January 11, 2013

Appointment Time Decisions

Do we stay or do we go? Do we even get a choice?

Across the connection Staff Parish Relations Committees and Pastor Parish Relations Committees are meeting in this annual ritual to evaluate and vote about what the church wants to do with the pastor--keep or send packing.

This certainly can be a stressful time for clergy families. I know that one of my kids once said that she felt that even she was being sized up during these times.

At our current church, things are going well; so I've chosen not to worry about it. But in times past, when I had a definite opinion about either staying or leaving, I wasn't as nonchalant.

I have seen SPRCs be sensitive to the clergy family needs and others who really don't care much. I've seen SPRCs be helpful to the congregation and others who have sabotaged the congregation's wishes. I wouldn't say it is a crap shoot, but it sometimes feels that way. Through the process, I've seen helpful DSs and jealous, power hungry ones.

I had another spouse tell me that if pastors have a difficult time with the SPRC, it's their own fault, because they select committee members. I love this person, but she is naive at this point.The Church is a very human institution despite also being a vehicle for God's grace. And the appointment process is very imperfect. If you are looking for me to say that "Even if the process is imperfect, it's the best we can do under the circumstances," I can't. The process is imperfect but surely we can do better--and a good dose of prayer with some humility wouldn't hurt either.

So, please know that I am praying for you. And I invite you to pray as well that we embody God's love during, what can be, difficult times.

Grace, Kathy

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