The team met on Thursday, October 24 and Tuesday, October 29 to debrief about our week of seeking the Lord more intentionally through fasting and praying. The result of these meetings was an overwhelming assurance that this is God’s work. Because it is His work, we are dependent on the Spirit for wisdom, discernment, strength, peace, and patience in both the process and the outcome. We were reminded of the fact that pastoral searches last, on average, 15-18 months. As we move into our sixth month of meeting, God has provided an abundance of peace to the search team members. It is our hope to communicate this peace to you, and it is our prayer that God would give you the same peace that we feel.
Two items stand out to us as we consider how God has brought each of us to places of peace in our own hearts:
In the process of fasting and praying, God revealed to each of us just how truly close He is to us as individuals and as a body. God used His word, time in individual and group prayer, our life circumstances, other believers, and the act of slowing down to listen. The intimacy that we have experienced with Him is a generous gift from the heart of God, one that instills great confidence in His faithfulness to carry us through this search process.
God is blessing Springbrook during this interim period! Our membership, attendance and giving have all been increasing. Last weekend, our services included over 440 people. Statistically, growth is incredibly rare during a transition season. While attendance is clearly only one measure of church health, the most appropriate explanation for the growth is that God is at work among us. All glory, honor, and praise to Him!
As we continue to move forward, the team would like to address a question that has been asked frequently in the last few weeks:
Q: In my line of work, all jobs are posted for both internal and external candidates to make sure that the best possible fit is found. Why is the pastoral search limited to internal candidates right now?
A: In the business world, you would definitely seek to bring in both internal and external candidates. However, the process is different in a church setting because it is a question not only of fit, but also of calling. Unlike the business world, we do not compare candidates with each other; we compare each candidate to a profile that God led us to develop. We look not only at the skills in each candidate, but at the match to our God given profile. It is not a competition.
We start with internal candidates as a courtesy to respect their commitment to serving Springbrook. We also have the best perspective on these candidates since we have seen them in action over a period of time. When we get to external candidates we can only gain limited knowledge of them, especially their weaknesses. The better the picture we have going in, the more accurate the result. God is faithful, and He will make it clear to us if he is leading us to look externally for the man He is calling.
This shift in thinking is both challenging and rewarding as it provides a much clearer path to discern who God is calling, allowing us to become more indifferent to our own preferences.