Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Names Have Been Changed . . .

. . . To Protect The Guilty

I’ve been thinking about this blog for some time, as I begin writing it today I am wondering if this might prove to be a couple of blogs.

About four and a half months ago I responded to an Internet ad for a senior pastor position. As I tried checked out the church it became apparent that a headhunter had placed the ad for the church.

I was rather excited when I received a call from the headhunter and we seemed to hit it off. We had a lot in common both having left extremely conservative backgrounds; eventually we both did our Master’s degree at the same seminary (although different years).

As we discussed the church situation, I got very interested in the church and he told me that he thought I was good fit with the church and the profile that they had created. He told me he would be sending me some information about the church (their by-laws, church constitution, etc.).

Well four months have gone by and I’ve yet to receive this information. A week went by and I sent the headhunter a thank you note and mentioned that I was looking for ward to getting the information about the church. A couple of weeks went by and I dropped the headhunter an email mentioning that I had not received the information.

In all I’ve sent four follow-up emails and I’ve also called the headhunting company three time and left messages on the partner’s voicemail asking for him to let me know what the current situation was with this church. To date I have not received an email response nor a returned phone call.

What makes this situation so unique is the fact that we discussed how unfortunate it was that churches rarely responded to candidates (my personal average is 20% response). The partner explained to me that they handled a number of Fortune 500 company placements and that they did placements for churches to help them to be more professional in their approach to pastoral placements.

Apparently this headhunter is too busy dealing with his Fortune 500 customers to answer an email or return a phone call.

Obviously something has changed and this church is not the place that Father has in mind for me.

It is interesting that often churches and their leadership (and in this case those they have hired) are unable to treat others, as they would like to be treated.

A couple of years ago I was serving as an associate pastor at a church that was seeking a new senior pastor. I had our church secretary keep track of all of the pastors who sent us their resumes. I reminded our pastoral search committee and elders to let these people know what our process is and where the church is inn the process. I also encouraged them to send out either letters or emails to candidates regardless if the church was interested in continuing to pursue them or not. Common courtesy needs to be practiced. In one of Jesus’ most famous sermons he teaches on the Golden Rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you). What a great lesson to apply for every aspect of our lives.


Dr. Val

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