You Should Interview Your Pastor
by Sanctified Brother
It’s time for us to settle down into a permanent church—a church we can call home. We’ve been visiting local Adventist churches in the NY Metro Area all year to get an idea of the different church cultures that we might participate in and, so far, there aren’t many differences. What I found differs the most is the leadership team, particularly the pastor. The leadership team helps to shape the culture of the church, while the Pastor’s leadership style and vision plays a major part in your potential comfort or discomfort in the church you plan to attend. That’s why you should interview your pastor.
We’re a family of four and have a love for the work of God. We long to become active again, albeit on our own terms. We’re not eager to rush back into any kind of leadership positions and “fight the good fight of faith” at Board Meetings (Jesus, no!). We just want to find a comfortable home and participate in weekly activities like Sabbath School, AY, Bible study, and the like. I’m not interested in having an official vote to change or ammend any church policies or procedures.
My questions for the Pastor were ready ahead of time. I had been typing the questions on my phone every time one came to mind and had become familiar enough with them that I could ask those questions in a conversational manner. I didn’t want the interview to be a rigid, structured interrogation, so I mentioned to the pastor, in passing, over several weeks, that I wanted to meet with him to discuss transferring my membership. He had been planning to meet with us already, to my surprise. That was interesting, to say the least. I wonder why he wanted to meet us…?
Meetings like I planned to have give you an idea of what to expect, long-term, when you become a member of a church. It’s one thing to come in once per week for an hour and then dip out to go back to your regular life. It’s another thing when you attend supplemental (and still important) meetings like Prayer Meeting and AY and become heavily invested in church. When folks start knowing your name. Or becoming familiar with the way you dress. Or friending you on Facebook. That level of involvement in church necessitates being comfortable with the leadership, members, and culture. It pays to know what you’re getting into!
Overall, the meeting was successful. The Pastor was able to answer all of my questions in a believable, honest manner with legitimate answers, not canned responses. So, what did I ask him? Some of my questions included:
What is the church’s personality?
Are there couples here in the same age group as us?
Is the church interested and active in evangelism?
How invested in the youth is the church?
The idea was to touch on a variety of topics that related to each other. That way one answer would be related to another and balance out any uncertainty in the legitimacy of another answer. These questions were also straight-forward enough to allow the Pastor to add more to the discussion and explore other areas in his answers.
I believe we found a winner in our chosen church. We’re satisfied with what we’ve seen so far. Now we have to meet more of the members and become a part of the church family. We’ll see how it goes from here.