This weekend, I will preach in view of a call at a local church. That means that after I preach, this church will vote on whether or not to offer me the position of Senior Pastor. (Ed Stetzer has a great post explaining the process here.)
So I preach. Then they vote.
It’s not that everything is riding on the quality of my sermon (after all, I’m a fervent believer in the sovereignty of God and that He will place me in the church where He wills), but it would be silly to say that it’s unimportant.
So what do you preach on when preaching in view of a call?
First, let me admit that I’ve only done this once before. And even though I used a different text then, the main idea is the same.
I think you need to lay your theological cards on the table when you preach in view of a call.
I think you have the responsibility of making it crystal clear what you’re about, and what you believe the church will be about should they extend that call to you.
That means that you can’t take shortcuts and just preach your favorite, most recent sermon. Instead, you need to be diligent enough to search your Bible, search your heart, and search God’s will for the church.
Anything less creates confusion and develops a lack of trust down the road.
The goal at this point is not to slide under their radar, but to confirm whether or not God is calling you to serve this church. Part of that process is determining a common theological framework.
Don’t pretend to be strong on a point that you’re apathetic about. And don’t pretend to be flexible on a point that you have strong convictions about.
No one should have to “smoke out” what you really believe.
Be so clear in your convictions that they have something to vote on other than your nice smile, funny story, and cute children.
I think to do anything less is to do the church, your family, and, most importantly, your Savior a disservice.
What would you suggest someone preach about “in view of a call?”
image via flickr:racketeers