We’re Getting a New Preacher (Church)

I’m moving to a new church,” an excited preacher tells me. “We’re getting a new preacher next week,” say thrilled people in a church.

You aren’t. All are used. All have histories. Most have been wrecked at least once. I hope you’ve checked the accident reports.

I’ve driven used cars for years, saving thousands of dollars and enjoying excellent service. But it’s important to get a history on used cars.

CARFAX furnishes much information about a car and what’s happened to it.

Some you can live with. Some you can’t or shouldn’t. What kinds of repairs have been made since it was new? Were damaged parts replaced with original equipment or cheap knockoffs?

The same is true of preachers and churches.

Are he and his family stronger since the accident? Have they reinforced weak places? Do their weaknesses fit strengths you need to help you and your church grow with your strengths and weaknesses?

How long has it been since the last church fuss? Are you being recruited to take one or more sides in the dispute?

What kind of body repair experience have you had? Do you think the wrinkles will work themselves out? How much Bondo were you seeing during your weekend visit? When will it crack and show rust under it?

You aren’t getting a new preacher. And the preacher isn’t getting a new church.

They’re both used. They have a history. Learn it. Pray for wisdom.

Is this the used preacher (church) you need now? There are no 100,000-mile guarantees. Do you need to repair bumps and scratches you know about and keep driving what you have?

It’s something to consider when you’re getting intoxicated by the new car smell in the showroom and you’ve had two flat tires in two weeks. A new set of tires from Sam’s Club doesn’t cost as much as a new (old) car with no CARFAX report.

A preacher appreciation dinner, special courses for growth, and a sabbatical can improve the old preacher and is less expensive than searching for and moving in a new (old) preacher.

But Christians are new creations. If that’s true, we do have a new preacher and a new church. Our opportunity during the “shopping” process is to learn if this preacher (church) is a new creation in Jesus or an old car where the paint will start peeling and the transmission will go out in six months.

Or, if you’re into restoring old things, know what you’re getting and enjoy. I’ve seen many beautiful restorations. It’s a lot of work, but when done well, it’s rewarding. Damaged preachers, elders, and churches are worth it when they’re restorable.

Some of my best regular and interim works have been churches with the most confessed problems. They were ready and looking for help.

Some churches who presented themselves as the best were the worst because they were either unaware of their weaknesses or unwilling to talk about them and work on them.

Where have been your best sources to get PREACHERFAX and CHURCHFAX reports when shopping for a new (old) one?

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Jerrie Barber
Disciple of Jesus, husband, grandfather, preacher, barefoot runner, ventriloquist

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