Saturday, September 01, 2012

Get your own pastor!

I loved this tweet from Jim Elliff this morning!
Absolutely true and yet we by and large just accept without question a system where congregations poach elders from other congregations to come work for a new congregation of people who don't really know them. I have seen so many people in local churches who are hurt when their pastor is "called" to another church and then turn around and do the same thing to another local church. Let me be blunt for a change. Most of the "calling" that men feel to move from one church to another has everything to do with pay and prestige and nothing to do with calling. There are those rare few that move to a smaller congregation but the progression is normally the opposite. The most "talented" men get moved to bigger and bigger churches where they get higher pay and a bigger support staff. The less talented men get fired or otherwise forced out. It is a model that is so foreign to Scripture and so antithetical to the Biblical model of leadership that it can hardly be classified as Christian at all.

The entire system is as cutthroat as any corporation around and has more in common with a Darwinian notion of survival of the fittest than it does with Matthew 20:25-28. It is a poisonous system that makes a mockery of raising up men in local gatherings to lead people who know and love them, people who recognize them as elders based on observing their lives. If you are a local church in need of leaders, don't go out and woo a stranger away from another church, instead equip and enable the men right where you are to lead in the church. It will take more time and require the men of a local gathering to step up but it is healthier and more Biblical. Shouldn't that be more important than convenience?


Alan Knox said...

I'm not sure when this practice started, but I was surprised to find that early Baptist writers found scriptural justification for this practice. A few of them referred to Song of Solomon 8:8 (I'm not kidding) to justify taking a pastor for another church.


Eric said...

The current system is almost identical to that of college football. When the season is over, the best coaches move to the bigger universities with higher salaries. The unsuccessful coaches get ousted. There really is no difference, except that college coaches don't cover their decision to move with spiritual language.

Arthur Sido said...

Alan, I was hoping that you were joking but I get the feeling that you aren't.

Eric that is actually a great analogy but I would add that many coaches invoke all sorts of reasoning for their moves other than saying "I am getting paid twice as much".

Aussie John said...


I don't know whether to laugh or cry at Alan's comment.

'Nuff said by all.