No one knows the future. Therefore, faith is required in making a decision in regards to the future. This is a universal truth. Those of us who are married, we married our spouse in faith trusting that he or she will continue to be that person who was kind, loving, respectful and responsible when we were dating. Those of us who have children, we raise them in faith hoping that they will turn out to be the kind of people that we envision and desire them to be. Those of us who start a business, we do it in faith that one day it will turn out to be a great success.
We are at a point as a church where we need to hire a new youth pastor. Jabez Kim has been presented to us as a candidate by Pastor Lee who is the senior pastor of our church that is made up of KSC and ESC. In fact, he is the fifth candidate to be considered for the position. The first four who were approached or considered either turned the position down or weren’t well received by Leadership Team.
Both congregations had their own Q & A facilitated by me so that they could get to know the candidate better. According to our bylaws, a pastoral staff, with the exception of the senior pastor, gets hired when all the members of Leadership Team are in agreement. Therefore, after the Q & A, the LT members gathered together and had another interview with Jabez and his wife Jamie. The result of the interview was that although the team leaders have some concerns and reservations, the candidate is a good one for our youth group. However, they wanted to get some feedback from those New Life members who participated in the Q & A before making the final decision.
When I sent out an email asking for feedback, 33 people replied. One person felt that he is not a good fit for our youth group. 13 had some strong reservations about the candidate and 9 had mild concerns. And 10 thought that he was a good candidate. Out of 22 who had either strong or mild concerns, many of them said that they trust in me and Pastor Lee to make a good decision for the church.
These are the concerns that have been expressed.
“He lacks experience in doing youth ministry.”
“His English is not up to par.”
“He doesn’t have the formal biblical education.”
“He is going to be very busy.”
Having done pastoral ministry for nearly 30 years, I know what is truly important and what is not in being a good pastor and doing a fruitful ministry. Therefore, I am not too worried about the candidate lacking youth ministry experience, not being proficient in English or not receiving biblical education. All these can be acquired with time. What I am concerned about is the candidate’s speaking ability in front of people. However, once upon a time, I too wasn’t a good public speaker. I am still not that good. But I think I have improved over time. So, this can be worked on and improve over time as well. Furthermore, public speaking is not everything or the most important thing in ministry either. There was a very gifted preacher here in town many years ago. But he wasn’t well received by his members because of his character. This shows us that there are far more important things in being a good pastor and doing ministry than preaching eloquently.
These are the strengths that have been shared with me through email.
“He and his wife seem very humble and honest.”
“He is passionate about his house church ministry.”
“He has done an amazing job with his house church ministry.”
“He has strong faith in God.”
“His tough life experiences will help him understand our troubled youth better.”
So, we will proceed with hiring Jabez Kim as our youth pastor. This doesn’t mean that Jabez or our church is forced to stay with each other indefinitely. After one year of ministry, if we come to realize that two parties are not suitable for each other, then we will part ways without any obligation. In the meantime, Pastor Sam will work with him for two months in May and June to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Now that the decision has been made, it would be awesome if New Life can show him the utmost respect and give him the full support. When he does well, your children will do well also. And you have done it so well all these years stepping up to the challenge when I asked you to. You have another opportunity to demonstrate that you are better than the average and you are Kingdom- minded and Kingdom-centered people. We are presented with another opportunity to trust God for the future. Let’s do it well.
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