This is post #2 of a 3-part series on Thinking Strategically about Missional Planning and a Church’s Next Leader
I remember when I was interviewing for my first call. Someone asked me how long I thought I would stay, should I receive the call. My answer was pretty standard, “Typically a first call is in the three-to-seven-year range,” I said. One of the committee members was crestfallen. She said, “I thought you would be here to marry my children!” That was 20 years ago and none of her children are married yet.
We tend to have lots of notions, romantic and other, about who our next leaders should be and what we expect of them. But what if, instead of some a set of unclarified, unspoken expectations, we entered into a call process with a clear idea of where we were headed and who we needed to take us there?
Last year I consulted with a congregation doing just that kind of work. They were about to enter the call process; completing all the forms the judicatory sent to them. Yet they wanted to be sure about what they put on those forms and how it would serve them in the future. It turned out this congregation had lots of empty nesters and their child, youth and family ministries were dwindling. And, so as we talked, they sounded like most churches in their situation. “We want more families with kids,” they said. And, I thought, “Doesn’t everyone?”[Read more…]