If you find yourself in the in-between, in between the church you left and the church you have yet to find, then the correct questions will be an important guide and filter. Of all the important questions I want to focus on two; where are the seeds, and what are the weeds.
- Where are the seeds? (The Realistic Visionary Question) Identify the points of potential while interviewing the latest church. Find hints of future fruitfulness that your particular gifting and experience can help cultivate. I have years of experience leading and developing the creative/communication/worship arms of a church’s ministry. It is tempting for me to focus on churches that have all those issues ironed out. This would rob churches that need leadership and experience in growing these areas. This is really about discerning what is possible and what is probable. You want probable growth and this comes from identifying existing seeds of ministry.
- What are the weeds? (The Honest Pragmatist Question) Weeds limit ministry and stifle potential. Weeds get in the way of what you are good at, where you are prone to plant, and wrap around your ankles. Finding the weeds takes time and discernment. Yes, in time all weeds can be rooted out but that takes incredible patience and investment. Be honest with your weaknesses and look for clear resistances. They can look like demographics, trends, inverse momentum. Church polity could be weeds. Buildings could be weeds. Neighborhoods could be weeds. Finances could be weeds. And the same weeds present different levels of challenges for different incoming pastors depending on gifts and experiences. Every church has weeds- can you deal with the ones in front of you.
Ask both questions. They help you discern your best fit, where you can contribute the most for God’s kingdom.
The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. – Paul to Titus (Titus 1:5)