Resolving Conflict in the Church

1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

I. ALL PARTIES MUST RECOGNIZE SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY

Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. 7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

1 Timothy 5:16 If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed. 17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward. 19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. 20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

II. ALL PARTIES MUST PRACTICE PERSONAL INTEGRITY

​ 2 ​Corinthians 8:20 Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us: 21 Providing for ​ ​honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.

​ ​Colossians 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.
III. ALL PARTIES MUST DEMONSTRATE SPIRITUAL COMPETENCE

Acts 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

Acts 15:4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.

Acts 20:17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. 18 And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, 19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: 20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, 21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. 22 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: 23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. 24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. 25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. 26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. 28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

IV. ALL PARTIES MUST COMMAND ACCOUNTABILITY

Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:m22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. 9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

V. ALL PARTIES MUST AGREE TO A BIBLICAL RESOLUTION

Matthew 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

All church discipline is for the purpose of RESTORATION (wholeness, purity, health). It is not for the purpose of dividing the church but unifying it.

VS 15 – “Unexplained Actions” – FIRST OF ALL IT IS A PERSONAL MATTER TO BE RESOLVED BY PRAYER AND FORGIVENESS (Correction)

Philemon 1:10 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: 11 Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me: 12 Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels: 13 Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel: 14 But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly. 15 For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever; 16 Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord? 17 If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself. 18 If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account; 19 I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides. 20 Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord.

VS 16 – “Unresolved Conflict” – IF IT IS UNRESOLVED IT BECOMES AN ACCUSATION (Criticism)

Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. 16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

VS 17 – “Unquestioned Authority” – IF IT REMAINS UNRESOLVED THE CHURCH IS TO BE INVOLVED IN JUDGMENT (Conclusion)

Acts 8:18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, 19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
​ 20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. 21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.

VS 18 – “Unfinished Business” IF HE REFUSES TO SUBMIT TO THE CHURCH HE IS TO BE DISCIPLINED (Chastened, CHURCHED, SHUNNED)

Acts 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.

VS 18 –“Unquestioned Resolution” GOD RECOGNIZES THE DECISION OF A CHURCH WHICH RESOLVES CONFLICT IN A GODLY WAY (Connection)

Members who do not submit to this biblical method of resolving conflict are going to be part of the problem either now or later. There is no better way. You cannot have spiritual health on homemade terms.

Romans 15:5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: 6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 6:1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? 2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. 5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? 6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. 7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? 8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

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Pastor Chad Spence

Dear Pastor,
Please allow me to personally recommend the ministry of Robert & Judy Lewis. The Lord has uniquely equipped & enabled Br. Lewis to serve Pastors and Missionaries.
Having planted a church in New England and then pastoring that same church for over 30 years, Br. Lewis understands your desires but also your struggles. He empathizes with you because he has walked where you walk. I am certain that his experience and wisdom was God sent as he provided counsel and ministered to me. I was facing a problem that literally had the potential of ripping apart the church and put me on the sideline. He prayed with me and then offered counsel on how to steer Gods people through troubled waters. Six months later, we have now emerged from those troubled waters and I know the outcome would have been very different had the Lord not sent the competent counselor, Br. Robert Lewis. What excites me is that I have now seen that I am not the only one that the Lord helped through this servant. The Lord has sent Br Lewis to minister to many other pastors as well with their unique ministry challenges. So remember to pray for him as he ministers to the brethren. Perhaps he could be a blessing to you as well.
Also, through his ministry of the Global Resource Group and by serving as Assistant Director of Global Independent Baptist Missions he is most truly a servant to missionaries. Robert & Judy have an unfeigned love for missionaries. I have witnessed their true hospitality. Traveling missionaries live in their home more than they do!. Recently, as the featured speaker during our missions conference, the Lord used him to deliver spirit filled messages that challenged our church to surrender themselves to the Lord for the cause of the great commission. Our Faith Promise giving then rose to its highest level in our 35 years of ministry.
Men, allow me to remind you of the unique struggles that your wife faces. Your family lives in that fish bowl. And although your wife is the friend of every lady in your church, there is not any ladies in your church of whom your wife can confide. There is not another lady of the church in whom your wife can confide who understand the pressures of being the Pastors wife. Think of the times your wife has broke down and cried because of ministry pressure and you were the one consoling her. Well Mr. Fix it, you did your best as a husband, but she really needs a friend in the ministry. Mrs. Judy has been a tremendous blessing my wife.
Furthermore, Judy has also been the main speaker at several of our Ladies meetings. She has an incredible blessing to the ladies of our church.
I firmly believe that the Lord brought Robert & Judy into our lives to help me and to bless the Landmark Baptist Church. I would love to tell you more about this godly couple. Feel free to contact me directly at 214-878-3906 or Pastor@Landmark-Baptist.org.

Servants Together,
Pastor Chad Spence
Landmark Baptist Church
Red Oak, Texas

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Recommendation

I am happy to recommend Robert Lewis to any pastor.  We have had Bro. Lewis for our Faith Promise Mission Sunday on two different occasions. His messages have been a tremendous blessing to our church family and he is an encouragement to this pastor personally.  If you have the opportunity to have Bro. Lewis at your church you WILL NOT be disappointed!
Rocky A. Harrill
Tulsa Baptist Temple
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More Kind Words

April 10, 2015

Robert Lewis is a diligent worker for the Lord and Missions – I can tell you without equivocation that he and his wife have been and continue to be great blessings to us.  If you are looking for a missions speaker, and evangelist, and encouraged… look no farther than Brother Robert Lewis

Dr. D. R. Baker

Harmony at Ponca City

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Welcome

Blog Welcome Page 2

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They Must Assist

Brother Lewis,
Enclosed is something we talked about when you were here in March at Northgate. It adds some further thought to what you said about pastors not preparing for “retirement” from churches they put so many years into. This is from Numbers 8:23-26 from the Bible Reader’s Companion:  “They must retire” (8:23-26). God wants us to make room for the next generation. But the call to retire here is not an invitation to become idle. The O.T. says specifically, “they may assist.” But then the passage adds, “but they themselves must not do the work.” How we struggle to hold on to power, long after it’s time for us to turn responsibility over to others. How hard it is to realize that the most important role for the spiritually mature is one of advising. It is more important to enable others to do God’s work than to do that work ourselves.”    (underlining mine)
Thank you for all you do in helping preachers like myself and churches like ours. God bless.

Pastor Roy Prince
northgate Baptist Church
McAlester, Oklahoma

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Missions Revival at Yakima Bible Baptist Church

March 25th through March 29 were the dates set for the annual missions conference at Yakima Bible Baptist Church, Yakima, Washington. There were several ministries and missionaries represented at the meeting, however, the main focus of the meeting was the preaching of The Word of God. Pastor Brown had arranged for Robert Lewis, Assistant Director of GIBMissions to be the keynote speaker each evening. Choir Director, Charles Shaw, prepared wonderful missionary specials for the choir and orchestra for each service.  One night of the conference, the Spanish choir and ensemble of stringed instruments from Templo Bautista, Union Gap, Washington, provided music. Templo Bautista is a mission form Yakima, BBC. This Spanish church is flourishing under the leadership of Pastor AntonioVenegas, former GIBM missionary to Mexico. During the conference, people were very responsive to the dynamic preaching each evening. On Friday evening, one young person made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ and six young people surrendered to be missionaries or whatever the Lord would direct them to do with their lives. The success of the meeting was a result of many people praying and preparing for it in advance. There was a very large funeral in the church on Saturday, so the International Banquet was moved to Sunday PM. The banquet was very well attended and again there was clear and powerful preaching from the Word of God. In spite of the crowded schedule and the extra efforts that were required of the staff and the church family, it was truly an exciting time. Pastor Brown said, “It doesn’t usually happen like this. This has been a real blessing for our church.”  It turned out to be a genuine mission’s revival.

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I Was GLAD

Psalm 122:1 A Song of degrees of David. I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.

There are many examples of the God’s people being glad on different occasions in the Bible. None of those occasions are tainted with self-serving circumstances imposed by self-willed people.  What we have to be glad about is of far greater impact than our health, our finances, our acceptance by others or our fear of failure.

Ps 16:8-9 I have set the LORD always before me: because [he is] at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

Pr 10:1 The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son [is] the heaviness of his mother.

Lu 1:11-19 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And when Zacharias saw [him], he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. 14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. 15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. 18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. 19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.

Lu 15:23-24 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill [it]; and let us eat, and be merry: 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

Lu 19:36-38 And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. 37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; 38 Saying, Blessed [be] the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.

Joh 20:19-20 Then the same day at evening, being the first [day] of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace [be] unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them [his] hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.

Re 19:6-7 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

  1. I WAS GLAD BECAUSE OF WHO I MET THERE
  2. FAMILY
  3. FRIENDS
  4. JESUS
  5. THE LORD
  6. I WAS GLAD OF WHAT I HEARD THERE – The Bible; counsel; good news help!
  7. FORGIVESNESS
  8. HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
  9. HELP FOR MY SINFUL CONDUCT
  10. I WAS GLAD BECAUSE OF WHAT I DID THERE
  • Not glad to go to HOSPITAL (visited my own dad  in VA hospital  11 months every weekend)
  • Not glad to go to PRISON  to visit every week-end
  • Not glad to go to Institute of Mental Health
  1. We Sing at the house of God!
  2. We have Fellowship; food; fun while in attendance at the house of God!
  3. We learn to grow in grace while attending the house of God!

GLAD: (My own definition) You are “GLAD” when: “There is present within you such an inner joy that bursts into exuberance which does not permit your outward expression to have the appearance of sadness.”

  • You SMILE
  • You are in a mood to be KIND
  • You want to HELP somebody
  • You have no inclination to WHINE
  • You are not focused on your MISFORTUNE
  • It does not matter that you may have been OVERLOOKED, MISTREATED­­­­­, UNDERFED, or UNDERFUNDED

You have come to worship the one who saved your never dying soul and you are GLAD!  You have come to meet with HIM at HIS house and you have a clear understanding that what happens there is for HIS glory. He wants to meet with you and relieve you of the baggage you are loaded down with and give you JOY.

Ps 122:1 A Song of degrees of David. I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.

( I originally got this thought from a sermon preached by Evangelist Tommy Stone. I preached it in this form Sunday afternoon, September 3rd at Landmark Baptist Church, Red Oak, Texas)

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Deacons AND Trustees?

Deacons and trustees are often the same individuals. This is not necessarily a bad thing and in some cases is a very good thing.   It is perhaps overlooked by many that deacons and trustees have two very different roles. States require that an organization has trustees for the purposes of having a legal identity. They are in fact responsible for the actions of the organization. Usually there are three trustees, one being the Pastor/President; one being Secretary; and one being Treasurer.  It is their job to manage and protect the assets and resources of the church which is legally organized. They are accountable to the state to do this properly. This really has very little with the Biblical office of a Deacon. Deacons are chosen by the church to serve the congregation. Their main responsibility is to “free up” the pastor in order that he has adequate time for his ongoing study of God’s Word and prayer. Deacons must be Biblically qualified to hold this office. They are to be the primary helpers to the Pastor. This work may or may not include being a Trustee of the legal organization. It is primarily a spiritual office which is to focus on the well being of the membership, both spiritually and physically. The Pastor is not accountable to Deacons, but rather they are accountable to him. When deacons and trustees are one and the same, there can be some confusion as to who is leading whom. Trustees invariably function as managers. Deacons are servants. I believe it can create awkward circumstances when deacons and trustees are one and the same. To be sure it would be unwise to place a man in the position of a trustee who is not spiritual, nor a dedicated servant of Christ. Placing him in both positions can create confusion. Is he supposed to obey his pastor as a servant of the church? Or is he to manage the corporation as a trustee of the legal organization? Some men erroneously think that this includes managing their Pastor. Some men can handle both responsibilities in a Christ like manner, but I believe it places unnecessary stress on their relationship with one another when their responsibilities are combined. I think it wise to include as many good men in the functioning process of the church as possible. When the offices of a church, whether deacon or trustee, are held so close that a very small number of men participate in the process, it tends to alienate other gifted men who may also serve well in one of those positions. In a church where this is practiced you will often hear complaints like, “The Pastor is a dictator,” or “This is a dictatorship”.  A man may be suitable to be a trustee who is not qualified to be a deacon. Thought should be given to using him where he can be used in a productive way for the Lord. Churches are not dictatorships, but neither are they pure democracies.  In a democracy everyone has an equal say. In the church the Pastor is to be obeyed and followed as he is a representative of God. Even if he is corrupt, God alone is the one who has the authority to remove him. If he is corrupt, he should be exposed, but great care must be given not to enter into the areas of authority that belong to God alone. A man who is qualified to be a deacon, may or may not be a good choice as a trustee of the organization. Men who are scripturally qualified to serve the church as deacons have a much higher standard by which to be measured. They usually have pastoral hearts. Making them serve in two capacities can limit, and even frustrate the zeal they exhibit for ministry. Exercising talents in the areas of money management, property care, and legal work can be done by members who are spiritual, but not qualified to be deacons. Unless a church can come to some kind of inclusive operational considerations, it will tend to be managed by a very small group of controllers. The best solution is to have regular meetings with all of the male members of the church for prayer, planning, and fellowship. There will be a natural flow of leaders that surface from that group who my never become deacons, but who are certainly capable of being helpful leaders in the church. In any event, the pastor who wants to grow the church must be the Chairman of the board of Trustees and Chairman of the Deacons. If he is not, he just has a job. A legal church must have trustees. It may or may not have men who are qualified to function as Deacons. The church at Jerusalem was very large before any Deacons were chosen. It is a mistake to appoint men to be deacons who do not qualify according to the Bible. It would be better not to have any deacons at all rather than to designate men to positions which they cannot or will not fulfill.

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Request For Information

This is a sample of the questions that should be asked by a ministry candidate before he commits to accept the pastorate of a church. He needs to know as much about the church as the church knows about him if it is to be a “match.”

___________

Thank you for inviting me to submit a resume to be considered for the position of senior pastor at your church.  I am honored to be considered by you.  As you well know, not every church and pastor are legitimate matches.  Therefore, in order to help us get properly acquainted, I would appreciate the pulpit or pastoral search committee’s help by completing and returning to me the following information.  This will help us both in ascertaining our compatibility.  Please answer all questions as thoroughly as possible and with total frankness.  Some of the questions can be answered in the space provided, but some may require extra space or paper.

I. CHURCH 

1. Please describe any associations the church might have or keep with other churches or para-church organizations (i.e. fellowships, colleges, mission boards, camps, etc).

2. What event has shaped your church most in the last ten years?

3. How would you estimate the potential for reaching the unchurched in your community and surrounding area in the future?

4. What is the seating capacity’ of your auditorium?

5. When was the last time your church completed a building project?

6. How fast did the church pay off that debt?  What is the total amount of the church’s present indebtedness?

7. What is the church’s average weekly income?  How does that compare with a year ago?

8. What percentage of your church families would you estimate tithe their income to the Lord through the church?

9. What percentage of your church members would you estimate spend time daily (or at least very
consistently) in personal Bible reading (and/or study) and prayer?

10. Does the church have organized times of fellowship (for those in the church)?

11. Do the members get together for fellowship amongst themselves on their own?

12. What is the percentage make-up of your Sunday morning attendance?
_____Children
_____Youth
_____Young Adults
_____Adults
_____Middle-Aged
___Seniors

13.  What is the numerical make-up of your membership?
_____Children
_____Youth
_____Young Adults
_____Adults
_____Middle-Aged
_____Seniors

14.  What are the attendance patterns at meetings other than morning worship?

15. What is the pastoral history of your church?  Who were the pastors during the last 15-20 years?  What single sentence would you give typifying the ministry of each, and reason for their leaving?

16. Where does your church stand on the charismatic movement?

17. Where does your church stand on the tongues issue?

18. Where does the church stand on the issue of Calvinism?

19. Does your church have a particular stand/position regarding the King James Version of the Bible?  If so, please describe.

20. Does your church have a particular stand/position regarding the various modern versions of the Bible?

21. How would you typify the worship style of your congregation?  (Check ALL that apply.)
__Formal
__Orderly
__Free
__Informal
__Contemporary
__ Traditional
__Blended

22. What type of music is used in the church services and ministries (i.e. traditional, hymns, contemporary, southern gospel, etc)?

a. Congregational singing:
b. Choir:
c. Special music:
d. Youth ministries:
e. Children’s ministries:
f. Other:

23. Does the church have a written (or otherwise understood) policy regarding the type/style of music to be sung, played, etc?

24. What hymnal(s) does the church use?

25. What might be some touchy issues with people in the church… divorce, alcohol, tobacco, materialism, clothing, music, or others?

26. What kind of programs beyond worship for all ages does your church presently have in place?

27. Does the church have a strong missions’ effort?

28. Does the church employ a/the “Faith Promise” approach to supporting missionaries?

29. Describe how your pastoral selection process’ works.  Will you interview only one person at a time, taking that person all the way to a vote for acceptance or rejection before initiating another interview?  Or, will you interview a variety of candidates, hearing several before you decide which one to recommend?  Do you plan on a “trial sermon”?  Are you thinking of multiple interviews?  Please describe your process:

30. What style of leadership typifies the desire of your church?  (Place an x on one of the following.)  Board leads ____        Pastor leads ____

31. How many people are involved regularly in visitation or outreach? ______

32. In the past twelve months…
How many have been baptized into the church? ______
How many have been added via statement or letter? ______

33. In the previous twelve months…
How many were baptized into the church? ______
How many were added via statement or letter? _______

34. How would you typify the way your church treats visitors?
____Extraordinarily warm
____Friendly
____Reserved

35. How does the church follow up with those who visit?

36. Is the church organized as a not-for-profit corporation, or some other way (for tax purposes, such as “501.c.3”)?  Is the church officially chartered with your state?  Does the church have an official Statement of Faith, and Constitution and Bylaws?

 II. CHURCH AND COMMUNITY 

1. Describe your community in a short paragraph (population, prominent employers, general atmosphere and attitude, etc).

2. The church may do all of the following things, but all of them cannot take priority.  What is your ranking of the following seven emphases in priority order (#1 highest, #2 next, etc.):
____Missions
____Worship
____Fellowship
____Preaching
____Evangelism
____Serving
____Teaching

3.  Finish this sentence: “Our church is best known in this community for _______________.”

4. What do you believe to be the most pressing need in your community right now?

5. Describe the largest church in your community or surrounding area.  What is it like and how are you different and/or similar?

6. Over the last five years or so, when people have left your church, what did they say was the reason?

7. What do you think were the primary reasons?

8. What are the five biggest changes you would like to see happen in your church?

9. How and when was your church started?  By whom?

10. Who do you feel has been your most ideal pastor’?  Why?

III. PASTORAL AND LEADERSHIP 

1. What do you believe are the most important priorities for your new pastor (#1 most important, #2 next most important, etc.)?

____Time with family
____Prayer
____Visitation
____Preparation for preaching
____Counseling
____Administration
____ Community work / outreach

2.  What are your weekly time expectations for your new pastor?  (i.e. How many hours would you expect your pastor to spend each week in each of the following activities?)

____Time with family
____Visiting
____Counseling
____Prayer
____Preparation for Preaching
____Administration
____Community work / outreach

3.  What provisions do you make for the pastor’s personal and professional growth (e.g. continuing education, seminars, etc)?

4. How would you typify the prayer support for your present (or most recent) pastor?

5. Is the church prepared to support the pastor and his family financially?  Would the church’s support provide for related matters of pension, health care, life insurance etc?

6. What are the arrangements you make for a parsonage or housing allowance?

7. What is the make-up of your present staff, if you have such?  If not, do you plan for staff?

8. Some church “boards” (deacons, church vote, etc) expect to play an exceptionally strong role in the selection of assistant ministers and other staff.  Others expect the senior pastor to “hire the staff.”  How do you believe staff should be added to the church?

9. Please describe the present decision-making “process” of church leadership on business matters and other issues.  What role does the pastor specifically have, the deacons, church vote, etc?

10. What role does the church believe the pastor’s wife should have in the ministry?

11. What role does the church believe the pastor’s children should have in the ministry?

12. Over the past fifteen years which pastor’s spouse do you believe has functioned in a most ideal way?  Why?

IV. REFERENCES 

Please provide the following references for me (names and telephone numbers).

1. Your current or most recent pastor:

2. Immediately preceeding pastor:

3. Prior pastor:

4. Community person (someone familiar with your church, though not an attender):

5. A missionary, evangelist, or other church pastor who knows your church well (but is NOT a member of it):

6. Recent special speaker who visited your church:

7. Please give the name(s) of each person responsible for answering these questions (in any capacity) and how long each has been a member of the church.

V. CONCLUSION

1. To the best of your knowledge, have there ever been any lawsuits brought against the church?  If so please explain.

2. To the best of your knowledge, have there ever been any accusations of abuse or impropriety of any kind brought against the church, or any pastors/leaders/workers, etc. involved with the church?  If so, please explain.

3. Is there anything that was not asked here, but you feel should have been asked?  If so, what would that be?

4. Is there anything (not covered in these questions) that you feel I should know about the church?

5. If the church has an official Statement of Faith, and Constitution and Bylaws, please send a copy with this returned questionnaire.  (If already sent to me, please disregard this request.)

Thank you for completing and submitting this information.  Everything will be given prayerful and careful consideration before our meeting on____________________________.

Sincerely,

______________________________

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