The NFL Draft and Pastor’s Free Agency

I am stoked. Today, Calvin and I both got our Q-square admittance email for the Oikos’ NFL Draft Experience for later in the month. This year it will be at AT&T Stadium (where the ‘Boys play). This three day event will be filled with star athletes, lessons from coaches and trainers, games, prizes, and the chance to watch the draft live, in person. Look for me in the Redskin shirt and Calvin with the Eagles jersey. We will be the two people being pummeled by the crowd. It is amazing what goes into such an event. It is nice to be wanted in such a way that people cheer and owners haggle over you.

Football may be the epitome of the business food chain, but this practice takes place at almost every level. Law firms recruit from Ivy League. Businesses look for the next big executive. Tech industry also has all-stars and recruiting at early stages of peoples careers.  Now don’t get me wrong. Businesses should be about recruiting the best. It is part of building a culture of excellence and success. This blog isn’t about that though (go ahead and looked on LinkedIn, you will find plenty of articles to cover that issue, and more). This is about an interesting communication I got from a church in Arizona where I had submitted my resume.

Can you imagine what churches would be like if they were like the NFL? “Okay First Baptist, this is Main Street Methodist. We want to trade for your Youth Pastor. We will give you our next draft picks from the 2018 and 2019 seminary class. Fine, will throw in our facility guy too – they’re easy to replace.” I wonder what kind of chaos that would throw our view of a call.

Churches should strive for excellence too – seek the best person for the position. But we need to remember that God looks at the heart – not what man looks at. And what a particular church may desire may not be who God wants for the position.

But, I am getting a little away from where I want to get. This week, I sent a resume to a church in Arizona. The interim pastor did something remarkable and full of grace. His response was prompt and kind. He was up front and said that the church worked up a profile of the general characteristics of the pastor for whom they felt was needed – and though my resume showed ample experience and skills, it did not fall in the scope of the church’s profile. (nothing new, got that t-shirt before).

BUT, he then went on to say he knew of some churches that my resume did fit their profile. What? He asked if it would be okay if he forwarded my resume to them. In the decades of my ministry, this was a first. But I think it should be the norm. We need to be thinking of each other. We should be looking out not just for our interest, but the interests of everyone in the family of God. Seeking what is best for all and helping others as they travel along their journey. My path crossed this pastor’s desk for just a few minutes and he did not let the opportunity pass to show grace and brotherly love. I want to be like that. I want others to know I care for them – and for what they are going through.

This principle is about more than just pastoral positions It should be about the way we live every day of our lives. Look out for your co-workers. Invest yourself in the lives of fellow students. Find a way to show your neighbors you care for them. Do others see that in you? If not, maybe try it this week.
So here is a loud Draft Day cheer for that interim pastor. And he is also a professor connected to Gateway Seminary (formally Golden Gate). WOOHOO. You blessed me!

(post script – about trading a facility guy, just kidding Calvin, Prestonwood found a great asset in you – and I say that not just because you’re my son. Plus you said you would only read my blog if I mentioned you.)

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About Todd K Estes

In this journey called Life, it gets a bit muddy - But Jesus sees beyond the mud and sees the person He created, the person He loves, and the person He is still working on. I am one of those persons - and so are you. I am a sold-out follower of Jesus, husband way out of my league, father to a great son, part of the family of God, and pastor of a great church family - Evergreen Baptist in Appomattox.

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