Monday, August 25, 2008

Asking the Wrong Questions

Let's see. I've served in eight different ministry positions. I've been interviewed for several others in churches or Christian organizations. Recently I had the opportunity to reflect on the process of being interviewed. I've been reading a book by Gregory Frizzell, Seeking God to Seek A Pastor. Dr. Frizzell makes the point that search committees often start with the wrong questions. They never seem to ask about the pastor's personal spiritual qualifications.

So, as I reflected I realized that I've not once been asked about my personal time in prayer and Bible study. I've been asked to tell when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and about God's call on my life for vocational ministry. I've been asked to discuss the growth in my last ministry position. I've been asked all the regular questions, but I'm convinced I've not been asked the important questions. In short, there have been no probing questions about my daily relationship with the Lord. I guess those doing the interview have assumed that I had a good daily relationship with the Lord because I was in vocational ministry.

I've come to the conclusion that this is a faulty assumption. Depending upon which survey you read the average pastor spends, on average, someplace between fifteen minutes and thirty minutes in prayer each day. How can one who will be the spiritual leader of a church do so without spending time with the Lord?

We have a host of writers telling us the most important thing in the church is leadership. They take a passing stab at the importance of spiritual leadership and then move on to talk about leadership qualities that could easily be divorced from spiritual leadership. Two of the greatest leaders mentioned in the Bible are Moses and David. Yet, neither of them read the latest John Maxwell book on leadership or one of Thom Rainer's contributions to leadership. They simply spent time with God and allowed Him to direct them.

Maybe that's why the church is struggling so much today. Without leaders who spend vast amounts of time alone with God how will they provide the spiritual leadership necessary to lead our Lord's church?

It's time we stop asking the wrong questions and start answering the right questions about those who would lead our churches and Christian organizations. Tell me about your private time with the Lord each day? What has the Lord said personally to you today? How much time do you spend in personal Bible study and prayer?

How would you answer those questions?


Jennifer Mc said...

I would never get hired if asked those questions, though I realize my shortcomings and striving to do better. I do believe there are pastors today that fall short in this area as well-look at those who are now choosing which parts of the Bible to follow, and which to ignore. I've seen interviews with some and found that I knew more about what the Bible said than did they. That's sad.

Randy said...

Jennifer,you are exactly right. Many believers are not actively pursuing a passionate relationship with the Lord. The greater tragedy is that it it also true of too many pastors.