I've been thinking a lot about searching this week. Part of it is how I've been spending my time. For several months now I've been a part of the team searching for our next Director of Traditional Worship and the Arts. It's a big job to fill, and once Mark Squire announced his move to another congregation, we got to work looking at the job description, posting a position and reviewing resumes - 91 in all. This month we've been blessed to welcome three wonderful candidates to visit and we remain prayerful that one of them will be the right fit for us. I invite you to stay tuned and would welcome your prayers!
Now a process like this might not come to mind when you think about searching, you may just want to know where you left your keys! (Fair.) And yet the more time I've spent in this process the more appreciative I am for the lessons that searching can hold. Let me share a few:
1) Searching means you have to know what you're looking for.
This is obvious. And yet if you dig a little deeper, you have to get clear on what you want before you can find it. Think about relationships or jobs. You have to be able to imagine a future and the kind of activities and events it will hold to be able to search for it. In our search process, we've talked a lot about this. We want a person who can help us grow, while maintaining our values of musical excellence and diversity.
2) Searching offers an opportunity to "retrace your steps".
As each of our three finalists have come to visit, they have asked great questions. How did we get here? Why do we do it this way? You get the idea. I have learned things from the stories of the search team, choir members, ensemble directors and staff that I didn't know. And looking backwards has helped me to see what is really healthy and what it might be time to look at again.
3) Searching invites a resolution or closure of some kind.
This lesson has surprised me. Searching actually begins with recognizing a loss. Whether that's a staff member or an unmet desire, we have to name what's missing for a search to begin. And then, once that person or dream or item is found we also have to celebrate. To mark the finding and not just the losing. Jesus tells a great story about this. It's actually the text I'll be preaching from this Sunday and next and it's found in Matthew 18:10-14 and Luke 15:3-7 - The Parable of the Lost Sheep.
What is it that you're searching for? And how might the search offer you some lessons?
I'm grateful to be a part of a community like St. Luke's as we search together.