Has your congregation ever searched for a pastor?

In many denominations the search includes building a profile or description of the congregation, the community it serves and writing a job description. These things can take as long as months before being approved.

Then the position is advertised. Applications are assessed. Interviews follow. The pastor may be invited to “preach for the call” or committee members may travel to where the pastor now serves to critique worship and report back to home base.

Finally one name is picked and a vote is counted. If the right percentage agree, the offer, along with housing arrangements and salary, are forwarded. The candidate then gives an answer.

Elaborate, but necessary, to ensure the pastor meets the standards of the congregation and/or denomination.

Religion has many such processes to exercise control over the situation. That all this goes contrary to God’s way as described in the Bible doesn’t make a religion or a religious person flinch.

But consider how an apostle was selected shortly after the death of Judas Iscariot.

The disciples determined that two men were qualified. [“This person must have been with us from the time that John was baptizing people to the day that Jesus was taken from us.” verse 22] These men were Joseph (who was called Barsabbas and was also known as Justus) and Matthias. Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s thoughts. Show us which of these two you have chosen. Show us who is to take the place of Judas as an apostle, since Judas abandoned his position to go to the place where he belongs.” They drew names to choose an apostle. Matthias was chosen and joined the eleven apostles” (Acts 1:22-26 God’s Word, verse order changed slightly).

The early church practiced faith rather than develop a theology of faith. Giving up all control the spiritual position of apostle was filled when they “drew names” (though the Greek comes closer to saying “threw dice”).

Do you actually live like God rules? God is the only authority? God will make the divine plan work out for those who love Creator and are called into Jesus’ will? (Romans 8:28).

Spiritual people will plunge forward with radical faith in the working of God. Religious people insist humans know better and overrule both Bible and Paraclete with policy.

This demonstrates only one example. In your life, are you spiritual enough to obey rather than rule? Really, are you religious or spiritual?

The difference has nothing to do with theology or doctrine. The test sorts people out by the way they live.

How deeply do you really trust God?