Our church is looking for a new pastor, and I've been put on the search committee (something I've never had to do before). Our first task is to come up with a description of the kind of person we should look for. What advice would you give to a committee like ours? — M.J.
You've been given a very important responsibility -- and the best advice I can give you is to seek God's will as you seek to fill this position. Pray for God's guidance in your committee, and encourage your whole church to be praying as well.
After all, someone might meet every standard on your list -- but if they aren't the person God wants in that position, their ministry will not make its maximum impact. Remember: God is even more concerned about your church and its ministry than you are, and He has already chosen the person best equipped to lead your church in the future.
What kind of person should you seek? You know your church's needs, of course, and your description will take those into account. But first of all seek a person of godly character -- someone who reflects Christ in their daily life. Paul urged his young pastor friend Timothy to "pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness" (1 Timothy 6:11).
Second, seek someone who will make the Bible the foundation of their teaching and preaching. Paul's example is a challenge to every pastor: "You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you. ... For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God" (Acts 20:20, 27).