Our Job Criteria (Prayer Devotional for the week of January 25, 2015)

We have several folks in my department who have recently retired or are about to, so I am serving on various search committees this year. In order to avoid a human resources nightmare and possibly get ourselves into legal trouble, there are usually only three reasons that we can use to justify not considering an applicant for a job: 1) they don’t meet the education requirements; 2) they lack the necessary experience; or 3) they fall short on some other aspect of the job description. When we make a final recommendation for the selected candidate, we have to explain why we chose that person over the other qualified applicants.


This painstaking process got me thinking about what Jesus went through when he selected his disciples. Granted, he has a bit of an advantage over us, since he knows our hearts (1 John 3:20, Romans 8:27), and we have to whittle down the candidate pool by reading resumes and cover letters. The four gospels include several accounts of Jesus calling his disciples (Ex.: Matthew 4:19 & 9:9, Luke 5:27, John 1:43).


Even though Jesus didn’t appear to conduct formal interviews with his would-be disciples, I did notice two things that were consistent in his search. First, Jesus expected them to follow him (see the verses in the previous paragraph for examples). Second, he expected them to stick around for the long haul. Matthew 10:38 gives us some insight into this second point. You may recognize it as the “take up your cross and follow me” verse. What does that really mean, though? The Message paraphrase puts it this way: “If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don’t deserve me.” Jesus wasn’t looking for job hoppers or career-ladder climbers; he was looking for committed servant-leaders.


Jesus wasn’t bothered by the same criteria that we have to abide by in search committees nowadays. He wanted people who were ready and willing to join his work. The exciting thing is that the job notice is still posted! Are you committed to following him for the long haul?

Honest feedback?

Hi guys & gals! As I begin tying up loose ends here and preparing for our cross-country move this summer, I am trying to manage my time and keep all the balls that I’m juggling from falling. I’m feeling torn, because I enjoy writing the devotionals, but it is a pretty big time commitment that I’m not sure I can handle over the next few months.

I talked to one of my pastors about it, and we brainstormed the possibility of having me write a monthly devo instead of weekly. That could be a way for me to stay in touch, and a lot of folks in the congregation have already asked about what will happen to the devos when I move away. Those comments really warm my heart, and I’m trying to figure out what to do.

What do you think, honestly? I’m not fishing for compliments; I really want to know what you think. Do you actually read the daily prompts? Would you really miss it if I cut back to monthly, instead of weekly entries?

It might even work out that I could write monthly posts through the summer, then go back to weekly in the fall, if it looks like I can handle the load. I just want to be conscientious of my time and not over-commit.