Given that pastors are called to equip people for life, few things can be more important than calling the right pastor.
I have now been in pastoral ministry for 17 years. But, it doesn’t seem like too long ago that I had left a career in chemistry (see here) and was preparing for the ministry. At the time, I knew a lot about experiment design. But I had so many questions about being a pastor.
One of the things I wondered about was how I should how I would shepherd people through deep valleys that come with the changing seasons of life. Early on in seminary, one of my professors, Dr. Crawford, told a story about a family that faced a terrible tragedy. As soon as he shared the story I raised my hand and asked him, “How do you minister to someone in that situation that is going through such awful tragedies?” He said, “If you never did anything in advance to prepare them, there is relatively little you can do at the time.”
His answer has echoed in my thoughts for years. Each Sunday when a pastor preaches, he is called to prepare his people for times of weeping and laughing, mourning and dancing. If the Word is not preached, his flock will not be prepared. It is a job of supreme significance. And, so the call of identifying a preaching pastor for your church is so strategic.
When Dr. Crawford challenged our class that it is a pastor’s call to prepare his people for the diverse experiences of life, it was a sobering challenge for me. If you are involved in helping a local church call a pastor, I pray that you will be sobered with the importance of such a responsibility.