Recently, in one of our on-line magazines for ministers, a preacher friend gave twenty-five questions which pastors should ask of search committees before accepting their call. At the conclusion, he said, “I believe the Lord allows us tremendous latitude in where we serve.”
Tremendous latitude. Interesting expression. I assume that to mean “great flexibility.” Which implies, to me at any rate, that the Lord lays out all these choices and says, “It’s up to you.”
It’s your call. You can decide.
Take your pick.
I replied with a cartoon. A preacher sits at a table with his open Bible before him. He prays, “Lord, I’ve heard you give us extreme latitude in deciding where to serve. But Lord–please don’t do that. I don’t want latitude. I can’t trust myself to do this. You choose, Father. You choose!”
That’s how I feel. If the Lord were to say to me, “Choose from these three churches, all of them wanting you as pastor,” I’m afraid I would have to punt.
I can hear myself saying, “Lord, You know. I don’t. You know my little strengths and my glaring weaknesses. You know who is in each of those churches and how they make decisions. You know their secrets and I don’t. Please don’t ask me to do this.”
As a friend once preached on something similar, I do not have mentality enough, morality enough, or maturity enough for making such a call.