This sounds like a given, but pastors would do well to tell themselves repeatedly, “I will never go anywhere without a strong indication the Lord is sending me there.” To do otherwise is to invite major trouble.
You can hardly believe it.
You’re a pastor and the search committee from Megaville has arrived at your church. It’s about time you were getting the notice you deserve, you cautiously (and humbly) think. After all, you logged the requisite years in seminary and struggled through several pastorates, all of them challenging to one degree or other. And now, something good seems to be happening.
The committee attends several Sundays in a row, and then you get a phone call. They want to take you and your wife to dinner next time they visit.
You’re both excited. You line up a baby sitter, wear your newest clothes and use your best manners. All goes well and you both begin to dream. How would it be to live there, to adjust to that huge place, to deal with such successful people, to administer such a large staff, to manage a budget in the millions? What do you suppose your salary will be? and what will you do with all that money? And could the Lord really be giving you such an opportunity?
Also, you begin to think how nice it would be to leave behind this present church with its problems: difficulty in meeting the budget, a staff member who is a constant headache, and a few high-maintenance lay leaders. Poof! Gone in one fell swoop.
We move to Megaville and start afresh.
A few days later, the committee calls again.