Thursday, March 22, 2007

New Pastoral Postion at Grace (part 1)

As Pastor Snow retires, the Elder Board has given me the “green light” to pursue the addition of a new pastoral position here at Grace Church. Why are we looking to add this position? How will this position benefit me personally as the Senior Pastor here at Grace Church as well as the congregation as a whole? What exactly will the job description include for this new pastoral position? Today and tomorrow’s blog will describe for you what kind of position we are designing this to be. I think that you will be as excited about this as I am.

Why are we looking to add this new pastoral position?

As we as a church have become more focused and effective at accomplishing our purpose of meeting people where they are and moving them to where God wants them to be, we have seen a significant increase in weekly guests to our church. Many of these precious people are now attending regularly as they search for answers to the issues and trials of their lives. When you meet people where they are, they come with a lot of spiritual, emotional and sinful baggage. This has resulted in a major increase in my time being spent in counseling.

When you add to this the many that have been part of our church for some time who continue to need pastoral guidance related to specific issues in their lives, the result is that my counseling load has increased to levels that are beyond my ability and time constraints to meet. Adding a pastoral position that will focus primarily on this area of ministry will ease a great time burden off of my schedule that will allow me to focus on study and sermon preparation, vision casting and administration which are my main roles as Senior Pastor. It will also allow us as a church to be more effective in helping to move people to where He wants them to be.

Is this position that of a professional counselor or a pastoral counselor?

This is distinctly a pastoral position. We are not looking at this time to hire a professional counselor. The vast majority of those who are coming to us wanting and needing counseling are not looking for a professional counselor. These are people with real hurts and trials, many of whom do not even know Jesus yet, who want to speak to a pastor who will listen to them, empathize with them, pray with them, cry with them, and give them Biblical guidance related to the issues they are facing. As needs surface, we will continue to refer those needing professional counseling to area Christian counselors and psychologists in which we have confidence.

As a result, I am looking to hire a man who has been trained in pastoral ministry and pastoral counseling; who has experience in pastoral ministry and who is gifted in such a way that would make him effective in this kind of ministry. I believe that this is a great need for our church at this stage of our ministry life. In tomorrow’s blog I will describe for you the responsibilities that will fall under this new pastoral job description.

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