pecaspers: a Blog in transition

November 3, 2012

Prospective Pastor Questionnaire – Part 6

Filed under: Job Hunt,Ministry,My Life in General — pecaspers @ 10:47 PM
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6. Which Bible translation do you prefer to use from the pulpit?

The English Standard Version is my preferred translation for sermon preparation and preaching. I like it for it’s essentially literal translation philosophy, which makes it great for in-depth study in sermon preparation. I like it because it follows the King James Version in how certain passages read (Psalm 23 comes to mind) giving it a familiar feel to many hearers who grew up with the KJV. I like it because the ESV is based on the largest pool of extant ancient manuscripts ever available to us. I like it because the poetry still sounds like poetry, and Paul’s very long and very Greek run-on sentences are broken as little as English readability allows. I like it because it’s the Bible, and I love the Bible.

That said, I have preached from the old New International Version (NIV 1987), the New American Standard Bible, the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), and even the Good News Translation (GNT)–that last one was in South Sudan and was the translation most familiar to attenders of the English service of that church. I typically consult a number of translations as I study to preach. I typically teach my youth from the HCSB because that’s what our pastor uses from the pulpit. I regularly intentionally call on the two sisters in our youth group whom carry the New Living Translation because of the vivid and interpretive language it uses. I’m not afraid of other translations, I just prefer to study and preach from the ESV.

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Prospective Pastor Questionnaire – Part 3

3. What is your style of pastoral oversight/administration, including working with staff members, committees, and departmental leaders?

I suppose I don’t yet have a fully developed “style of pastoral oversight/administration,” or not a fully tested one at least. My current church doesn’t have a defined organizational chart, but I’m pretty sure I would be on the bottom if it did. That’s fine with me; as I understand it, a pastor is supposed to be a servant to the rest of the church body in many ways. Jesus taught his disciples about servant-leadership long before the conference speakers and authors ever picked up on it. As far as working with staff members, I have a firm grasp of the facts that the pastor is not the boss and that other staff members are not his employees. The whole church staff is employed by the congregation, and the whole church has only one Boss.

I can also tell you that I love a good meeting. A good meeting accomplishes its purpose efficiently and only involves the necessary people; a bad meeting typically has no purpose, is a waste of time, and involves people with no stake in the task or issue at hand. This applies to working with staff members, but is especially important for working with committees. All committees are not created equal, and I can’t say precisely how I would relate to the committees at your church. I can say that I wouldn’t expect to be part of every committee. Every committee shouldn’t need direct pastoral involvement. Some churches do operate that way, and we would take our time in moving away from that model if yours is one.

Like committees, the role of departmental leaders differs greatly from church to church. At Lakeview, a large church, there were very few non-staff departmental leaders. At Liberty, a small church, there are no paid departmental leaders except youth and music. At Lakeview, the adult Sunday school is under the oversight of an associate pastor who trains teachers, decides when to start new classes or divide growing ones, ensures class leaders are ministering effectively to their members, etc. At Liberty, the Sunday school directors’ two primary duties are to collect the roll books and offering envelopes and report the count to the pastor. One is not better than the other, but I’d just hate to say I’ll relate to departmental leaders in such and such a way then find out we are thinking about completely different roles.

Finally, my father taught me when I was in Boy Scouts that a good leader never asks someone to do something he wouldn’t do himself. I have changed diapers in the nursery, pulled weeds in the parking lot, made copies, brewed coffee, cooked meals, driven vans, taught Sunday School, lead Bible studies, taken youth to camp, stayed up all night at lock-ins, built buildings, given cold water (and Coke products) to thirsty people, taken evangelistic surveys in public places, gone door to door with the gospel, visited the sick, run audio and video, sang in the choir, and much more. Some of these things were serving in my area of talents or spiritual gifting, and some of them just needed doing. What I know about my general style of oversight and administration is that I see these as aspects of equipping the church to do the work of the ministry. I have done the ministry and have been equipped to equip others to equip others.

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