This week the Pastoral Search Team met for the first time, and I challenged them with two points that I believe the entire church needs to hear:
My second point largely comes down to your next pastor will not be a superhero. She or he will not be talented and charismatic enough to transform PHCC into what you think God is leading it to be. Your next pastor will not have all the answers nor will she or he make everything the way it used to be. It is not your next pastor’s responsibility to be the church for you. All these things are your responsibility not your future pastor’s responsibility.
If you want PHCC to be something different and to do something different, then why aren’t you doing it already? For that matter, why should the pastor PHCC needs even come here if the church membership isn’t already doing what God calls it to be and do? Here is the straight truth—if you aren’t willing to make what God wants to happen a reality now before your next pastor comes, then you probably won’t be willing to make it happen after your new pastor comes.
Now that COVID is ending and day by day we are seeing vaccination counts rise and restrictions being lifted, it is the perfect time to get about doing the work God calls PHCC to do. If something needs to change, then let’s change it. If something needs to be started, let’s start it. If something needs to be resumed now that the pandemic is over, let’s resume it. If something needs to end, let’s end it. The time is now and not some future date when a new pastor is called.
The biggest lie the American church ever fell for is the one that says the church should be a spiritual vending machine that gives people what they want without them having to do anything in return. Of course, churches need to be offering opportunities that enrich the spiritual lives of the people who belong to it, but despite what megachurches promise, a true Christian community is not a show to be watched or a spectator sport. True Christian community involves commitment, service and every member of it invested in what it does together. The blessing of a healthy church is everyone knowing the joy of serving and seeing how God uses them to help others. The reality in most (unhealthy) churches is a few members burn themselves out bailing just enough water out of a sinking ship to keep it afloat a little longer.
So, what are you waiting for? Your next pastor won’t be a genie who shows up to grant your wishes. The same God who will be present then is present now and ready to get down to business. If you want PHCC to be offering something, then look in the mirror, because Jesus did not model a consumer Christianity but a Christianity made up of servants who serve others with joy.
If you wish for a talented, charismatic and caring pastor to come to PHCC, then get to work being the kind of church such a person would want to be a part of. The best pastors searching for churches to serve are looking for churches where members are already doing great things because the power of God is at work in them. Why would she or he want to come to a church that has sat on its hands waiting for a sucker to come and do all the work God called it to do in the first place?
Grace and Peace,
Rev. Chase Peeples
We're Park Hill Christian Church in KC MO. We seek to follow Jesus by praising God, loving those we meet and serving the vulnerable.
6601 Northwest 72nd Street, Kansas City, MO 64151 | 816-741-1851