Thursday, June 09, 2005

Advice Would Be Nice

Okay, without going into a lot detail here, I am asking for some input regarding some choices that are currently facing Kim and I. Hopefully the counsel I receive will come from ministers/pastors who have actually been through this dilemma/desert, but I am opening up the discussion to anyone who cares enough to offer their opinion. So let's hear it!

I have several irons in the fire for future ministry at no less than 5 churches. Kim and I are soaking this situation in prayer and are confident that God is leading and we are learning so much in the process. Here is my question: Out of the five criteria below, which do you feel is the most important factor and which is the least? Please rank the following from 1 - 5 with 1 being the most important consideration and 5 being the least. Feel free (read: please do it) to explain why you feel what you feel about each criteria.

Thanks so much!

Please rank the following considerations from 1 - 5 for someone deciding whether or not to go work in ministry at a church:

Feeling :: The Spirit factor. Your gut feeling. The intangible, mysterious. The whisper.

Fit :: Theological match up between minister and church. Pragmatic match (i.e. Saddleback or house church) salary, dreams, etc...

Function :: Right job at the right church? What is your role? Will I be serving within my giftings and in line with my passions?

Fruits, Faults, Freedoms :: Church health. Their stability. Their past. Splits? What can I do or not do?

Future :: Where is this church headed? What is their vision? Who do they want to be?

Alright, there you have it. I know that all five are important (maybe equally important) but if you had to rank them, what would they be? Why?


Drew Battistelli said...

1) Feeling
2) Future
3) Function
4) Fit
5) Fruits, Faults, Freedoms

Luke said...

Since I am almost 24 years old, I obivously have a plethora of experiences and insights which should serve as a pancea for all your questions. So here it goes, I think that being at a healthy church is extremely important. No matter how great the individual personally is, the group as a whole will have her way. (ex. see Jordan's losing days in Chicago before getting a better supporting cast, or look at Proverbs, "Bad company ruins good morals") I also think that being on the same page theologically is extremely important, it is quite a hassle when you see God one way and the other leaders see God and understand the Bible in a different way. Though having the "right" job which utilizing your "gifts" is important, I think that church is more about community. The community of faith is more important than getting to do what one wants to do.
so here goes the ranking
Fit-4 (here I focus on theology)
Future- 3

by the way- I hope that what ever church you go to appreciates your cute lists.

DJG said...

OK, having changed jobs many times in my career and feeling that I have always bettered myself, I offer the following (because even though it is ministry it is still a job, right? and all of our jobs are ministry in one way or the other...)

1. Function: You have got to feel that this is a good fit for your abilities and have a good amount of challenge.

2. Feeling: Sometimes you just have to have enough faith to listen to this voice. It can keep you out of situations that you don't need to be in.

3. Fruits, Faults, Freedom: You have to make sure you are not going to be broadsided with a past that you are not part of and don't want to deal with. You must make sure you are in a "healthy" place.

4. Fit: Although the salary thing is usually higher up with me, the size and vision factors while important would not be considered by me before the other three.

5. Future: Knowing where the church is headed is vital, but your presence can change that. I must be happy with the present before I can give too much thought about what the future will hold.

Brandon Scott said...

Were they Moonies? Then no.

Were they GSP (God's Special People)? Then, of course.

Joel Quile said...


I know that 85% of your identity is wrapped up in your fine social club (remember, the one that sent out Hallmark cards to each other and gave back rubs on Bid night, while I was getting flogged and eating living creatures and tobacco spit, yeah - that one) and the other 13% in your hair tinting (the other 2% comes from knowing me) but I think it is time to let it go Brandon. Yes, I was a Moonie. Yes I never knew what it was like to loose Sing Song, Intramurals, or not have Lucado speak at my breakfast. Ok - sue me! But making your club a criteria to take the Gospel of Jesus to the ends of the earth? Hello. That is so sad! So sad. I had no idea you were so shallow.

Luke said...

Joel why do you even talk to someone who is not a Moonie?
Brandon I used to like you, but it seems that our friendship must end. (But your highlights are cute)

abileneblues said...

I am not a moonie or any other social club for that matter. However, I will pollute the cyberways with my opinion as much as those that had to endure physical torture to find friends. :)

While I believe that God can work miracles through any of those factors, I have to go with Function. God gave you those gifts and ignited your passions. When He did that, it was not just for you, though He loves you that much. He breathed life into a vision of how those gifts and passions would increase the kingdom, edify the saints and bring glory to His name.

Mike said...


1) Tie between Future, Function, Fit, and Fruits.

5) Feelings

(This isn't Star Wars. Don't trust your feelings, Luke, err, Joel. If the Spirit actually does the fleece thing, then go with it. My experience is that decisions are made in community and prayer with God blessing what we decide to do.)

Sam Middlebrook said...

Well, since Mike Cope just posted, I think we're all done here, but I'll post anyway...

1. Feeling. You, and especially Kim have incredible sensitive hearts to the Spirit. Allow that to be a barometer, but in a Biblical way (think fleece)

2. Fruits, Faults, Freedoms. You have to pick what you're willing to deal with, as evry church has all three. Sit down with Kim, and ask the hard but good question of: "What problems are we not willing to go through?". Also, know that there is no pastor, search committe, or leadership member who has an objective view of the current reality.

3. Fit. As long as you know who you are now, then assess tham compared to the realities that you have perceived about these potential ministries. Also, when you look at the church, ask yourself "Am I willing to be a part of this church for who it is NOW?" (not for who it may become).

4. Function - You and I both know that function changes dramatically with time. What you start at doing will not be what you finish at doing.

5. Future - this boils down to trusting the leadership. You haven't been involved/under the leadership yet, so it's a hard call.

I love ya, bro.