Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Search

Thursday night a representative from the bishop's office will meet with our church council. The subject is the next steps in the process of obtaining a new pastor. Pastor Paul's last Sunday will be Pentecost Sunday. Of course, the issue arises of what are we looking for in a pastor. Dietrich Bonhoeffer pretty well nailed it. Check out his thoughts below:

Genuine Authority

Ultimately, the craving for inauthentic authority reasserts its desire to reestablish some kind of
immediacy, a commitment to a human figure in the church. Genuine authority knows, however, that all
immediacy is disastrous, particularly in matters of authority. Genuine authority knows that it can only
exist in the service of the One who alone has authority. Genuine authority knows that it is bound in the
strictest sense by the words of Jesus, "You have one teacher, and you are all brothers" (Matt. 23:8). The
community of faith does not need brilliant personalities but faithful servants of Jesus and of one
another. It does not lack the former, but the latter. The community of faith will place its confidence only
in the simple servant of the Word of Jesus, because it knows that it will then be guided not by human
wisdom and human conceit, but by the Word of the Good Shepherd. The question of spiritual trust,
which is so closely connected with the question of authority, is decided by the faithfulness with which
people serve Jesus Christ, never by the extraordinary gifts they possess. Authority in pastoral care can
be found only in the servants of Jesus who seek no authority of their own, but who are Christians one to
another, obedient to the authority of the Word.

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer -
from Life Together 106-107
from A Year with Dietrich Bonhoeffer Carla Barnhill, Ed., HarperSan Francisco, 2005

Let us pray: Father give your wisdom to each that are asked to serve on the call committee. For all your churches going through this process, we pray for your insight. We look on the outward, but you look on the hearts. Open the eyes of our hearts. Amen.

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