As Gabe McDonald’s Pastoral coach, I was invited to sit in on his Pastoral License interview with our denominations Licensing Board. It sounds so “official” and it is in a way.
I didn’t know what to expect – but I thought it would be simple. My licensing process over 17 years ago was detailed and somewhat extensive, but nothing like what I was about to experience. I thought they would “Check in on Gabe and check out…meeting done.” One hour and forty five minutes later, we are wrapping it up with 4 of the Licensing Committee praying over Gabe and his wife Britt, with compassion, authentic love and power.
Each of the Committee members were pastors I knew on various levels. Pastors: Glenn Yamaguchi of New Hope Kapolei, Alex Michel of New Hope Town, Ray Glory of New Hope Volcano and Kiha Pimental of C4 (Christ Centered Community Church).
WOW! They drilled and grilled Gabe…and drilled deep! It was seriously profound as they examined Gabe’s heart, knowledge, relationships, vision, calling…! It was like going to the doctors (4 doctors!) for a very thorogh examination.
In this case, they were 4 spiritual physicians who knew their craft well. Their collective experience totaled about 100 years (not that they are that old:)
THE EXAM | THE PROBING
Present in this interview were Gabe, Brittney (his wife), myself, and the 4 pastors. We all greeted each other at the start with our hugs and “How are you’s.” Pastor Glenn opening in prayer and the examination began. They wasted no time asking Gabe direct questions about his life, calling, marriage, relationship with God, convictions, beliefs and methods of ministry. They would include Britt, intermitently asking her some of the same questions.
What I was impressed with was not only the “skill of their examination questions” but each of the 4 pastors intent. The feeling they gave was that they really, really…really cared about Gabe and Britt. This was not just an interview process for Gabe to receive a Pastoral License.
THE HEART OF THE MATTER
Their probing questions didn’t at all seem that they just wanted to hear the “right answer.” The feeling I got was that these 4 pastors really, really…really cared about the couple sitting in front of them!
The heart of the matter was the McDonald’s relationship, marriage, life…not just the denomination or licensing procedure. Oh, they did their job involving the “official questions and processing” for Foursquare (Denomination). But what far exceeded my expectations were these 4 pastors hearts.
These 4 pastors exhibited experience, expertise and the very heart of Christ love, grace and truth.
PASTORS VRS. PROFESSIONALS // THE CHURCH VRS. THE CORPORATE
Glenn, Kiha, Alex and Ray were professional in knowledge, skill and pastoral in heart and approach. They were looking out for the McDonald’s and the larger church families lives – through their questions and counsel. Denominations and churches leadership meetings can often feel “corporate & stiff.” But this was far from the case as these 4 pastors exampled a sincere, unconditional love for the McDonald’s.
I understand their role in the larger, corporate scope of responsibilities as a Licensing Committee. But WOWZAH (as I often say when I’m WOW’D!)! I’ve been in church life and ministry for over 32 years. And having been in myriads of leadership, committee, church related meetings…these 4 pastors truly modeled a pure, holy, loving, gracious and truthful character that made me proud of being a part of my denomination!
I think God intended this interview to be His voice of truth and love for my heart, mind and pastoral leadership. I’m not part of a professional, corporate denomination. I’m part of a loving family of God…we call ‘ohana.
PEOPLE HAVE BEEN BURNED BY POLITICS…IN THE CHURCH
- TO BE CONTINUED