Faith In The OC

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

A Shout Out

I don't do this very often but here is someone I gotta tell you about and if you don't already, you need to read his blog. Mike DeVries. This guy has got some things to say and challenges to make. This is someone I'm walking with and I would love for you to read what he's saying. I'll say no more and let his words speak the rest.............


http://www.awakening.typepad.com/



Tuesday, September 20, 2005

What You've All Been Waiting For.............


.................I've been advertising this blog for a long time. I didn't realize how much I would have to wrestle with it but after some time and a lot of discussion and reading I have the start to an answer. The original question: "should a Pastor be Paid?" So here it is. I have been pondering this question for quite some time and wrestling with it myself. The question it's self was meant to spark interest and create some thinking which I think has been effective especially for me and I think the question has changed. I think the real question is what do we pay a pastor for? Maybe even: What does the word pastor mean? I do not disagree that a good teacher should be paid. What I do disagree with is putting him in an office that makes it hard to do just that. On top of teaching we ask our pastors to be CEOs, hospital visitors, crisis managers, manager of other church staff, etc........... Realistically no one can do all of what is required effectively. Something has to give. It is too much for one man to carry. But as society dictates we put a man in a "pastor" roll and continue to require things that he may not be gifted with. All this because he is being paid and because pastors before him did the same. He then gives, until there is nothing left to give and it starts coming from his blood, his soul and even his very livelihood. This is NOT what God has called us to be. So again the question is not really should a pastor be paid. The question is what should the pastor be paid for....as well as how do we move away from the show and the business and be something that is people and not machine. Because the church is not a building or a pastor or anything other than people and God. "Church" has become a fancy title for all of us meeting to fill all of our senses. We watch and require entertainment. Thus the show. It's all so backwards. Like I stated earlier, God has built us all differently and given us different capabilities so we can work together. It was never meant to be a one man show. Again, it wasn't even meant to be a show.
So back to the pay: I think we have to tear the whole thing apart and really look at what we are doing for money. And what we as a church are paying for as well. Is it a job with money or is it a passion with reward? And a question that any pastor (and for that matter anyone who has made a decision to really follow Christ) must look at some point or another: "What am I good at, What is it that God is calling me to do and what is the cost?" To be a good teacher is a privilege given from God not a right given to people who finish seminary. And I think if we look at it that way then the pay is a gift from God and not something that should be expected. If it were really passion we would do it with or without pay. I do think that a good teacher should be paid so that he can continue teaching. With all of that being said I want to pose the question again: "What is job description we give to our paid pastors? What is it that we require from these men and women?" Here are some things I found churches who are currently looking for pastors want and what they expect:

  • M. Div, Theology, or Biblical Counseling from recognized conservative Christian seminary
  • Three (3) years experience as a fulltime Senior Pastor or 5 years experience as a fulltime Associate Pastor in a 100-member or larger congregation
  • Conduct communion, baptism, weddings, and funerals
  • Effectively lead the church in the five purposes of a Purpose Driven Church
  • Be experienced with and committed to the CLASS 101-401 model
  • Good management and organizational skills

Well these are just some things I found.........I'm not done answering this question. The further I dig (even as I am writing this) the more questions I have. To recap what I feel is important here: I do think a teacher should be paid for teaching. I don't think a teacher should also be a CEO. I don't think "church" should be a business at all. I do think that the real church is YOU. I'd love to hear what you think. You can always email me at movingmountains@comcast.net or just click the comment button below this post. I encourage you to start on this journey with me. This whole question is a lot more about how church might look if we all started operating in our giftings and lifted up those around us doing the same thing. It's about being the church instead of just going to it. It's about moving instead of sitting in a chair.

That's all for now..............
...................more to come

this journey has only just begun...........................