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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Help Wanted

  • Can you preach?
    (read: Can you keep us awake while you are talking?)

  • What have you read lately?
    (read: Are you up to date on the latest trends, or one of those scholar-types?)

  • Have you been convicted of any crimes?
    (read: Do we need to work around your prison's weekend release program to have you candidate?)

  • In some pastor candidating processes, this would be an exhaustive interview. (I was once offered a pastoring position over the phone, having never met a person from the church, nor conducting any kind of interview. I was simply told it was mine for the taking, or they would start calling other names on their list...almost like those vacation packages you get calls about and have to decide right then and there.)

    But a pastoral search should be a much more intensive process. Whether searching for a senior pastor or an associate position for a church, this article is a must read.

    16 Comments:

    • At 2:12 PM, Anonymous peppo said…

      Is it really possible to discern whether or not a pastoral candidate meets the Biblical qualifications through the course of an interview? even several detailed interviews?

      It seems to me that in the biblical pattern, leaders were always chosen from among members of the churches, men whose lives the people would have had extended opportunity to observe and evaluate.

      How can we possibly square the churches' present practices with the examples and the clear teaching of Scripture on these matters? How far have we come from the biblical pattern when stories like the telephone interview have become relatively commonplace?

      I think it's time that churches begin to take a much closer look at the biblical teaching on this issue. There are few more things more important to the life of a church than her leadership, and few things in the modern church that are handled more clumsily.

       
    • At 2:43 PM, Blogger jason said…

      Are we hiring someone that I wasn't told about? Am I being replaced?

       
    • At 3:01 PM, Blogger danny2 said…

      don't forget though brad, the Scriptures do have instances where Paul tells a church to receive a man as their pastor.

      timothy was not from ephesus.

      i do agree though, the current candidating process is terribly flawed. i talked to a pastor the other day who was called as a reference for another pastor. frankly, he did not give the man a favorable review, yet the church's response was "thank you" and that they look forward to extending a call to this man!

      now what was the point of that reference check?

      i think this is an area where churches can cooperate together. you shouldn't (nor can't) hire a man out of a vacuum, so we should lean on other churches to be honest with us and share the credibility of his character.

      the article was not intended to be all sufficient for hiring, but i think it at least would get churches farther along where they need to be during an interview process.

      (but i would love to hire and send out pastors from within our fellowship)

       
    • At 3:02 PM, Blogger danny2 said…

      jason,

      no way! i think our church is very pleased with our orange and spotty pastors!

       
    • At 3:14 PM, Blogger TheReformedThinker said…

      I think the best method is as Brad said to raise the Pastors from within the church. That is the model that Al Mohler, Mark Dever and John Piper were stressing at the TFTG conference. The local pastor should be looking for young men (even teenagers) that seem to show a gift for preaching - much like you did Danny as we grew up. They should then put them in more and more scenarios to further refine that gift or weed out those who maybe don't have the calling.

      That said, there are a lot of times (due to size of church or speed of vacancy) that the "home grown" approach will not work. In those cases we have put a lot of emphasis in our culture on the seminary schools and too many churhces assume that anyone that comes out of a seminary is going to be a good pastor. I recently read an article by MacArthur that said in those cases the churches should do a 6 month trial with the candidate. During that time the candidate can lay out his standing on different issues and the church and himself can decide if it is a good fit.

       
    • At 9:07 PM, Blogger danny2 said…

      (by within our fellowship i meant our local congregation...i probably should have been clearer about that)

       
    • At 9:22 PM, Anonymous peppo said…

      Yeah, Timothy is something of a puzzle to me. I guess I've always understood him as more of an apostolic representative (establishing churches and appointing elders)than as the pastor of the Ephesians. Even so, I think I would receive an unknown man as a pastor who had an apostolic endorsement.

      Actually, a lot of the issues in this subject seem to be related to one's view of pastors and elders. I have yet to see a satisfactory biblical basis for a distinction between the two, at least a distinction that would warrant one being chosen from among the people and the other being hired like a new CEO.

       
    • At 8:39 PM, Blogger danny2 said…

      i don't know that there is any indication that paul's sending men to pastor churches (he does it through out) and apollos appears to have come to ephesus and then ministered in corinth without any commissioning from an apostle.

      therefore, i don't think it's safe to say having a man shepherd a fellowship outside of the church he grew up is an anomoly.

      timothy actually seems to be the norm.

       
    • At 9:13 PM, Blogger danny2 said…

      typed too fast and didn't make sense. first line should say:

      i don't know timothy was rare, for there is indication that paul sent men to pastor churches (he does it through out).

      yet i wouldn't say that is simply an apostolic thing, for apollos...

      (sorry, was in a rush to type because i was excited about jonah)

       
    • At 9:50 PM, Anonymous peppo said…

      I guess I'm not entirely convinced that either Timothy or Apollos were what we in modern Christendom would style "pastors".

      Any thoughts on the pastor/elder distinction?

      Yes, Jonah, and the insightful connection you've noted, are pretty exciting.

       
    • At 10:42 PM, Anonymous peppo said…

      Some thoughts regarding Timothy, Apollos, Titus, etc. not being the same as "pastors." I may be assuming too much by lumping these three together, but bear with me.

      Titus had the authority to appoint elders in multiple cities.

      Timothy is specifically identified by Paul as being "an evangelist" an office that Paul distinguishes from that of pastor/teacher.

      Apollos appears to be more of an itinerant preacher, not connected to any particular congregation.

      I'm not entirely sure of the full significance of these facts, but they seem to suggest something much different than the pattern to which we are accustomed. A peculiarity of the apostolic age, perhaps? If so, how might the New Testament pattern translate into the present period?

       
    • At 1:33 PM, Blogger Gary Underwood said…

      Can't believe Shannon Brown fell to 25. Go Cavs!

       
    • At 1:50 PM, Blogger danny2 said…

      timothy is called to do the "work of an evangelist" but is many more times called to do the work of a shepherd throughout the books...thus the designation "pastoral epistles."

      history also seems to show that even back at the time of augustine (after apostolic era, but certainly not influenced by western thought to the level we are) that men typically shepherded flocks other than the one they were raised.

      i'd love to raise up shepherds from within out Body that serve our Body, and i do see that is preferable...but i can find nothing to suggest the other way is wrong or harmful in any way.

       
    • At 4:30 PM, Anonymous peppo said…

      I suppose I've been overstating my case somewhat for the sake of argument. I don't really mean to say that there's anything inherently wrong with electing a pastor from outside a congregation. And if you're gong to cite Augustine, I guess I'll just have to concede your point. Can I be bishop?

       
    • At 6:48 PM, Anonymous peppo said…

      Of course I meant "going" to cite Augustine

       
    • At 10:02 AM, Blogger Gary Underwood said…

      test post

       

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