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pulpit supply vs. pastoral candidate


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

 Could someone please tell me the differance between  someone that is a "pastoral candidate" and someone used for "pulpit supply", and how long does one give for either?

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The church my husband now pastors had 3 men acting as pulpit supply on Sunday mornings - for 5 years. When we joined the church, my husband was asked to join the roster of pulpit supply by the pastor who founded the church and was supplying the speakers. The members of the church, however, asked him to candidate for pastor. He did, and now is pastor.

Two years ago, he had an accident that put him in the hospital for weeks and laid up at home longer. The pastor whose church founded ours graciously supplied pulpit fill while my husband was down.

So, I guess in a nutshell, pulpit supply is filling in for an absent pastor, while pastoral candidate is someone the church is looking at as possible pastor. As Uke said, the time would be up to the church, in accordance with their church constitution (if it deals with the issue).

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Having been both, let me say, when I first began to preach at the church I am now pastor at, I was, along with some other men from our church, a different church, used to cover on Sundays for the pastor, who was elderly and infirm, and could no longer physically serve fully. I believe that, from the start, they were looking for a replacement, but I was one of about 4 or five that each took a Sunday, and one by one, all the others dropped out and asked me to take over. Shortly thereafter I was asked about becoming the pastor, so I counseled with my pastor on it and he said he would endorse me. (BTW, I had offered myself into full-time service some time before, but had not yet been led anywhere). So I preached on Sunday, they voted, and I was voted in as the pastor, and have been there now 19 years.

So, pulpit supply, as you term it, can become a candidate, depending on the needs of the church and the willingness of the supply to be used of God.

As for how long, that all depends on the church. I have seen churches use fill-ins to preach for years, with no one willing to actually step up to become the pastor, and they just wait for the Lord to send someone, (never thinking maybe He already had them there). But there's really no time limit. As for how long one should be a candidate, I would say that, if they have surrendered to preach, have a good reputation, have preached enough to know they know their Bible and doctrines, hold a vote and get it done.

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