Impressions go a long way in many things…what we think of people, how we react to people, whether we choose a specific place to eat or shop, whom we vote for in the final election…impressions say a lot.
Yes, first impressions are often wrong. Maybe it’s a bad day for the one giving the bad impression or an especially good day for the good impression. Maybe it’s an off day for the person receiving the impression. Regardless of the reason, impressions go a long way in decisions we make every day.
In searching for a pastor, it’s my belief that first impressions are vital to both the applicant, as it were, and the searching committee. While we should never not give vital, pertinent information regarding the status of our church, neither should we come across as being happy that certain things which are not good -have happened. If an incident has had negative and positive impact on the church body, then this could be shared with the proper attitude. Seriousness in sharing such a piece of information is very important to how the other person perceives the sharing individual as well as the church body.
If someone takes lightly serious matters of the church, the interviewee will perceive that since this person is ‘happy’, as it were, that people have left the church, happy to the point they laugh about it…then maybe the whole church body that is left feels the same way. Maybe all of them are uncaring when it comes to the seriousness of losing members. Maybe that leaves a bad taste in their mouth as they consider whether or not God is calling them to minister on that church field.
There is also the matter of talking down about a former pastor. Sure, no names were called, but the very fact that a pastor’s faults were discussed to another prospective pastor certainly causes us to look as though we are a back stabbing, gossiping group of people. What young pastor in his right mind would choose to come here and deal with these types of people. He doesn’t want to hear what all we found wrong with the pastors of the past for one day he will be a past pastor. It also says that to engage in such degradation of character indicates we (or at least the speaker) isn’t where he needs to be with the Lord. As this speaker has been chosen by a committee to serve on a committee it also says the choosing committee must be just like him or her.
True, facts are that sometimes we choose people to serve or a person to serve simply because they are the only one willing to finish out the number needed. This truth isn’t obvious to an outside.
I am just burdened in our search for a pastor. I feel until each of us members get serious with God and allow God to shut our mouths and still our impulses we will turn every prospect against out church before they ever get to know us.