Back in September when I resigned from my previous pastoral position, I was faced with a situation I have never encountered in 24 years of pastoral ministry - searching for a new ministry. I had never done that before and really didn't know where to start. Thankfully, we have today a powerful electronic tool called "The Internet!" I found many different sites on the web that listed churches looking for pastors and pastors looking for churches.
On these sites were literally hundreds and hundreds of pastorless churches. I decided to "cast my net wide" and let God do all of the "sorting out of things." As a result, I sent my resume to any church I found that was looking for a Senior Pastor that had an average attendance of 250 or more and which also had a doctrinal statement that I was in agreement with fully. This resulted in my sending out dozens and dozens of resumes.
Interestingly enough, the Gaylord E-Free Church (GEFC - where I will begin my new ministry at the end of March) was one of the first resumes I sent out. If I am understanding correctly, they received well over 200 resumes and mine was the first one they received. I bet it isn't often that a church ends up selecting the first resume that they receive.
To be honest, I almost didn't send information to GEFC seeing that they were located in "pristine northern Michigan." But I decided that I would not write off any potential church simply because of geographical location. In fact, I decided to have a little bit of fun in the process of searching for a new ministry (I had to have some fun or I think the process would have driven me crazy) and set a personal goal of sending a resume out to at least one church in all 50 states! I ended up topping the 40 mark but never made it to 50 (where were all those churches in Hawaii when I needed them?).
All in all I ended up having moderate to serious dialogues with 13 different churches (how's that for a lucky number?) representing several different denominations in 11 different states (Michigan, Ohio, New York, Indiana, Wisconsin, Nebraska and South Dakota just to name a few of them). So how did the Lord work to narrow it down to GEFC in Gaylord, Michigan? I'll answer that question as I continue the story in my posting tomorrow.