EP 175 - 10 QUESTIONS TO ASK AS YOU INTERVIEW WITH A CHURCH
The guys are back with another “Dome” edition of the Bootcamp from their time teaching the Dmin seminar at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, SWBTS. Last EP they spoke about the impact of forced terminations on the church and pastor and this week they pivot by suggesting a list of questions for a potential Pastor to ask of a search committee who is inviting you to candidate with their congregation.
What are your expectations for me (as your pastor) and my family?
What do you believe are the marks of a healthy church? And this follow up: how healthy is this church?
Why did the previous pastor (or pastors) leave? Consider contacting the previous pastors.
What is the community like around the church? How many members of this church live in this community?
What are the greatest joys and frustrations here at the church?
How is the Pastor’s wife viewed?
If I am being successful as your Pastor what am I doing?
How much will I be paid? How will increases be handled?
If you have concerns with me, my leadership, preaching etc. how will you let me know?
What do you expect your former pastors will tell me when I contact them about their time with you here?
Do you have a funny interview story? Did you get asked a strange question? We’d love to hear from you-drop us a line, leave a comment or voicemail on the Bootcamp hotline. And remember, leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform.
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Greetings Bootcampers! The boys were living large in Texas while teaching a DMin Cohort at Southwestern Seminary. Today’s topic is an important one; The Impact of Forced Terminations on a Church. Check out the references in the show notes to learn more. And leave your comments on the blog, email or the Bootcamp hotline.
Forced termination of a Pastor is defined as an involuntary dismissal from service, due to no fault or moral failure, or dereliction of duties on the part of a Pastor, brought about by a few within the local church.
Of all pastors, 23-41% will experience a forced termination at least once in their career
In 2012, a Lifeway survey, in partnership with Baptist State Convention leaders, a panel identified 452 pastors and staff members who succumbed to a non-voluntary or non-self-initiated separation from the church they served.
It is estimated that over the years of their vocational service, four out of ten pastors will be forced out of their church by firing or some sort of pressure that leads to their eventual resignation.
When a Pastor is terminated without cause, it is often a prediction point in the history of a church, it is the place where steep, prolonged, and sustained decline begins. It is the marker under which many dysfunctions are buried.
Where Pastors were forced out, 34-45% of those congregations had simmering divisions and internal conflict that predated the Pastor’s arrival.
23% of the congregations who forced terminated a pastor had done the same with previous pastors.
2/3 of the congregations who forced termed a Pastor did so within the first five years of his tenure.
The top reasons cited for conflict leading to a forced separation: Conflict for control among groups in the church 68%, congregational stress 43%, values/directional conflict between Pastor and some people in the church 27%
We often think of how a forced termination impacts the Pastor and his family. We may not think deeply enough about the impact of these actions on the local church.
David Meyers, a retired Director of Missions from Chattanooga TN states: What forced termination does to the soul of the congregation is significant in and of itself, but the practical, logistical impact is also significant. The church may lose members who are unhappy with what has occurred or how it was done. The loss of financial support may result from membership decline or withholding money. The name and reputation of the church is marred in the community and beyond. Hesitant, reserved, or negative recommendations of the church are given to prospective new ministers for that church. Many ministers are reluctant to consider relocation to a church that terminated its previous minister(s).
What can be done for the church caught in this act or pattern?
Address the wrongs committed to Pastors and their families who were undeserving of a forced termination. Repent and publicly apologize and make restitution where appropriate.
Remove those who were involved in or instigated unfounded and unreasonable forced terminations from leadership positions within the church.
Address informal campaigns to force a pastor out through biblically based and bylaw-supported church discipline.
Make careful note of the actions taken above in the minutes of a Church business meeting so that the record may show these actions will not meet with approval.
Hey there Bootcampers! We have the distinct privilege of having not one but two great Marks with us on today’s episode. We asked them questions about the church, leadership and what they see on the horizon in the world of Replanting.
Listen in for some great sage wisdom and encouragement from the Marks.
And, Big news!
Later this spring, an all new Revitalize and Replant Podcast will launch with Clifton and Hallock and you can listen to the pilot episode here.
Hey there Bootcampers! We’re back from our Holiday break, we’re jumping right in and getting down to business and discussing the important awareness of how you live your life as a leader. Our good friends at First Coast Churches hosted an annual meeting where Lance Witt presented some great info on how Pastors can move beyond the grind.
Every leader lives on two stages:
The front stage-everyone sees
The backstage-clutter, curtains, chaos not many ever see this
The challenge many Pastors face is staying connected to and loving Jesus, the Shepherd, more than the sheep business. How do you do that? Witt, provides some helpful framework for us from Psalm 23
Create space and time for unhurried time with God
Pay attention to what you are paying attention to
Let rest – restore you
Grab your calendar by the throat-don’t let life or ministry plan you-proactively plan with the Lord’s guidance.
Engage good self-care rather than self-medication
Practice a Sabbath (you need a day off)
Let your time with God give embolden you with courage
Receive the voice of God’s blessing
There’s a whole lot more packed into this EP, check it out!
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Welcome back Bootcampers. As we’re heading toward the new year we wanted to take a few minutes to talk about the importance of looking back (reflecting upon the past year) and then looking ahead the the new year which is approaching. We’re finding the twin disciplines of reflection and futuring extremely helpful in life, leadership and serving the local church. Our good friend, Bob Bumgarner developed a helpful sheet to guide this practice.
Here are some questions to guide this process:
What were you attempting for Jesus in 2022?
What progress did you make?
What were some of the highlights or turning points?
What will you carry over (actions steps) into the coming year?
What challenges did you face? How did the Lord see you through?
We would love to hear from you Bootcamper! Is there something that made a difference for you? Have some wisdom to share or a question to ask? Drop us a line, voicemail-we would love to hear from you.
Maybe you’ve been looking at your web presence and realize you need to do something different in the coming year. Our awesome sponsor, One Eighty Digital, can get you headed in the right direction. Contact them today and let them know you are a Bootcamper!
Merry Christmas Bootcampers! We know that this time of year can a huge challenge for Pastors/Planters/Replanters-and we want to encourage you, amidst all the hustle to connect with the truth behind our celebrations at Christmas time.
Jesus’ birth reminds us of God’s great love
The most simple story is also the most profound-Jesus came into the world to save sinners
Don’t feel the pressure to be unique-just be clear, the biblical account stands on its own
In all seriousness, we pray you have an incredible Christmas. We’re thankful for you, Bootcamp listener.
Welcome to this Nashville version of the Bootcamp. The guys got down to recording an EP while doing some Replant work in the big music city. In this installment they guys address how to deal with “stiff-necked” change resisting members of the congregation.
How do you deal with people who resist change?
How do you deal with folks who just vote no?
How do you handle people who stand in the way?
He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me. Colossians 1:28-29
The dynamics of a dysfunctional church can be incredibly difficult to deal with, Bob addressed this in a long “Bart Barber-esque” tweet you can view here.
Here are some alternative ideas to consider when you are working to Replant/Revitalize a declining church.
Be willing to “get fired” in order to stand up to those who resist change.
Understand the nature and process of attacks.
Radical change always requires a definitive battle
This is a spiritual battle
Be gracious and endure, but be firm and don’t hesitate to warn.
Engage in church discipline. Know this, church conflict doesn’t go away, it often goes under ground.
Trust the Lord to guide and provide.
Remember the three B’s: Bible, Bylaws and Buddies
We’re praying for you as you lead in the trenches, it’s difficult, we know it. Drop us a line, leave a comment or voice mail, we’d love to hear from you.
Our awesome sponsor One Eighty Digital can help your church renew its web presence and branding, contact them for help today and let them know you are a bootcamp listener.
Welcome back Bootcampers! In this EP we get down to the important topic of Stewardship-our focus is on how we are stewarding our gifting, leadership opportunities and the foundational questions: 1) Who does the church belong to and 2) What is my role as a Steward.
Sit back listen in and we’d love to hear your feedback-drop us a line, a voice mail or a comment.
“When we believe that the things we possess are actually ours or exist because of us, they begin to control and define us rather than the other way around. Consequently, our security and identity becomes rooted in them. And then, we are unable to separate ourselves from them, or release them, or trust God with them because to do so would mean to lose our selves. This was never God’s intention for the gifts He gives His creation.” – Mike Ayers, Stewardship, not Ownership
The Parable of the talents is a great place to establish a biblical basis for this – Matthew 25:14-30
We have been entrusted with gifts
Not everyone gets the same amount
What do we have to do to be told; “Well done!”
How should we live in order to be good and faithful servants?
What does the third servant teach us?
Get the help you need for your church website, connect with our good friends and great sponsor, One Eighty Digital, they can get your web presence in shape.
Welcome back Bootcampers! This is a bonus EP on the stages of Replanting is a contribution from one of our Bootcamp team members, Caleb Duncan. He serves as the Associational Missional Strategist for the West Florida Baptist Association.
In our series, we’ve looked at four stages in a replant: Plowing, Planting, Watering, and Growing. Now we turn our attention to the last stage, Harvesting.
Harvesting – The process of identifying, training, and utilizing leaders from your congregation to assist and carry on the work of the ministry. As spiritual growth occurs, leaders are actively engaged in intentionally discipling and raising up new leaders.
Here are some biblical examples:
Apollos: To use the example of Apollos in Acts 18:24-28, Apollos was instructed in the way of the Lord. He already had some background being trained as a leader.. But Priscilla and Aquilla identified him as a leader, and taught him more accurately. Here are some ways he was a natural leader:
Competent in the Scriptures: Spoke and Taught accurately (v. 24-25)
Fervent in Spirit: speaking boldly (v. 25-26)
Greatly Useful to Ministry: (v. 27)
Jesus’ Inner Circle: Jesus’ intentional discipleship of Peter, James and John. These scriptures show Jesus pulling aside Peter, James, and John to minister to others, to reveal himself to them, and to teach them to pray
Healing of Peter’s mother in law: Mark 1:29-31
Healing of Jairus’ daughter: Mark 5:21-43
Mount of Transfiguration: Mark 9:2
Garden of Gethsemane: Mark 14:32-33
When you read the book of Acts, the only disciples mentioned by name out of the original twelve are Peter, James, and John. They took a leadership responsibility. Peter preaches, Peter and John heal a lame beggar, Peter and John are brought before the council, Peter and John were sent to the Samaritans, James – pastor of the church in Jerusalem, is martyred for his faith.
Paul’s development of leaders like Titus and Timothy
2 Timothy 2:1-2, “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
Titus 1:5 “This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you”
Here are some practical helps:
Keep your eyes always open – to see how people interact with you and with others. Who are the people that your church members talk about on a regular basis? Who do people go to for advice and biblical questions?
Spend time personally with those individuals.
Show them the way you do ministry
Give them opportunities to model your example
Delegate responsibility to them with oversight
Thanks to Caleb for the great content and for joining us on the Bootcamp. We’ve love to hear from you, drop us a comment, email or voicemail on the Bootcamp hotline and don’t forget to leave us a review on your favorite listening platform.
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As promised-here’s the pic of Bob in the LSU Pajama Top
Happy Thanksgiving Week Bootcampers! We’re back with another EP on the Stages of Replanting, today’s EP focuses on the work God does of growing the church. We’d love to hear from you, drop us a comment, email or voice mail. Listen in and share your thoughts and don’t forget to leave us a review on your favorite listening platform.
In our series, we’ve looked at three stages in a replant: Plowing, Planting and Watering. Now we turn our attention to the last stage, Growing.
Growing: The fully developed seed of the gospel springs up and is evident in the life of those inside the church. It is marked by changed thinking and living, and is evidence of God’s work in the lives of the people – spiritual growth.
What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. (1 Cor. 3:5-7)
If you are faithfully fulfilling your assignment in plowing, planting and watering, you, brother pastor, are doing what God requires. He will grow His church. It may be numerically, doctrinally, spiritually, relationally.
You may not be nominated for the church magazine’s top-growing church list; that’s OK. Don’t seek a reward from men; seek the reward that comes from faithfully fulfilling the assignment God has given you.
It may be time to update your website, if so, check out our sponsor at one eighty digital, they can get you up and running with a site, branding and a whole lot more, let them know you are a Bootcamper!