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Good decisions take a long time!

January 15, 2024

The church we are members of is looking for a new senior pastor. This long journey started over 18 months ago. Al announced that he planned to retire in November of 2024. How do you replace an icon? A pastor who founded the church and led it for 40 years? The journey began with a team of 16 people from all walks of life to join together to create the pastoral search team. There was so much that needed to be addressed. A job descriptions was developed, an outline of what we are looking for, lots of prayer, thousands of hours of work were invested. Resumes came in, emails were exchanged, phone calls made, references checked, characters evaluated, Many hours of prayers with hundreds of people asking God for wisdom. Many of the resumes were probably more impressive than his, many probably had more experience, served under more prominent pastors or more famous churches... but that was not what we were looking for. We wanted a man (really a family) of integrity, humility, and a deep love for God. Yesterday the congregation got to meet a potential new senior pastor, hear him preach, and have time for a Q/A. I am thankful for the search committee that did their homework, with no other agenda than to find the right person for the position.

Tomorrow there will be early voting in some states who set the precedence for where the elections will go. And I wonder how much real time has been invested in vetting them? I am not asking how much campaign money has been spent to spin the truth in their favor, but how much do we really know about the people running? Do they have a heart to serve? Do they have the integrity to look out for the best of the country? How much do they know about the real issues that are facing our country and are they willing to address them? What do their private lives look like? Do their words and actions sync? Does their history of work show them worthy of this position? Do they have a humble heart that is open to be surrounded by people who can help them? Have they been faithful in the small things? And then the questions is, have we, the voters, done our homework? Have we taken the time to know the candidates deeper? Have we prayed about the decisions that we need to make? Are we asking for accountability?

As we celebrate MLK this week, here are some of his quotes to encourage us to make wise decisions, in the search for a new pastor or a president, or a city council member.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige and even his life for the welfare of others”

“Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?”

As we go into the season of voting, we need to make sure we take the time to make the right decisions. We need to do our homework, need to know the people who we put into power, we need to know their character, their passion their willingness to lay aside their own egos to serve the greater good. We need to pray for wisdom so that we don't get caught up in the rhetoric of people, of slogans, and advertisements, we need to pray to see the real person and what they stand for. And then we need to be willing to disagree with people who come to different conclusions. If it takes a local church over a year to find the right person, then you and I should spend time to make sure we have the right people leading our country and our communities. Because good decisions take a long time.

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