The Search Committee: A Novel

( 31 )

Overview

They started out seeking a pastor. But what they found was each other. When a small-town southern church throws a hodgepodge of wildly different personalities together in a van and sends them out to look for a new pastor, the dust gets kicked up in more ways than one. There’s Travis, a young husband whose ambiguity about becoming a father is threatening his marriage. Dot, a middle-aged busybody whose strong opinions set everyone’s teeth on edge. Susie, an attractive single mom coping with a troubled teenage son. ...
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The Search Committee: A Novel

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Overview

They started out seeking a pastor. But what they found was each other. When a small-town southern church throws a hodgepodge of wildly different personalities together in a van and sends them out to look for a new pastor, the dust gets kicked up in more ways than one. There’s Travis, a young husband whose ambiguity about becoming a father is threatening his marriage. Dot, a middle-aged busybody whose strong opinions set everyone’s teeth on edge. Susie, an attractive single mom coping with a troubled teenage son. Bill, an older man who centers his entire life on caring for his fragile wife. Joyce, a transplanted Yankee who feels like an outsider. Matt, highly educated but socially awkward. And Frankie, who just tries to keep the peace. Jostling along bumpy back roads, they squabble about practically everything, from which pastoral candidates show promise to where to stop for lunch. But gradually the facades fall away, revealing seven lonely souls drawn together in a search for healing and grace. Tyndale House Publishers
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Seven congregation members, differing in age and life experience, set out on a series of weekend trips to visit other churches in the hopes of recruiting a new minister. They are all dealing with their own personal issues, yet they start to bond on these road adventures. VERDICT Humorous yet poignant, this winner of the Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel Contest is a good pick for readers who like uplifting stories with multiple story lines as well as fans of Philip Gulley's gentle and charming novels.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781414364452
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/20/2012
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 696,640
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Read an Excerpt

THE SEARCH COMMITTEE

A NOVEL
By TIM OWENS

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2012 Timothy Owens
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4143-6445-2


Chapter One

When a church is without a pastor, or has a vacancy in an associate pastor position, or after the effective date of the dissolution of the pastoral relationship, the congregation shall, with the guidance and permission of the committee on ministry, proceed to elect a pastor or associate pastor in the following manner. The session shall call a congregational meeting to elect a pastor nominating committee, which shall be representative of the whole congregation. This committee's duty shall be to nominate a minister to the congregation for election as pastor or associate pastor. THE BOOK OF ORDER, PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (USA): G-14.0530–31

The church van already had 187,000 miles on it. It was a white Ford Econoline, and Travis figured it was either a '77 or a '78 model because it looked like the van his cousin Jimmy used to drive. The inside, though, was not like Jimmy's at all. Jimmy's metal-flake brown van only had front seats, and the interior, ceiling included, was covered with burnt-orange shag carpeting. Plus, Jimmy had installed a porthole-type window in the shape of a heart on each side, and he had a little wooden cabinet on one side where he kept his cassettes. It was pretty cool.

The church van, on the other hand, had three bench seats plus the two up front, and it smelled like old vinyl. The rubber flooring was sticky, almost like the floor in a movie theater but not quite as bad. Some of the blue seats were cracked and the foam rubber beneath the vinyl had been gouged. Crawling in, no one complained except for Dot, who mumbled something about the smell.

The reason for crawling into the old van for a road trip was that their preacher said he had been called to a church in Atlanta, so they had to go get another one. The word going around was he had finally landed the Big Job. They all understood and accepted his "calling" as a logical progression in an average preacher's career.

He had been with them about seven years and was pretty good at keeping things on an even keel, like the time those charismatics came in and tried to stir things up. The church lost a few members during that period, but he kept them together by preaching for four Sundays in a row on Job. First he preached about how all of Job's farmhands and animals got killed or were run off by the Chaldeans and Sabeans; the next Sunday, Job came down with the boils from head to foot and took to scraping himself with a piece of broken pottery; the third Sunday, Job started whining and his friends turned on him. Before God got him all straightened out on the fourth Sunday, the charismatics got bummed out and left.

Anyway, their preacher was gone now, and they had an interim minister the presbytery had sent over until they could find a new one. Rev. John Haynesworth, the interim minister, was older than their former preacher, with gray hair and silver-rimmed glasses, and taller, without the paunch. He was a nice man and had gone to Davidson. But as a preacher, he often used words and made points most of the congregation didn't comprehend. It was like being in a doctor's office and he was explaining how to interpret an EKG—the guy seemed to know what he was talking about, so you nodded your head in agreement even though you didn't really understand. They hadn't had any new members join since Rev. Haynesworth had taken over the pulpit.

Travis recalled one Sunday when Rev. Haynesworth was preaching about Ecclesiastes, like how the guy who wrote it thought vanity was responsible for everything people did. By the end of the sermon Travis was so confused that he wasn't sure whether vanity was a good thing or not. The guy who wrote Ecclesiastes made some pretty good points, according to the preacher. In any case, the search committee felt some pressure to get somebody good in there and to be quick about it.

Another reason for the rush to get a new preacher was due to two of the young families in the church leaving to help start a new nondenominational church south of town on 301, joining up with some disaffected Methodists and a few Baptist families looking for a more "progressive" church. If progressive meant a church that looked a lot like a dollar store, then Travis figured they had reached their goal. The elders in Travis's church had begun to talk amongst themselves about the threat this new church posed to the membership roll. It wasn't that two families made a big difference—they had 286 members on the roll—but it could be the beginning of something bigger.

On the other hand, the two families that left were always whining about something, so Travis was kind of glad to see them go. He just couldn't understand why they would want to leave one of the prettiest churches in the county. It was an old church with white clapboard siding, a black shingled roof, and a bell tower covered in cedar shakes. The 650-pound bell that had survived a fire in the original church building in 1879 was rung every Sunday morning by an usher at precisely 11:05 a.m., which coincided with the entry of the choir from the back of the choir loft. Inside the sanctuary, the ceiling was made of dark-stained tongue-and-groove boards that met white plastered walls. There was no stained glass, just tall windows with interior dark-stained shutters. Also, the door and window trim had hand-carved designs on the top corners from 1883, when the church was rebuilt. Travis often admired the craftsmanship that had gone into the building and felt a little pride in being part of such an old, established church. Somehow it gave him a sense of legitimacy, a sense of belonging.

Travis Booth was the youngest of the men on the committee. Bill was the oldest, and Travis was young enough to be Bill's son. Travis had grown up in the church, and people said that he and his wife, Jenny, represented the future of their congregation. Jenny interpreted this to mean they needed to start having babies, but Travis wasn't too sure about that. He tried to be real active at church, and Jenny enjoyed the circles, small Bible-study groups comprised only of women in the church. Jenny was in circle number three. From what Travis could tell, they discussed a lot more than the Bible.

Travis worked as the assistant manager at the Food Lion in town. He thought it was a pretty good job for him, considering where he came from. In addition to working inside and getting a decent paycheck, he got to talk to everybody who came in, because his office was on a platform behind the service desk at the front of the store. His boss didn't mind him talking so much; said it was good for business. Most of his time involved hanging around up front, standing on the platform and looking out over the store, watching the customers and the stockers. Travis never ceased to be amazed at what was thrown away—good stuff. But rules were rules; putting those expiration dates on everything had caused more food to be thrown away than anything else he could think of.

* * *

There were seven altogether on the committee to find a new minister: Travis Booth—representing the young married professional; Bill Duncan—retired from the electric co-op; Frankie Fulford—about seventy, retired from the post office, the leader, more or less; Matt Fischer—early thirties, an out-of-work PhD living at home with his dad; Dot Spivey—a middle-aged gossip machine and housewife; Joyce Lambertson—about sixty, moved down from New York, widowed, and working part-time at the county library; and Susie Mayfield—a bookkeeper at the electric co-op, late thirties, divorced, and good-looking.

Bill had spent twenty-eight years in one of those jobs that seemed like a good deal to everybody in town. Steady paycheck, good benefits, company truck—there weren't too many of those jobs around. When Travis first met him at some kind of special dinner in the fellowship hall on a Wednesday night, Bill asked Travis what line of work he was in. Travis told him he was the assistant manager at the Food Lion but that he was taking some classes over at Tech to apply toward an engineering degree. Bill replied, "I wish I had made something out of my career like that." Then Travis proceeded to tell him all the details about the credit hours he could use for his degree and how hard the math was. Bill smiled a little and said, "That's good. That's what you have to do nowadays—you have to go after it."

Bill did the driving on the trips and seemed to enjoy it. He liked to point out things as the van drove by them. For example, the van would pass a Golden Corral steak house and Bill would say something like, "Golden Corral ... I wonder if their hot-food bar is as big as Ryan's." Remarks like these would invariably stir up some conversation.

Following that particular comment, Dot chimed in. "My cousin Roger, over in Rocky Mount—he's a lawyer, you know—he says those hot-food bars get a lot of people sick with food poisoning."

Bill replied, "Is that a fact? I never heard tell of anybody getting sick from the hot-food bar at Ryan's. Which one is he talking about?" He had Dot's number, plus he had probably eaten at every buffet in the state east of I-95.

Dot looked perturbed. "I don't know exactly which one, but it was over in Rocky Mount." She shifted in her seat, obviously satisfied with her answer.

Nobody knew it at the time, but Bill had some serious heart problems. He had told Travis about it on one of the trips when everybody else was asleep. They were driving along in the dark, coming back from a church visit in North Wilkesboro. There was hardly any traffic on 421. Bill said his doctor had put him on a special diet, one of those no-cholesterol, no-fat, no-sugar, no-caffeine, no-nothing types of diets. Plus he couldn't smoke anymore.

A few months back there had been an article in the Raleigh News & Observer about how people here in eastern North Carolina had a high rate of heart disease. Something about all the fatback they used in cooking. Travis once had some string beans that had been cooked without fatback; they were so bitter he almost threw up. And fried fatback—talk about something good. Travis wondered how many slices of fried fatback he had eaten in his life; had to be in the thousands.

Anyway, Bill had this heart thing weighing on his mind. He wasn't worried so much about dying himself as he was about leaving behind his wife, Mary Helen. She really loved him, and he really loved her. They'd had one child together, a boy, Billy. He was killed years ago while riding his bicycle down the road to his cousin's house. Billy was eight. Bill and Mary Helen took it real bad.

"Hey, Bill, look at that one," Travis said, pointing to the portable sign in front of a church they were passing. It read, Treat every day like it's Sonday. It was a Methodist church sign.

"That's a good one, but I believe the Baptist churches win the prize for having the best signs."

They had seen some good signs along the way, like If you really love Jesus, you won't be flirting with the devil and Give all your problems to God. He'll be up all night anyway. And the best one so far, in Travis's opinion: Without the Bread of Life, we're toast. Everyone had laughed when they saw that one.

Travis had a little blue wire-bound book with him to keep notes on the different preachers they were going to hear. He turned to the back few pages of it and started writing down all the sayings they had seen on church signs. Their church didn't have a sign, but if one was ever put up in the future, he figured it would be good to have some sayings to draw on. You never know. He finished writing down the one they had just passed and closed his notebook.

"Hey, that sign had a different saying on the other side," Bill said as he looked in the rearview mirror. Travis turned around to look, but they were going around a curve and he lost sight of it.

"What did it say?"

Bill chuckled. "It said that atheism is a nonprofit organization, and they spelled profit like a prophet in the Bible."

Travis opened his notebook and wrote it down.

Dot spoke up. "I heard those people who bought the old dry cleaner's are atheists."

Travis was beginning to think that God had allowed the devil to travel with them in the form of Dot Spivey. She had made it known that she wanted to be on the committee because, in her words, she wanted to "make sure we got a good one." Short and thick in the middle and about fifty years old, she spoke her mind without any regard for whether she might be offending someone and had one of those hairdos that was real short in the back and then stood up on top like a rooster's comb. She wore a lot of makeup and primped all the time, adding more blush or lipstick while looking into a small compact she fished out of her oversize pocketbook. She revered anybody who had money and, conversely, didn't think much of those who didn't. Travis tried to be pleasant, but deep down, he was terrified of her.

* * *

Today they were headed to Charlotte, where among the fifty or so Presbyterian churches there were about eight preachers who were looking to make a move. They hopped over to 74 from 133. It was four-lane now all the way since they finally worked on the stretch through Robeson County where all the Lumbee Indians lived.

By the time they got close, everybody needed to go to the bathroom, so Bill stopped at a BP in Matthews, a small town on the outskirts of Charlotte. He figured they wouldn't be able to go at the church, not knowing their way around and all. After everybody got back in, the women began their primping, especially Dot, who was making a major exercise out of applying her Mary Kay. She was moving her lips so much to spread her lipstick that Travis thought she was going to end up looking like Bozo the Clown. But it turned out alright.

Susie brushed her shoulder-length auburn hair. It didn't take much for her to get fixed up.

Joyce just patted her hair in the back and on the sides. She looked a lot like Rosalynn Carter but dressed more plainly and didn't wear any makeup at all.

Frankie held a compact mirror close to her face and grinned, looking for remains of a Hardee's biscuit between her teeth. Satisfied, she closed the compact and put it back in her purse. Despite her age, Frankie was probably in better shape than anyone else on the committee. Every time she came into the grocery store, Travis noticed she was wearing an exercise suit and tennis shoes. Travis had overheard her tell one of the cashiers that she tried to walk two miles every day.

Looking back at Matt, Travis noticed his hair was all poofed up in the back from where he had been sleeping, but Matt didn't even bother with it.

Travis opened his little notebook. The fella whose application had given him the appearance of being "their kind of man" was forty-seven, married, two kids—one in college, one in elementary school (a surprise?)—and was born in Florida (not a plus). He wanted to pastor a small-town church, like theirs, and he was affordable. He gave no signs of being a liberal and seemed to be strong on family values. On paper he could have passed for a Baptist. The church he was in currently was in the suburbs of Charlotte in a modern-looking building. It was relatively small, similar to their own, so it wouldn't be a big change for this minister.

They drove into the church parking lot right at 10:50 a.m. They had a plan for entering the church without drawing attention. Churches generally didn't throw out the welcome mat for search committees taking a look at their preachers.

Their usual approach was for Frankie and Bill to go in together as an older couple. Dot and Joyce were also to go in together, looking like two friends keeping each other company. However, they made odd companions—Dot with her hairdo, tight dress, and big, dressy pocketbook next to Joyce with her baggy skirt, plain blouse, unfixed hair, and macramé handbag. Then there were Travis, Matt, and Susie. Matt and Susie were supposed to be a couple and Travis was supposed to be Susie's brother. Unfortunately, their plan was compromised this morning when two ushers came out the front door of the church and drew a bead on all of them piling out of the van.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from THE SEARCH COMMITTEE by TIM OWENS Copyright © 2012 by Timothy Owens. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

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(8)

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(15)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    In searching for one thing, they find another...

    Description:

    When a Protestant church finds itself without a pastor, the church forms a search committee to represent the wants and needs of its congregation. In this case, when a Presbyterian preacher is called to Atlanta, the church's search committee, comprised of Travis, Dot, Susie, Bill, Joyce, Frankie, and Matt, pile into a white '78 model Ford Econoline and start searching for candidates. Just because they have been elected to agree on a new pastor, doesn't mean that they agree on anything else, so tension begins to rise. Can seven people sent on a religious mission put aside their backgrounds and secrets long enough to do what's best for the church? Or will their inner conflicts be revealed and make for a "bumpy ride"?

    Review:

    The Search Committee by Tim Owens is less about the actual search, and more about the committee members themselves. Seven wildly different personalities stuck in a van in search of a preacher - sounds like a great idea, right?... I loved the premise of this book right away, I have never thought about how a church gets a new pastor, especially in today's "electronic" society - (I wonder if you can Google a pastor too?). Anyway, the story-line is easy to follow and exceptionally well-written. I started to enjoy the complexity of the characters and their interactions immediately. I appreciated the balance of seriousness and humor, as well as the level of emotion - I was never bored. The only drawback was the choppiness of some of the viewpoint changes, but it didn't take anything away from the overall readability. Being a church-goer myself, I couldn't help but laughing since some of the characters reminded me of friends and neighbors in my own congregation. I have been on "road trips" before, so I know what it's like to be stuck in a van with people you don't necessarily agree with; although, those events do stand out in my mind because of the unexpected moments we all shared. I will definitely be recommending this book to my congregation! Great for book clubs; I found the Discussion Questions thought provoking as well!

    Rating: Bounty's Out (3.5/5)

    * I received this book from the author (Tyndale Blog Network) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    Anonymous

    This 258 page book is so funny. I am busting out laughing. I loved the notebook Travis kept of the messages on the church signs. Hope he writes more books.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2013

    Occasionally, very occasionally, I buy books for myself.  Usuall

    Occasionally, very occasionally, I buy books for myself.  Usually they are classics.  Or, like with The Search Committee, I know the author.  In this case, he is part of my writers' group.  I have read short pieces of his before and know him to have an intriguing voice in his writing and a strong sense of humor and some quirky characters.  All of that is present in The Search Committee.  I was, however, surprised by how Southern this novel is. 
    The real main character in this book is the setting.  I had just finished reading Barbara O'Connor's How to Steal a Dog before I started The Search Committee.  It was amazing how well the writing dovetailed -- it wasn't the same -- Ms O'Connor writes for children, but there is a quality to the writing that is shared by both authors.  In case you are wondering, I love Barbara O'Connor's writing, so I loved the writing in The Search Committee as well. 
    The Search Committee ostensibly is about the four women and three men who make up a committee searching for a new pastor for their church.  Every main character is given a view point and flashbacks to his or her past.  I don't really have a problem with that.  I do, however, think this book could have been improved by tighter editing.  That, to me, is more a reflection on the publishing house than on the author.
    I do know that Mr. Owens is working on another book.  I do know that I'll be buying it when it is released. And I do know that I expect to enjoy it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2012

    Funny and Entertaining

    Such fun getting to know each character. Made me laugh at how they looked at each preacher they went to see. Come on you know you have had thoughts like they did,lol. I also skipped most of the chapter intros. They didnt really go with the story in my opinion. Even if you not of this faith (which im not) its still a good read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2012

    Interesting characters

    Getting to know the characters was interesting. There are a lot of them and they go back to their memories frequently which makes it a bit confusing. I skipped the chapter introductions annd went straight to the story. It's an ok read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2012

    Book Groups Notice

    This book not only entertains it also causes you to think about your own situation. Great subject. Great book for discussion groups.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2014

    Enjoyable read

    I like the story. I felt liked I met the characters and were part of their lives. I would recommend this simple, but worthwhile read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2012

    I really enjoyed this boook!

    Having a had a dad who was a minister, I grew up in the church and know what it's like when a church is without a minister and what is involved when searching for a minister. I liked how the author tied in the stories of all of the committee members. It was both moving a humorous. A fast read but well worth it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2012

    Good read

    Funny and sad if you have ever been on a search committe you will be able to identify

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2012

    Very good.

    An excellent book. Alittle slow in the beginning but it picks up and gets quite good.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2012

    Book was funny and entertaining. An easy read - the only tough

    Book was funny and entertaining. An easy read - the only tought thing I found was that I personally felt there were too many characters and they jumped around in memory a bit too much.

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  • Posted July 16, 2012

    The Search Committee is a good book that kept me entertained. It

    The Search Committee is a good book that kept me entertained. It was humorous and serious; the author did a good job blending it all together. I would recommend this book to a friend in a heartbeat.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2012

    This is a FUN read.

    The Search Committee is a fun book. Tim Owens wrote a good book about road trips with purpose. I say grab a glass of sweet tea and read this book. This made me laugh out loud. The book starts out with “The church van already had 187, 00 miles on it. It was a white Ford Econoline and Travis figures it was either a 77 or 78 model” and road trip here we come. Let me introduce you to this band of characters. We meet Travis Booth his mission is to drive and find a new pastor well he and 6 others, all in this white Ford van. He is young and married and is a business professional. We meet Dot Spivey she is sort of a hot mess. She is the busy body of the church she is middle age and has a lot of opinions that she loves to share. Then there is Matt Fischer he is in his early thirties and is out of work and now living with his dad. Bill Duncan is retired from the co-op , Joyce Lambertson she is a widow in her sixties who moved south from New York, Frankie Fulford is a retired mail man and in his seventies last but not least is Susie Mayfield is divorce attractive and in her thirties. Now here comes the fun these 7 people are going to set out on trips across the south to find a pastor for their Presbyterian Church. The journey with this group is so much fun. They each are coming into this in different phases of their lives and each have opinions that let’s just say, May or may not clash. Really get this book and take the trip with them you will be glad you did. You will laugh and learn. I give this book my best rating of five stars because it made me laugh out loud.

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  • Posted June 30, 2012

    Interesting concept, flat execution

    A church in the south is looking for a new pastor and a group of individuals who are to represent the church's wishes are sent on a number of church "field trips" to find one. They are all struggling in different areas, some on several serious topics, and we see glimpses of them not only together but in their individual lives, trying to figure things out.

    As a pastor's daughter, sister, and wife (yep -surrounded), the concept of a Search Committee is not new to me. I can't say I've ever read a book about one though...so in theory, this book's premise was super appealing to me.

    In reality, in complete honesty I had a hard time finishing it. I thought the writing was fine, especially for a first time author, and initially I had a hard time putting my finger on what specifically I didn't love, but the bottom line? It just didn't come together for me. I think the primary reason is that I found many of the main characters unlikeable. I get that they were supposed to be "flawed" (and that is a large part of the point), but I just didn't find it to be enough.

    I did enjoy the differing viewpoints and the layering approach the author seemed to take in revealing more and more about the main characters as the story goes on. And the ending seems fitting! Ultimately, I will be happy to read more by Tim Owens but this one, for me, wasn't my favorite.

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  • Posted June 29, 2012

    THE SEARCH COMMITTEE is a great summertime read because they are

    THE SEARCH COMMITTEE is a great summertime read because they are on the road in an ancient ford econoline van in chaotic roadtrip form. Our church has just gone through a year long search so the setting is familiar. How do a bunch of semi-normal people go about stealing somebody's pastor? Fun, but not fluffy. Solid but not stodgy.
    My favorite character is the elderly black lady who says she talks to Jesus about her favorite baseball team, the Braves. "Sometmes we goof around like that. He is my best friend." Goofing around with Jesus after an hour and a half of prayer for her community is a level of holiness I want to aim for.

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  • Posted June 28, 2012

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    Review from a Man's Perspective

    Having grown up in church all my life, I've seen the formation and conclusion of many search committees. I haven't, though, ever seen the intricate inner working of what makes up this group of individuals. In "The Search Committee" by Tim Owens, we are introduced to 7 members of the church that have been tasked to travel to various churches to listen to and observe prospective ministers. When I saw this book, I thought it would be a interesting read, one that would be fun to see what happens when this group heads out to find a new pastor. I won't say that I was disappointed, but I will say that this wasn't what I thought it would be. The characters seem to be made up of some of the shallowest members of the congregation from this church. The story seemed to drag on up until its predictable ending. There really wasn't any character that made me cheer, cry, laugh or cringe. So is this a "man's book"? This book doesn't really contain any of the main characteristics that I would look for to call a book a "man's book". I would say that some people may enjoy this book, but this isn't one for "this man".

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  • Posted June 17, 2012

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    Good "thinking" book

    I liked this book because it is set in North Carolina, close to where I live, though the town is fictitious. The book is about a group of people searching for a pastor for their church, so it was fun to read about the different places they went to while looking for their new pastor. The book also delves into the lives of the committee members, but that wasn't in depth enough to be really satisfying. I wanted to know more about these characters. The characters were well written and developed, but I wanted more. I would read other books by this author though, and definitely recommend it for a book club discussion.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2012

    Recommend

    I really enjoyed this book. The characters seemed like everyday people. I related to a couple of the characters. I would recommend this book to family and friends.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2012

    Great read, very true to life.

    I would recommend this book to anyone who has been in a church environment. I found the author to be in touch with the truth of haw people in a local church think and behave.

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  • Posted June 1, 2012

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    Funny, Witty, and Graceful

    If any of you have ever attended a church long enough, you will discover there are times when a Pastor must move on to bigger or better things. For whatever reason God calls them to move on and with moving on it leaves a congregation searching. In The Search Committee Tim Owens pairs up seven of the most diverse group of characters to search for a new pastor for their Presbyterian church. This diverse group of characters represent the people groups of the church.

    We are introduced to Travis who represents the young married professionals of the church. We also see Bill who is a retiree. and Frankie who is about 70 yrs. old...and the leader of the pact. We find Matt, who is in his early 30's, unemployed, with a PhD living with his dad. We are also introduced to Dot, a middle-aged housewife and gossip. Then there is Joyce, a widowed 60 yr old misplaced from NY. Last but not least, we find a 30 something divorcee who is raising a teenaged son.

    At the beginning of each chapter Tim Owens scribes either a scripture from the Bible or an excerpt from the Book of Confessions or the Book of Order from the Presbyterian Church which leads his readers into what the chapter will focus on. I found this tidbit of info to be helpful simply because I have never attended a Presbyterian church and know nothing of this denomination or its beliefs. I was able to more fully understand the beliefs and ideologies of the church.

    What I loved most about the book as a whole is that Tim didn't try to create over-spiritual characters that we couldn't relate to. They each represented what we would, as mere humans, experience in our own lives. I could relate to many of the "issues" that this small group of people had, which makes it a good read in and of itself.

    "If you believe just a little, itty-bitty bit, you can say to the mountain, 'Move', and the mountain has to move." ~Mrs. Bryant (a small but powerful character)

    As this search committee heads out across three states in search of a new pastor for their church, they find themselves on some of the most hilarious adventures as they enter different restaurants and churches. As they drive along, the committee takes notice of the different church signs along the way...in which Travis writes them all down. As the search unfolds, so do the issues of their own lives. Will this group of rag-tag characters find the right pastor that will lead them into a more Christ-like life? Or will the itty-bitty bit of faith be the moving force of the mountains in their lives? Each member of the group is searching for something...will that searching truly be found through finding a pastor or will they bond as a group and find what they are truly longing for?

    I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has ever had to deal with lust, gossip, loss, divorce, love, or searching for God while feeling like their faith is too small. (Which I think would be everyone).

    I received this book free to review from Tyndale House. The review and opinions are my own.

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