God is shepherding his people even in seasons of pastoral transition. Unexpected resignations or changes in leadership do not threaten His good purposes or plans. His promises pertaining to prayer remain in uncertain seasons. He continues to work through the prayers of his people.
In fact, God may use a season of pastoral transition to deepen trust in Him. He has worked in churches looking for their next pastor and through Pastor Search Teams. Here are ten ways you can pray for your church’s Pastor Search Team.
- Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name.
- Give glory, honor, and praise to God for his work in salvation.
- Praise God for the various gifts he has given to this local church.
- Plead with God to give unity to the Pastor Search Team
- Ask God to grant wisdom to the Pastor Search Team
- Pray that God would bless and direct the candidates during this process
- Ask God for his leadership in identifying the top candidates
- Intercede for the Pastor Search Team knowing that they will face spiritual warfare
- Ask God to give the church a spirit of support towards the Pastor Search Team
- Praise God that the future of the church is in his hands
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness. (Psalm 29:2)
Begin in prayer by recognizing who God is. Acknowledge that He is God and you are not. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name. Praise Him for His attributes.
But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. (Psalm 13:5)
Thank God for your own salvation and the salvation of other search team members. Ask God for more conversions even during the season of pastoral transition.
Now there are a variety of gifts but the same Spirit… (1 Cor. 12:4)
Thank God for the various gifts in the church and on this team. Ask God to empower those gifts for fruitful ministry and this process.
…eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace… (Eph 4:3)
Ask God for a spirit of eagerness to maintain the unity of the Spirit. Recognize the various ways that the devil might foster disunity amidst the team. Present yourselves to God and commit to pursuing and maintaining this unity.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:5)
Recognize that wisdom comes from God. Confess your need for wisdom and the search team’s need for wisdom in this process. Plead with God to give wisdom.
If anyone aspires to the office of overseer he desires a noble task… (1 Tim 3:1)
Pray that this process would be a blessing to the candidates. Pray for God to bless their families and current churches. Ask God for his direction in their lives just as he spoke to Samuel that he would speak to them.
The LORD said to Samuel […] “I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided myself a king among his sons.” When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely, the Lord’s anointed is before him.” 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 sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD look on the heart.” (1 Sam 16:1-7)
Ask God to give the team insight in identifying his candidate for this church. Ask God to help the team look past what they want and to see what God wants.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9)
Thank God for his victory over the devil. Ask for God’s protection for the Pastor Search Team knowing that this season will bring spiritual warfare. Plead with God to give the team all that is needed in this warfare.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
Ask God for a spirit of support among the team. Ask God to prevent any spirit of unhealthy suspicion or malice. Pray that God would use the church to practically encourage the Pastor Search Team through the process
I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)
Praise God for the finished work of Christ which established the church. Praise God for the ongoing work of Christ through the church.
Note: This prayer guide was originally developed for the SBC of Virginia state convention of churches.