But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.’” vs. 71 Samuel 16:1-11
Anyone who has ever been called to serve on a congregation’s pastoral search committee can empathize with Samuel as he carried out the charge that the Lord had given him. Sometimes the search group has call documents from dozens of candidates that need to be sorted and ranked. And then the most promising are contacted for personal interviews via Zoom. The committee may then ask one or more finalists to come for a visit, an occasion for more questions and some observation of what might be called intangibles. It’s still not easy to make a final choice! Because as Samuel learned from the Lord, outward appearances can be deceptive. Some folks can interview extremely well and be physically attractive, but they won’t be the best match for the congregation. And since the all-important intangibles are so hard to discern, it sometimes feels like all the search group can do is pray and hope. We don’t know the method Samuel used–the text makes it appear the Lord whispered in his ear. But he kept interviewing until the vibe was right–and against all odds David was chosen. What a blessing it is for congregations when search committees are given good candidates and are also able to discern the heart that matches their needs!
Thought for the Day: Why do search committees sometimes make poor choices?