The image of a bride and groom both getting cold feet on their wedding day is what came to mind as I watched the recent events at Vaughn Forest Church, Montgomery, play out.
I really believe everyone involved meant well and thought they were doing what God was calling them to do (see https://thealabamabaptist.org/vaughn-forest-churchs-pastor-search-process-takes-unusual-path). But it seems they may have basically let excitement about the possibilities and a sense of intense urgency cloud their judgment along the way.
The church’s leaders took responsibility for the confusion and vowed to work more transparently in the future.
Pastor Rob Singleton said he loved the aggressive and focused pursuit of those involved in recruiting him but sees now that he may also have gotten caught up in their excitement.
In the end both Singleton and the church leaders agreed that not moving forward was the best move.
The pastor selection team likely never dreamed it would be the topic of so many discussions across the state when it was named last fall.
And admittedly sorting through all the details is quite intriguing.
Still I give Vaughn Forest and Singleton props for being bold enough to pull the brakes when it became obvious something wasn’t quite right.
It might have been easier from a public relations standpoint to go forward with the plan and just deal with the internal confusion and potential fallout behind the scenes — like a bride and groom going through with a wedding they know isn’t right.
But that would have been messier and caused more issues in the long run.
Yes a few months of discussions, dreaming and travel are now void — as I’m sure some financial resources were spent — but all of those investments are now rich lessons that will make the parties involved better prepared for the next step.
No need to be embarrassed nor anxious. These things happen and tend to always help us grow if we let them.
The greater Alabama Baptist family also can learn from the experience, and we all can commit to pray for our fellow Baptists who are members of Vaughn Forest as they seek to find a pastor to lead their flock.
How often do we all attempt to help God out by moving ahead of Him in a situation that makes sense to us?
I remember grasping this concept for the first time right out of college when a Bible study leader took our young professionals group through “Experiencing God” by Henry and Richard Blackaby.
“Watch to see where God is working and join Him,” the Blackabys wrote.
What a simple concept — but I still waffle between doing my own thing then asking God to bless it and looking to join God then trying to take over.
Truly releasing my own desires and logic to Him is where I so often fail, but I’m determined not to give up. Together in Christ we can find our way.