Our church is looking to hire a new minister. The team working through all the candidates has taken eight months to come down to four candidates. In the past we would have had to wait until each candidate showed up and preached to us. From that limited information we'd make a decision. But with the world of Internet technology we can go to the churches' web sites and the candidates' blogs and get a pre-sermon look into the man and his thoughts.
Yesterday at church, when we were introduced to each man and his family via pictures and a little background information, one candidate stood out in my mind. (I've talked to two other people who felt the same way.) As I've gone into the sites, I still like this man. In a few weeks we'll get to meet him in person. I wonder if that first impression will stand up.
First impressions are definitely important, but we have to be open to realizing those impressions might not be "right on" about the person. I've met people I didn't think I'd like, but after getting to know them, I realized what I first saw wasn't who they really were. It works both ways. What might look like unfriendliness can be shyness or fear.
This journey to find a minister is kind of fun--reading blogs, talking to friends, meeting the people in person when they come for their week end "try-out" and listening to God. Does it really matter which one is chosen? Aren't all the men probably fine ministers or why would the search team have come down to these four? Would they all be a good fit for our church? Does God really care which one we choose? He loves all of them. Still, we'll pray and the one we all agree on (or most of us agree on) will come, and we'll say God sent him to us.
I wonder sometimes if we try to put God's stamp of approval on everything we do just to make us feel better about out decisions. Or--is He really more involved in our lives than we think? We won't know that answer for sure until we step into eternity with Him. Until then we continue walking through life and trying not to stumble.