I got spoiled the first time I was seeking a call. I received and accepted a call less than a month and half after I was cleared to circulate my PIF, and the church I went to wasn't the first one to issue me a call. I'm not sure why it came so easy that time around, but it did. I do know that the PNCs (pastor search committee) I was in contact with back then were very motivated and moved very quickly, whereas the ones I've been in conversation with this time are taking their sweet time.
A few weeks ago I told a PNC that I wasn't their gal mainly because I couldn't stand the way they were going about the process. First, they didn't like my list of references because there were, "too many pastors and elders on it." Oookay. Then, it took three weeks for them to check my references because they felt they had to have the entire committee present to speak with the references. Have you ever heard of such a thing? I hadn't and neither had any of my references.
The PNC of a congregation that I am very interested in has been dragging their feet, too. I had a terrific phone interview with them about a month ago and I know that they have called a few of references, but I hadn't heard a thing from them since the phone interview. So I e-mailed the committee chair last week to check in and ask if my sermon tape had arrived. He wrote back saying, "We haven't made any decisions yet, but you're still in the running."
Now, this bothered my husband to no end. He doesn't want me to be "in the running." He thinks that the PNC of the church I am ultimately called to will be super excited about me from the get-go and won't drag things out. You know, like it was the first time around. I've told him that we need to trust the process, that this PNC probably has some really good candidates that they are considering and that we need to be patient. But there is a part of me that wonders if he might be right. I'm not sure I want to be "in the running" either. Is this call process a horse race? Am I in competition with my fellow pastors? I don't think so, but I wonder if that's how some PNCs view the process.
So, I pray for these committees and their discernment, as well as mine, knowing that God's going to land me somewhere that's right. But could it be soon, Lord?