Team Contacts
1.800.622.6549 (LA only)

Bill Robertson, Director Pastoral Leadership Team
ext. 291

JoLynn Chesser, Administrative Assistant
ext. 292

Stacy Morgan, Church Administration Strategist
ext. 293

Dianne York, Administrative Assistant
ext. 231

Eddie DeHondt, Bivocational Smaller Church Consultant - North

Gary Mitchell, Bivocational Smaller Church Consultant - South
ext. 294

Benjamin Harlan, Music Strategist
ext 234


Pastoral Team

Pastor, Is Your Search Well? 

Inevitably, the time will come for the pastor to move on.  Generally, it is a contemplation and culmination of events that God will use to guide the pastor towards another flock or different expression of ministry.  As one seminary professor has wisely said, “Not only will there be a call to plant somewhere else, you will sense an uprooting in your current field.” 

Committee Conundrums 

Sadly, the pastor has to be careful in the search process.  If he is leaving a hurtful situation, most any new church is a welcome sight.  Feelings of failure and personal attacks can inflict great damage to a man’s calling and perception of usefulness. God can use purposeful introspection for faith-evaluation and ministry-deepening.

Then, there are the incredibly non-biblical methods a "Pastor Search Committee" will use to find a pastor.  Often they will look for "producers" with a proven track record of "success."  Polling the congregation to gauge their preferences, a man is chosen for what he has done and can do for the church, not for who he is in Christ.  The church should not be surprised when she gets exactly what is deserved.

Truth in Advertising 

The following story would be funny, if it weren’t so true.  It has bounced around for some time in one form or another, but it really does illustrate the unbiblical expectations of the pastoral role.

The perfect pastor preaches exactly 10 minutes.
He condemns sin roundly, but never hurts anyone’s feelings.
He works from 8AM until midnight and is also the church janitor.
The perfect pastor makes $40 a week, wears good clothes, drives a good car, buys good books, and donates $30 a week to the church.
He is 29 years old and has 40 years experience.
Above all, he is handsome.
The perfect pastor has a burning desire to work with teenagers and he spends most of his time with the senior citizens.
He smiles all the time with a straight face because he has a sense of humor that keeps him seriously dedicated to his church.
He makes 15 home visits a day and is always in his office to be handy when needed.
The perfect pastor always has time for church council and all of its committees.
He never misses the meeting of any church organization and is always busy evangelizing the unchurched.

The perfect pastor is always in the next church over!
If your pastor does not measure up, simply send this notice to six other churches that are tired of their pastor, too.
Then bundle up your pastor and send him to the church at the top of the list.
If everyone cooperates, in one week you will receive 1,643 pastors.
One of them should be perfect.
One church broke the chain and got its old pastor back in less than three months.

And, we wonder why pastors come and go so rapidly?  A biblical pastor is a rare find and a treasure from God.  He is a spiritual gift sent from heaven (Ephesians 4:7-16). 

Be Careful 

There are crossover elements involved in the pastoral search.  Just like the secular world, there will be resumes, correspondence, interviews, etc.  Ensure you review the church constitution.  Ask for the four Bs: by-laws, budget, bulletin, and business meeting minutes.  Such documents provide great insight into the life of the church and may prove contrary to to all the “good” things being said by pastor search committee members.  Remember, every searching church needs help, but that does not necessarily mean that you are the “one.”  Just because you can, does not mean that you should.  The process is difficult to navigate, is clearly personal, and relationships develop quickly.  Thankfully, He will guide towards obedience.


Reason.  Are you sure it is time to move on?  Conflict is a normal occurrence that can be a growing pain.

Reflection.  Do you need a vacation?  Time away will remove you from the stressors and allow you to see the situation clearer.

Response.  Are you corresponding with more than one church search process?  Involving other churches/committees will only complicate an already difficult decision-making process.


© Jim Fisher, Ph.D.

Christian Education and Leadership Concepts, LLC.

Fit for the Fight, August 2011

Fit For The Fight - Current Issue

Fit for the Fight 02-2013
Added 6/4/2013 12:02:30 PM

“Pastor, what do you think about leadership?”  February 2013

The myriad usages of  “leadership” often obscure its origination.[1] Etymology reminds us that the meaning finds its roots in the idea of  “guiding, directing, and traveling.”  Consequently, a leader takes someone along on a journey, with a clear destination.

The Leadership Example

Christians seek to be like Him...a servant.  Leading is serving and serving is leading.  The source material for the footprints and fingerprints of Jesus is found in the Bible. Inspiration and direction come from studying Scripture, praying through the revealed Truth.  While there are official titles and positions for leadership, such labels are unnecessary to lead.  Everyone has a circle of influence. 

The use of “lead” and “serve” as synonyms does not diminish the reality of difficulties, disagreements, or debates.  It does mean the presence of a pastoral spirit and an invisible shepherd’s staff.  


Many “leaders” are survivalists, concerned with popularity over principle.  They “lead” by consensus prodding, when often, the courageous minority is right.  Indeed, a “prophet-deficit” has proven to be unbelievably costly.  The goal of leadership is not to have everyone’s approval, affection, and applause.

Matters of style and strengths are inherently connected to any conversation of leadership.  But, what is said about the substance of leadership?  The source of one’s leadership theology and its implementation/application must be foundationally fixed.  Without such security, the leader will vacillate when the winds of adversity blow.  Such a leader is unreliable, disrespected, and marginalized, even though revered as “successful.”

Personal integrity is humbly bound to a core of convictions, founded and grounded in the Scripture.  Such veracity will garner the respect of most, even amidst divergent views.  Belief and behavior must be congruent.  Convictions must be distinguished from preferences.  Confusing the two will sound an unclear trumpet to all.  


Dictionary.  What dictionary are you using to define and defend your use of “leadership?”   The source may determine the course. 

Direction.  Are you drifting away from the Truth?  The wrong book can you lead you away from the Book.  

Discipleship.  Have you forgotten the Great Commission?  Padding your resume by more seats in padded pews is not necessarily obedience. 

© Jim Fisher, Ph.D.  
Christian Education and Leadership Concepts, LLC. 
Fit for the Fight, February 2013 


 [1] Much of the information is taken from the author’s dissertation: The Relationship between Selected Disciplines of Physical Wellness and Spiritual Wellness among Southern Baptist Pastors, 2006.