Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Book Review: The Search Committee

The Search Committee is a truly unique book. I enjoyed reading it, though. There are some things I’d like to say about it, but can’t because it would give away the ending. I won’t do that to you. Thankfully, the author discusses these things in the reading guide at the end of the book—so, if you read the book, don’t skip that part.

The Search Committee is the story of a diverse group of people chosen by their church to find a new minister. Over the course of a year, they travel on weekends to visit different churches in three southern states to listen to pastors who have indicated a desire to move. Our denomination doesn’t use search committees, so this process was new to me. The characters themselves weren’t entirely comfortable with it, as they had to try to slip in unnoticed and not let people know they were thinking of luring their pastors away.

The story wasn’t really about one church’s search for a new pastor, though. Between accounts of visits to churches were chapters about the individuals’ lives—all the stories behind the story. The search committee was made up of people, not saints, who were serving their church while also living out their unique lives, recovering from their pasts, figuring out their presents, and looking toward their futures.

Living in the South for now myself, I didn’t feel like the author’s portrayal of this location was entirely accurate. Sometimes he was right on target, but most of the time, it seemed the book must have really been set forty or more years back in time. The author does say, in an interview at the back of the book, that the idea for the book came from his own experience on a real search committee.

I am reviewing this book, which I obtained on my own, as part of Tyndale House Publisher’s Summer Reading Program.

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