February 11, 2019
It is A Spiritual Process Not an Emotional One
1 Timothy 3:1-7 (KJB) This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Finding a new preacher is always a spiritual process, never an employee-employer or friend to friend process. In fact, any opening in the pulpit of a church begs for much persistent prayer and even homework involving the congregation and its current leaders. The search for a replacement is often approached through bylaws and certainly addressing biblically based qualifications. These things are often discussed first by a committee, then qualified candidates preaching is heard, then an able nominee chosen from the group and is brought forth by leadership for a vote within the congregation.
Above all this human effort, it is vital to employ supernatural input and divine direction of God as false teaching, religious imposters, and the infiltration of worthless modern Bible versions in an attempt to replace God’s Word, can quite easily penetrate into an unsuspecting or napping church congregation.
It is undoubtedly true that the Bible lays out the spiritual qualifications and character necessary for the job. It is divinely given of God for finding a man (not ever a woman) who can fill an opening in the pulpit. In fact, holy and helpful verses for this purpose were recorded, and some are shown above for consideration in such a matter. God supplies a pattern to employ in the search for competent leaders who will excel in the spiritual business of managing, encouraging, and disciplining His sheep, engaging members in witnessing and sowing seeds of the gospel, and of foremost importance strive to bring honor and glory to God. Sometimes his work can be quite unpopular in the beginning and characterized as “we have never done it this way before work” as a new pastor is launched and tries to become established in his new position.
Sadly, some churches skew such a critical biblical process and rush to fill a pastoral position out of fear of having an empty pulpit and no willing and godly candidate in immediate sight. Rushing the process can sidestep faith, and in haste, it can be decided to hire the first available man encountered. However, this good intentioned spontaneity can often unknowingly be practiced in front of the working of the supernatural leading of God. Instead of making it a matter of prayer and contemplation, finding a pastor is decided on a time frame dependent on the emotion of mankind instead of resting in the timing and precise direction of God.
The biblical pattern is clearly recorded for selecting a spiritual shepherd. Doing so requires continual prayerful communion with God. A servant who will diligently care for souls, both in the church and in drawing lost hearts. However, in a congregation in a rush to fill the lectern, God sense may fly out the window and allow for approval of a man not appointed by God to fill the pulpit. Spiritual business is always serious work, and God must be directly involved in the entire process.