Step Four: Pastoral Candidate Review
We believe that healthy churches need healthy leaders. An important part of finding the right person to step into leadership is taking the time to review, talk with, and vet possible candidates. This step requires calling on the Lord for wisdom through prayer.
Step Four in Our Next Steps is the time where our Search Team begins the process of Pastoral Candidate Review. Through this step, the team will be in contact with various organizations so they can begin reviewing resumes and have early conversations with potential candidates. To accomplish this process, it’s imperative that we have guidelines for the qualifications of the pastor that will step into leadership here. We find the qualifications of an elder/pastor/overseer in what are called the ‘pastoral epistles’ of 1 & 2 Timothy, and Titus. Let’s look at those passages.
1 Timothy 3:1-7 says:
Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
Titus 1:5-9 says:
The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
These are just two examples of the qualifications we see all over the New Testament for those that would take the role of elder, overseer, or shepherd (For further reading, see 2 Timothy 4:2, 1 Peter 5:1-4, Acts 20:28-31, and Hebrews 13:17). As you read, you’ll see different titles like elder, overseer, and pastor/shepherd. Each of these terms offer different nuances to the position, but reference the same position in the church. Depending on the translation you use you may get a different word, and depending on the usage, it may be a different expression, but again, referencing the same position.
Elder expresses wisdom/maturity. Pastor/Shepherd expresses care, teaching, and correction. Overseer/Bishop expresses leadership and oversight.
All of this comes into consideration as the Search Team interviews potential candidates before having them visit or be voted on by the church. It is vital that the team is unified in understanding the needs of the church and the qualifications of such a leader. For more on what New Story believes the Bible teaches on women serving in this role, please see the Leadership Roundtable discussion below.
If you have any questions, please let us know by emailing us at Info@NewStory.Church.