Book Review: When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search
Brauns book, “When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search” is a niche book aimed at churches who are undergoing a pastoral search. Brauns book is an excellent read and an ideal tool for search committees, elder boards, deacons, pastors to read as they prepare for and undergo a pastoral search. I read this book in a few hours, yet it was very informative and engaging to read. This book is highly accessible and uses language that any layperson can understand and paints pictures of both good and bad search committee techniques.
This book addresses topics such as forming a search committee, prayer, church politics and standards for discerning if you are running a search based on the Word rather than your preferences.
The biggest stand out for me was the sections on expository preaching (3 chapters). Brauns hits the essentials of expository preaching and moves the lay person beyond a position of “this sounds nice” to one that can evaluate the preaching role and assess if it really is expository and Bible based rather than charisma and illustration based. I appreciated that Brauns balanced the need to be a good preacher with the need to be a good shepherd. It’s more important to be a better shepherd, yet solid preaching is also key. Brauns draws attention to the fact that most pastors are “ordinary” and most churches are the same way. Having a solid combination of preaching skill and shepherding capacity is more important than finding the next Andy Stanley or Charles Spurgeon.
I normally try to find one or two points that I believe could be better. For the purpose of this book I think he really does a good job. He does say this is not a technical manual with forms and timelines, etc. I think it could be useful to have some ideas/appendices for the reader, but Brauns hits the most important aspects of conducting a pastoral search in this book.
I think it also applies to those who are searching for a church as well. As one searching, I think having some idea of what the church is looking for is important to be able to build yourself up and pay attention to those areas that you should. I think it also gives clues on looking at a church and looking to see if they are searching for a Pastor who is centered on the Word or is a Pastor who is trying to fill a special niche with little regard for the Holy Spirit’s leading.
I also appreciated his emphasis on prayer and the work of the Holy Spirit in the early section of his book, even to the point of offering suggestions on how to pray.
Overall, I find “When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search” to be an easy recommend for those who are engaged in a pastoral search.
Disclosure of Material Connection:
I received this book free from Moody Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.