In Good Faith: 'A phenomenal process to be involved in'

loberle@islandpacket.com March 14, 2014 

Name: Bob Lowry

Church: Lowcountry Presbyterian Church

Town: Bluffton

Member for: Seven years

Activity in church: Chairman of the pastor nominating committee

Mission and vision. In the Presbyterian church it is a long process to call a new pastor. In our case it took almost two years. The committee I was on developed a historical timeline of our church, conducted a congregational survey and built a mission and a vision statement, which we would use to help determine the right pastor for us. With all of that in place, we actually were able to begin the interview process.

The future. The idea behind all of this is to look at where your church has been, where your church is now, but more importantly, where your church wants to go in the future. You can align the right candidate with what you're looking to do and to be as a congregation. It turned out to be an extremely overwhelming, wonderful, fantastic and Holy Spirit-led process. It truly was the most fulfilling thing I've ever done in my life. It was a phenomenal process to be involved in.

Introducing a new pastor. We looked at almost 100 resumes during our evaluation. Being able to finally introduce Christine Wright Herrin as our recommended pastor was the most exciting part of the process. Since we were required to operate for almost two years with complete secrecy, no one else outside of our committee knew anything about Chris. Once we started the interview process, we were not able to talk to anyone else about who we were considering.

Overwhelming acceptance. After we had made our decision, we invited Chris to come to Bluffton for a weekend so we could introduce her to the congregation. We held an open house for her on Saturday and she conducted the service on Sunday. The congregation then had to vote on her. It was a resounding yes. That weekend, that sermon, that day, was far more exciting than I could ever have imagined. She has been overwhelmingly accepted.

A great fit. Personally, I received a lot more spiritual growth having served on this committee than I ever thought possible. But in the bigger picture, knowing how well she's going to work with us and the wonderful things that we're going to be able to accomplish as a congregation is also so fulfilling and rewarding for me.

Favorite Bible verse. Romans 12: 10-12 "Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer." It provided both help for us on the search committee in dealing with each other over such a long period of time, but also instruction on how we were to go about seeking God's will for our church.

Follow reporter Laura Oberle at twitter.com/IPBG_Laura.

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