Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pastoral search engines, services?

Have any of my pastor-readers used Intercristo, or any other searche engines or services, in locating a church to pastor? Any experiences or advice to share, given that I am looking?

I could also plug in my old question for new readers: what is a good denominational home (if any) for a Calvidispiebaptogelical who thinks the Bible teaches leadership by the office of elder?

21 comments:

The Doulos said...

Dan, have you tried www.pastors-R-us.com?

DJP said...

You made that up, and it's mean. Frank would clown you!

Rabbit said...

Dan, we attend a Reno church whose pastor is a 4.999-pointer AND dispensational, and we practice credo-baptism (in the Truckee River, during the summer!). We're part of EFCA, although the denomination is only named in a footnote in the bulletin. I do know EFCA is strong on elder rule. Pastor Greg is winding up an expositional year-long series on the Thessalonians, then he's going to do at least 4 weeks of topical preaching on the Emerging church. I would love to have you come guest-preach in that series but am not sure of the etiquette of doing so... ??

DJP said...

Thanks, that's all great to hear.

Actually, EFCA is unalterably congregational (majority) rule, or it was 20 years ago. Churches may have elders, but majority vote trumps everything.

I'd love to preach at your church, though Emerg*** per se is isn't one of my areas of expertise. Is your pastor a Pyro reader? There's nothing bad-manners in telling him that I live just over the hill in Sacramento, and would be happy to guest-preach sometime, Lord willing. All pastors needs occasional guest preachers.

Churches have also invited me to do seminars, and conferences — which I also love doing.

Rabbit said...

Aha! Learn somethin' new every day. :)

I will commend you to Pastor Greg for guest-preaching or seminarring or conferencing.

Here's us: http://www.sierrabible.org

Stan McCullars said...

Distinctives of The Evangelical Free Church of America

6. The Evangelical Free Church of America affirms the right of each local church to govern its own affairs.

The Evangelical Free Church is committed to a congregational form of government as stated in Article 10 of our Confession of Faith: "We believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and Head of the Church and that every local church has the right, under Christ, to decide and govern its own affairs."

Strong pastoral leadership coupled with discerning and well-equipped Christian lay people can produce spiritual growth as well as significant church growth. The New Testament emphasizes the importance of the Body of Christ ministering through the spiritual gifts that have been given to each believer. "Congregational in government" means that each local church governs its own affairs. Within the local church, the highest human authority rests in the congregation.

Rabbit said...

Thanks, Stan and Dan, for clarifying the point. I'm no expert in church polity and mistakenly thought that it came down to 'elders plus the congregation governing their individual church' versus 'governance by hierarchical denominational authorities'. I see there's a distinction between elder rule and congregational rule. I'll stop hogging up the comments but do appreciate the edumacation. ;)

Mesa Mike said...

Heh. We had an EFCA church locally, but you'd never know that. The church wasn't even listed in the phone book as EFCA. The pastor was concerned that the "evangelical" label would scare people away...

Ed Groover said...

www.churchstaffing.com and www.pastorsearch.net are both good, general resources.

The Doulos said...

Yes, I made it up. You can be Frank (and Ernest?) and clown me if you wish. But I wasn't being mean. And I can't believe you actually fell for it...

Re: the EFCA, I have been in EFCA churches my entire Christian life. If you look at the "12 Points" of the EFCA, you'll see it's a pretty big tent doctrinally. And unfortunately many EFCA churches tend to be rather Arminian (or even semi-Pelagian) in their practical theology. But not all. I am currently in an EFCA church which is largely Reformed (at least in leadership and teaching/preaching) and solidly elder-led, with only major decisions (buying/selling land, calling a pastor) needing to be confirmed by a congregational vote. I would say that this is not the norm in EFCA churches, and we have intentionally moved our church polity in this Biblical direction over the past 5-10 yrs.

Regarding dispensational vs other views, you'll find a real mixed bag in the EFCA in this area. I can't say that my church really has a consensus here. (FYI - I am speaking here as an elder/teacher/shepherd in this church.)

One thing to remeber about the EFCA is that it isn't a denomination per se. It's really more like an affiliation of churches that all subscribe to the broad umbrella. There's a lot of latitude within individual churches, as long as none of the 12 vague points (currently being revised to 10 even vaguer points) are violated.

gary morland said...

Dan -- You and pastor search engines? Square peg, round hole -- it ain't you, babe.

Finding the "right" denomination doesn't sound like you, either. You are really, really opinionated (that's good) and special -- it'll be hard to find something to fit you. The universe of places that would appreciate your gifting and wiring, and fit your distinctives, is very small.

Maybe you're not the church planter-man, but you seem like the kind of guy who if surrounded by a few gifted, like-minded friends & planter-types, might make a go of building something solid. You would do it the way you thought it should be done. It would be a group effort with you as the teaching pastor. It might be small, but it could be very satisfying for you, very good for people and potentially very glorifying to the Lord.

I'd love to hear what friends and people who know you well are telling you.

The Doulos said...

BTW - we once had someone come to our EFCA church because they thought that our name meant we were free of those pesky evangelicals. They were sorely disappointed.

Also BTW - rather that the E Free church we are often called the Eat Free church because we are known for our fellowship meals...

candyinsierras said...

Hi Rabbit... fellow Renoite. My husband and I drive to Minden for church. Are you aware of Grace Community Church in Minden?

Rabbit said...

doulos said: I am currently in an EFCA church which is largely Reformed (at least in leadership and teaching/preaching) and solidly elder-led, with only major decisions (buying/selling land, calling a pastor) needing to be confirmed by a congregational vote. I would say that this is not the norm in EFCA churches...

That pretty much sums up our EFCA church, hence my assumption about elder rule...

Candy, I'll email you.

Dan, I tend to agree with Gary's comment and wonder if you have considered planting DJP's Flock of Calvidispiebaptogelicals.

Becky, a slave of Christ said...

Ditto to what Gary said, Dan. There are so many places where there are no solid biblical churches. An example of this is the Seattle and Tacoma areas. I have friends and family there who have searched for your church for years.

Another point Gary made is that "it'll be hard to find something to fit you" and amazingly, that is true. Our church is really solid; truth is being taught, but people are drawn to programs and music instead of excellent expository preaching (you would fit right in, but our pulpit is full :). I am astounded at the amount of ear tickling available in my area.

The Lord has put this on your heart, and He will guide you to the place He wants you to serve. Keep looking, be patient and trust Him.

DJP said...

Gary, Rabbit, Becky, thank you all.

I tried planting two churches. The short version is that neither took root. Now, there were complicating factors; but I don't have the gifts for solo church planting.

Just to be blunt: it would take a well-financed folks who, unlike me, are excellent at starting conversations, knocking on doors, reaching out, and other related skills. I'll do what others can't (the teaching, the writing, the preaching, the pastoring), and I'll even work at what I'm not best at. But a man's got to know his limitations.

Those are the brass-tacks, "count-the-cost" considerations. Then beyond and above that is the indispensable, overruling, and inaccessible sovereign counsel and pleasure of God, that I just spent three posts looking at at Pyro.

Doug said...

Mr. Phillips,

I'm a fairly new reader so my guess for a Calvidispiebaptogelical (Hope I spelled that right.) would be a Non- denominational church.

Doug

P.S. So far from my reading I really enjoy your blog and your posts on Teampyro.

Carlo said...

I wonder if your experience Dan with your churches has to do with the fact, well, we are talking about CA. Calvinism is not in high numbers in CA I would gather. I wonder if things would be different in the East Coast?

Speaking of past churches, guess who I ran into at Bible Study on Wed., Lillian. I guess she was a part of your church one time. I remember her from the Bible studies at BBC. Small world.

Timotheos said...

Dan, I pastor a church in the IFCA International. I'm sure that you are somewhat familiar with them, MacArthur is a member. There are some interesting individuals in the organization. Some who you would really like and others who you would love. I am in church planting, presently. ifca.org / or me at salembible.net feel free to contact me

Macey said...

I assume you are already familar, but fyi, just in case ... http://www.firefellowship.org/members.php?state=CA

Jayce Tohline said...

http://www.FindingOurPlace.com has an extensive list of resources for Pastoral candidates.