Matt Steen: We look at it as a four-legged stool - theology, culture, personality, and skillset. Those are the four legs. If you miss any one of those, you're going down.
Karl Vaters: Hi, I'm Karl and I'm a small church pastor, and welcome to Can This Work in a Small Church. My guest in this episode is Matt Steen, a former pastor and church planter, now with Chemistry Staffing. In this episode, we talk about how to make a better pastor church fit for the long term. This episode is filled with practical advice, including what's changed in pastoral transition and placement over the last generation, how the pandemic has accelerated pastoral transitions, and at the core of it, the five key principles to look for when looking for a new pastor or as a pastor looking for a new church. And don't forget to stick around when the interview is done. I'll come back with an overview of the content and an answer to the question, Can this work in a small church.
Matt, welcome to the podcast. It's good to have you on as a guest today.
Matt Steen: Karl, it's always good. I'm looking forward to the conversation.
Karl Vaters: Yeah, me too. You told me you'd behave yourself during the podcast, but that'll just make for a boring one, so hopefully you'll do something a little bit odd just to brighten the room up a little bit, but we'll see how that goes.
Matt Steen: Well, good thing for you, my wife is out of town today.
Karl Vaters: Oh, okay.
Matt Steen: Normally she sits just off camera and functions as my conscience. So I could get us both…
Karl Vaters: Oh boy, Jiminy Cricket is gone. Who knows what we're going to get today. This could be very interesting. Hey, we're gonna talk today about finding the right fit for pastors and for churches. You have a lot of background in that. But what I wanna do is, right now I think we're in a season coming out of post pandemic. I think… I've got this picture in my head that during the pandemic, even after lockdowns and so on, it was like the lion, the witch and the wardrobe when they go into Narnia and it's always winter but never Christmas, and everything's frozen in place. And then spring comes, and with the thaw everybody's delighted that there are buds now appearing that haven't appeared for a long time, but it brings new dangers. As they try to cross a river that previously was frozen, the cracking ice now makes it life threatening. And it feels that way right now to me in the church for pastors, for churches, for pastoral searches, for churches looking for pastors, for pastors looking to leave. Are you seeing anything similar to that, or how would you categorize this moment in pastoral search terms?