On Being Out There

With his seminary graduation on the distant yet rapidly looming spring horizon, Aaron is officially “out there” in the sense of looking for a pastoral position. He finished his ministerial profile in September–a document answering a number of questions about his values, style, strengths, beliefs, and so on. It’s much more detailed than your typical resume. It’s in depth. It’s personal.

And when he sent it to that first church, it suddenly felt very . . . exposing. You try to put the essence of who you are as a leader and a Christ follower, a preacher and a person, into 15 pages, then wait for strangers to read it and decide whether they like you enough to want to talk to you.

Aaron’s very likable–who doesn’t like him? No one!–but the reality is that a lot of churches won’t even consider someone taking their “first ordained call,” even if they have other ministry and life experience. I’ve been on the other side of this as well, on a church search committee, and I think it’s sometimes unrealistic on churches’ part (most experienced pastors aren’t looking for a more difficult, lesser paying situation) and often unfair to good candidates. Sure, a few situations clearly need experience at the helm, but most of the time, how can you just rule them all out without even considering them? I am positive that when churches talk to Aaron, they are not going to see him as a naive new grad. They’re going to see a guy who loves God, Scripture, the church, and people; who’s thoughtful, passionate, and wise; who knows how to lead and knows how to love. Someone’s going to see a great pastor in waiting.

But it wasn’t the first church. It might not be the second, or the third, or the twenty-seventh.

We just pray God keeps granting us enough affirmation to ward off discouragement while we walk on.

And when necessary, we sing some Adele!

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you
I wish nothing but the best for you too
Don’t forget me, I beg
I remember you said,
Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead
Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead

3 thoughts on “On Being Out There

  1. That first “Best of luck; we are going in a different direction” letter is no fun. I have 5 of them now.

    I live your application of Adele here :)

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