The mission of calling a new pastor will intimidate us if we forget who we are and to whom we belong. Thankfully, the Bible reminds us of these things. There we discover three important truths: We are the people of God the Father, the bride of Jesus Christ, and the temple of the Holy Spirit.
We are the people of God. In I Peter 2:9-10 we read, You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
We, the people of God, are a “chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.” Did you really hear these adjectives:
Never forget those descriptors, especially when the going gets tough. Our identity provides the foundation upon which to praise and serve the Lord.
We are the “Bride of Christ.” While encouraging husbands to love their wives, the apostle Paul gives us this nugget: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25-27). In other words, our congregation, with its warts and wrinkles, is pretty special.
We are the “Temple of the Holy Spirit.” In I Corinthians 6:19 the apostle Paul teaches that each believer is a temple of the Holy Spirit, but then earlier in this same letter he informs the church in Corinth that the church itself a temple of the Holy Spirit (3:16). This means that the Spirit, the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the grave, lives and dwells with us both individually and corporately. This Holy Spirit promises to gift the church with everything it needs to be faithful; he even gifts the church with pastors (I Corinthians 12:28-28).
So, as we begin our work as a team, let’s claim our identity as the people of God the Father, the bride of Christ, and the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are chosen. We are special. We are empowered. In the great scheme of things, gifting our congregation with a new pastor is not too great a challenge for the One who has already sent his Son to save the church and his Spirit to indwell the church.
If God is for us in such a way, who or what can stand in the way of our team as it seeks to complete its mission?
Prayer Prompt: Lord, through the entire process of searching for a new pastor, remind us who we are and to whom we belong.
ChapterNext is a pastor search and church consulting firm led by Rev. Sam Hamstra. They assist congregations through a handful of services, including staff development, weekend worship workshops, leadership retreats, and ministry reviews (vision and mission statements, budgets, building renovation, and marketing plans). These services grew out of ChapterNexts’ founding purpose which is to help congregations turn the page so that they can begin writing new chapters of dynamic and life-transforming ministry.