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UPDATES FROM PASTORAL SEARCH COMMITTEE

7/19/2024

Can you think of a time when you were encumbered by a circumstance that was not chosen by God? You may even question, “How did I get here?” At certain times in our lives, most of us are guilty of deciding our plans without God. It can leave us worried, confused and perhaps on a path that is not God’s best for us. The greatest thing to keep us from worry is seeking God as the greatest factor in our planning. And so it is for the future of our church; we must commit the formulation of our plans to Him.

Every day, my thoughts are directed to God, seeking His perfect will and His perfect plan for the shepherd for First Baptist Church. Looking forward, our church body must encourage one another and our leadership to make Jesus an integral and real part of our plans and our decision. Thank you for your constancy in prayer for our next pastor and for our committee. With Jesus, we have no reason to fret or worry; He will bring His best. We can rest in that reassurance.

We have spent the month of July reviewing resumes, listening to sermons, scheduling and planning. Live interviews begin in August, and we will bring the candidates to Lubbock. Take a moment and think about the joy that awaits us, together, as we prepare our church for this anointed pastor and his family. Only God knows if it is one of these or yet one to come. But, my brothers and sisters in Christ, we have much to pray for as we look first to God in our planning and in our decision. Please include in your prayers: traveling mercies, beautiful weather, a welcoming community, Holy Spirit led conversations, eyes to see and ears to hear.

I love and treasure the way our church body loves one another and our community so well. Keep seeking Jesus.

Journeying with you,

Suzie Liner

Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass. Ps 37:5

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Church Family,                                                                                                  7/12/2024

 

Having four children, I have commonly referred to the following verse:

 

Psalm 133:1 – “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!”

 

As God’s children, this verse is very applicable to both young and old.

 

Through this pastor search process, I have appreciated learning something from each member of the committee. I feel confident that God is using our diverse backgrounds and personalities to discern the Spirit’s guidance. It’s such a beautiful picture that while we are not uniform in our opinions and personalities, we are unified in the Spirit and truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Multiple members have voiced their opinions and then humbly expressed their willingness to pray to make sure they are seeing things through God’s lens. This is refreshing and inspiring to me!

 

As I express to my children the joy of seeing them work together and their subsequent benefits, I am reminded of how much joy our Father must have when we “dwell together in unity” and how refreshing that is for us.

 

While we wait and prepare for live interviews, we appreciate how you have promoted harmony through your continued prayers and encouragement. Know that we are praying for you as well! We pray for the unity of His Spirit in our church, staff and future pastor.

 

Andrew Adams

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Please pray diligently for the members of our Pastor Search Committee in their task to find our next Pastor of First Baptist Lubbock.

SUZIE LINER Chairman

SEAN CLARK Vice Chairman

TIM ODOM Secretary

ANDREW ADAMS

PAUL DURHAM

KEITH LEONARD

MELISSA MCDOUGAL

BRAD DABBERT (DEACON CHAIRMAN)

SAM LAW (DEACON VICE-CHAIR)

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7/12/2024

Dear Church Family,

 

Having four children, I have commonly referred to the following verse:

 

Psalm 133:1 – “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!”

 

As God’s children, this verse is very applicable to both young and old.

 

Through this pastor search process, I have appreciated learning something from each member of the committee. I feel confident that God is using our diverse backgrounds and personalities to discern the Spirit’s guidance. It’s such a beautiful picture that while we are not uniform in our opinions and personalities, we are unified in the Spirit and truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Multiple members have voiced their opinions and then humbly expressed their willingness to pray to make sure they are seeing things through God’s lens. This is refreshing and inspiring to me!

 

As I express to my children the joy of seeing them work together and their subsequent benefits, I am reminded of how much joy our Father must have when we “dwell together in unity” and how refreshing that is for us.

 

While we wait and prepare for live interviews, we appreciate how you have promoted harmony through your continued prayers and encouragement. Know that we are praying for you as well! We pray for the unity of His Spirit in our church, staff and future pastor.

 

Andrew Adams

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7/3/2024

Where does this day find you? Are you waiting for God to answer a prayer that you have placed before him on a daily basis? I am.

I am waiting for God to answer us as we seek our future pastor. Today, I considered a different perspective. How does God see us while we wait?

Throughout the bible, we see many “postures” of waiting...some are patient, some are anxious, some are defeated, while yet others are just plain angry.

Consider Simeon in the Gospel of Luke. One author suggests Simeon’s posture was one of anticipation, calm expectancy and eagerness. He anticipated what God was about to do in his life and in the world around him. He spent his days praying, not hurrying or demanding. Simeon was ready and eager to welcome God’s anointed. Through the revelation of the Holy Spirit he sees the long-awaited hope; Simeon looks forward to what will come.

This past Sunday, I met several of you that I had not met before. Yet, I felt that I already knew you. We are one family, one body of Christ, praying faithfully, eagerly, expectantly, longingly and with great hope for our future. Your PSC feels the love, support and prayers of each of you.  More importantly, God sees us. He hears us. He will answer. While we are waiting, let’s be mindful or our posture!

Many of our committee are traveling this month. Cover them with your prayers. We are excited to begin live interviews. God is good!

You are greatly loved and treasured,

Suzie Liner

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. John 5:14-15

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6/25/2024

Dear Church Family,

As we have journeyed through the pastor search process, let me just say how blessed and thankful I am for a church body that is committed to praying and supporting the pastor search committee.  Since the beginning, I, along with other members of the committee, have received nothing but words of encouragement, support and prayer from you.   I am reminded of Paul’s charge to the church in Thessalonica, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).  You are indeed doing this and it is bearing fruit within the committee. 

As we continue to speak with and narrow down candidates, my hope and excitement continues to build each week as we move closer and closer to finding the man God will reveal to us as the next pastor of our church.  Our task is not easy or simple.  We understand what Scripture tells us about the qualifications a pastor must have to obediently fulfill the mission and priority of the church.  But getting a clear understanding of each candidate’s heart is only revealed to us through the power of the Holy Spirit.  This is where your prayers are truly coveted. 

As we continue to move through this process together, as a church, let us continue to encourage and pray for one another and our future pastor.  “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

 

Sean Clark

PSC Vice Chair

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6/14/2024

Dear Church Family,

 

The interview Monday night went well. Thank you for your steadfast prayers. Every time we talk to a candidate, I enjoy the interludes when I am just listening and watching; I am listening to the candidate and listening for the voice of the Holy Spirit. One of our committee members also commented how much they were learning and changing as we listen to sermons, diligently seek God and challenge one another.

 

How is the pastor search process changing you as you pray and seek God? How is Jesus changing our church as we draw closer to Him? Perhaps this is a divine window of time that God has ordained for growth and renewal as individuals and as the Body of Christ. This is a holy journey, ordained by God, that we might seek His Face and grow in unity as we know Him more intimately.

 

We feel the Lord directing us as we narrow the field of candidates. God is preparing one man, God’s man, as our future pastor. As we prepare for the next level of interviews with each candidate, we covet your prayers for these men of God, their families and for your PSC.

 

Journeying with you,

 

Suzie Liner

 

“‘And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” Jeremiah 3:15 ESV

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6/5/2024

Dear Church Family,

All is well. The interview process is moving smoothly and yes, we have some excellent candidates. As a whole, we would admit we are still waiting for God to speak and to show us His choice for our next pastor.

We continue to covet your prayers and your support. The weight of the responsibility for the pastoral search is constantly with us. Believe me, there are no complaints; each of us feels this is a privilege to serve our church and our Lord in this way. Satan, on the other hand, probably hates pastor search committees! We, as your pastor search committee, are set upon hearing from God to find a pastor to preach and teach God’s Word and to strengthen this Body of Christ. Thus, we oppose the work of the devil.

On our interview evening, we had one member dealing with a serious incident at work, one member delayed more than 24 hours in an airport and one member ailing with the stomach bug. Our candidate had recently suffered the loss of an immediate family member. We need your prayer support in this journey!

 

Pray for our church, committee and pastor:

  1. Spiritual strength and protection

  2. Unity; the mind of Christ

  3. Wisdom

  4. Endurance

  5. Personalize and pray John 17:6-23

 

I see God at work in our lives individually and corporately at First Lubbock. To God be the glory!

 

You are loved,

Suzie Liner

 

“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.  Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”    John 17:15-17

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5/30/2024

Dearest Family,

We are interviewing candidates on Monday and Thursday. Your specific prayer covering on those days would be treasured. A candidate shared with me yesterday how he and his family are consistently praying for our church. It was wonderful to reassure him that our church was covering every candidate in prayer as well!

 

Let’s journey together, heartily, as we seek the Lord in unity. You are loved and appreciated!

 

Blessings,

Suzie Liner

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“Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men,” Colossians 3:23 AMPC.

5/23/2024

Dear Church Family,

Your Pastor Search Committee conducted a few interviews last week; we were excited and blessed to meet with some very gifted individuals. Also, I want to brag on your committee as they did a great job conducting the interviews. I believe your diligent prayers are making a difference. Going forward, we have more interviews scheduled and are still receiving resumes. I mentioned that listening to sermons on the candidates is another of our priorities. It may surprise you to know just how many sermons we listen to every week! On one candidate, one committee member enjoyed the sermons of a particular candidate so much that he heard more than five of that pastor's sermons in a single day!

 

We have several committee members traveling on mission trips, graduating children, and celebrating family events. Personally, even though life is happening at a face pace all around me,  I find my heart and mind constantly seeking God to reveal the man He has chosen for our next pastor. I believe this journey will bring our entire church into oneness in Christ as, together, we seek God with all our hearts. Please continue to pray for wisdom, unity, and discernment for FirstLubbock and for your PSC. You are greatly loved and treasured.

 

Blessings,

Suzie Liner

 

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  Jeremiah 29:13

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5/16/2024

Dear Family,

This morning I was reading from the book of Micah. Micah taught in a culture characterized by idolatry, immorality, and outright rebellion against the worship of God. In fact, it was a culture much like the one we are experiencing today in America. Despite the times, He clearly outlines what the Lord requires of us.

I pray that our next pastor so leans into God and relies on His Word that he boldly proclaims from the pulpit what God requires of us. Let us pray for a bold prophet, a man that is passionate about declaring the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Your pastor search committee is now interviewing candidates. These are excellent men of God and it is humbling to sit and listen as they answer our long list of questions. We are continuing in pursuit of the man God has called for our next pastor. We are passionate in our pursuit of God. Pray we will be of one heart and one mind...the heart and mind of Christ.

We love you and cherish your prayers.

Blessings,

Suzie Liner

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

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5/9/2024

Your Pastor Search Committee is actively moving forward, and we are excited to see what God has in store. This week, interviews begin with some of our candidates! Let me ask you to put yourself in their shoes for a moment. These are all excellent, well trained men of God who have chosen to apply for our pastor position. Most apply because they are seeking to fulfill God’s calling in their lives; perhaps they were led by the Holy Spirit. Each is willing to risk a dramatic change for themselves and for their families should they be called to FirstLubbock. They do so in obedience to the Lord. You have so graced our committee with your love, your encouragement and your prayers. Please include our candidates and their families in your prayers. Pray that each might have an excellent interview. Pray for your committee that we might have discernment and wisdom and hearts fully turned to Jesus. In a recent prayer and devotional time, we prayed that we could release any personal agenda and only seek what was of the Lord. Remember to pray for Pastor Dagnel and precious Patti that they may finish strong.

With all our hearts, we are serving the Lord and serving you while we wait on God to answer.

Blessings,

Suzie Liner

Chair

Pastor Search Committee

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Ps 27:14

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5/2/2024

 

We received handmade cards of encouragement from the 4th and 5th graders at First Lubbock. I would love to share a few of their words with you:

“Thank you for taking the time of your life to share the word of God.”

“Thank you so much for what you are doing. I hope you find what you are looking for.”

“Search Committee, you’re doing a great job. You just need to keep searching. I know you will pick out someone great.”

“Hope you stay safe and do your job.”

 

I think we have our marching orders! Thank you for your prayers; we treasure and need your continued investment in this holy endeavor. Be encouraged! We are continuing to receive resumes and we have some excellent candidates. Moving forward, some candidates are asked to complete the formal application along with resumes, references and letters of recommendation. We have completed the questions and the procedures for the interviews and will move to this stage very soon. As you may discern, we are in the midst of tough decisions as we review multiple documents and sermons on every pastor that communicates interest. Please stay strong in your commitment to pray and stand with us. Pray for discernment, wisdom, protection and strength. First Lubbock Body of Christ, we love and treasure you!

Blessings,

Suzie Liner

Chairman

 

The preteens remind us, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Phil 4:13

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4/26/2024

Dear Friends,

Your Pastor Search Committee is diligently working in subcommittees so we can research and educate ourselves on every resume we receive. We are listening to sermons, combing over letters of recommendation and preparing for interviews in the next few weeks. I find myself humbled by the dedication and hard work of the individuals on this committee. The Holy Spirit is leading and guiding us in a spirit of unity as we seek the man God has chosen to lead First Baptist Church Lubbock. Please pray for wisdom and discernment for our committee and subcommittees in the days to come.

2 Corinthians 9:8 says: “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” I read this chapter of 2 Corinthians today and found myself drawn to this last phrase...abound in every good work. His grace is sufficient in every aspect of our lives and to the point of overflowing. I am believing this word for our committee, our church, and our next pastor. God IS able.

Praying with you,

Suzie Liner

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4/19/2024

Dear Friends,

 

Your Pastor Search Committee has been busy this week as we review resumes, read letters of recommendation, and have phone conversations with Baptist leaders and pastors spread throughout Texas. Without exception, they are all joining us in prayer. What an encouragement to know that First Baptist Church Lubbock is being lifted in prayer by our brothers and sisters in Christ across this state! Be encouraged! God is in our midst working, and He invites us, our local body of Christ, to join in this holy moment. Please pray for grace and wisdom as we continue to work. We are active while in an attitude of waiting….patiently waiting for God’s choice for our next pastor.

 

Blessings,

 

Suzie Liner

Chair

Pastor Search Committee

 

I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.

Psalm 17:6

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4/12/2024

 

As I was leaving the church this weekend, I overheard two young women laughing and talking as they stood in the foyer. One said, “This may sound silly, but I love the way this church feels.” I don’t know the spiritual connotations of her comment, but it is likely that someone (the church) made her feel welcome. It reminded me of the Henry Blackaby quote, “How you live your life is a testimony of what you believe about God.”

Your Pastor Search Committee has recently completed the church profile. It is a brief compilation of our church’s story. The next page in our story is turning. I challenge each of you to live your life as a true testimony to the world of what you believe about God. The next page is waiting to be written. The way we live as the Body of Christ at First Baptist will script that very story.

We are beginning to receive resumes for the position of pastor. It is exciting. It is encouraging. God is moving! Many eyes are looking our direction. Let’s make sure that our personal and corporate lives reflect the true story of our Lord Jesus. Let’s write a legacy of love. Keep praying for your PSC committee and for the man God has chosen as our next pastor.

 

Journeying with you,

Suzie Liner

Chair

Pastor Search Committee

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4/4/2024

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As I pulled into the church parking lot Monday evening for the PSC meeting, the church building itself was sitting regally with its beautiful copper steeple glowing in the sun. It was a memorable moment as I sat quietly listening in one of those “Be Still and Know” holy moments. Our PSC team arrived early and were well prepared. We worked line by line on documents that will introduce our church to pastor candidates. We were struck by the legacy and the history of First Baptist Church, Lubbock. Importantly, the love of this Body of Christ for others was the golden thread woven throughout our church story. I am encouraged and excited to see all God has in store for us as our team works diligently while yet waiting patiently in those “Be Still and Know” moments of this journey. We have a story waiting to be told...His story!  Please pray our hearts and minds and that of our future pastor are finely tuned to His Spirit. We are available for your comments at PSC@firstlubbock.org.

 

Blessings,

Suzie Liner, Chairman

Pastor Search Committee

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35

 

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3/28/2024

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, 

We want to share our heart and give a brief update as we move forward with the holy task of finding God’s chosen man for the Senior Pastor position at First Baptist Church Lubbock. The greater part of our last meeting was invested in widening our knowledge base and deepening our wisdom as we become experts in the pastor search process. So much has changed in the world of ministry and in ministerial education. We were blessed to glean insight from Dr. Dowell Loftis of the BGCT Center for Ministerial Health. It was a lengthy meeting; in the end, we recognized growth and strengthening as a team. The guidance of the Holy Spirit is moving us in unity toward our common goal. With every consideration and decision, we hold Jesus and then you, our church family, foremost in our thoughts. The strong foundation of this church on Christ our Lord and the proclamation of His Word emboldens us in this task. Pray for the man who God is preparing to be your next Senior Pastor, and pray for unity in our church as we journey together. We welcome your communications at PSC@firstlubbock.org.

 

Blessings,

Suzie Liner, Chairman

Pastor Search Committee

 

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 1 Cor. 1:10

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3/21/2024

Dear Church Family,

Thank you for your trust in us as we begin this pastor search journey. We are each honored and humbled to serve. We’d like to introduce to you the officers of this committee:

 

Suzie Beck Liner - Chairman

Sean Clark - Vice Chairman

Tim Odom - Secretary

 

If you have any questions, please email us at psc@firstlubbock.org

 

We ask that you continue to pray for us daily as the Holy Spirit guides us to find the next pastor for our church.

 

Pray for unity in our committee as well as wisdom and discernment in each step we take.


Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:2

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