explain nouns and pronouns well.
- pleased with a banker because he is so pleasant even though he cannot find your savings!

If you are going to receive a new pastor well, if you are going to be a blessing to him, then you must have a clear, biblical view of what he is supposed to do. Otherwise you might end up giving him a hard time about things which are not his responsibilities or praising him for the wrong things.
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slmayes said...

Another excellent post on the calling of a pastor. Thanks for making the extended version of this available. We definitely need to see reform in the process of calling pastors to churches.

Ray Van Neste said...

Thanks Steve.
AS we think about these thigns and put them into practice it is encouraging to see that we can achieve good reform.

Brett said...

Great post, Ray! This needs to be distributed widely. I suggest you look to develop this theme further for publication possibly.