Thursday, November 29, 2007

Elders and Board Members!

Elders and Board Members
Chapter 16

To the Elders and board members of the church, please read the following chapter with a prayerful heart and see if your church has strayed from being a Biblical church.
Before getting into the preaching taking place in your church; I want to focus on your requirements for your pastor search team. What exactly do you look for in a pastor? After looking at this list would Moses be able to preach for you if all you had to look at was his resume? How about John, Peter, Timothy, Barnabas? How about Paul? I have gone to many websites with listings of open pastor positions. Up front, I will tell you that I am a single man (just like the Apostle Paul); I have a son (adopted and no longer school aged). As a pastor I have to ignore listings because of certain requirements set forth by search committees.
Here is a sample listing – is your church similar to this sample listing?

Church seeking Full-time pastor/preacher/minister/evangelist.
We are a loving congregation that is lucky to have a great youth group.

The pastor we desire must…
Be between the ages of 30-55 (Biblical?)
Be a talented speaker (like Moses?)
Be a leader who can help the church grow to its fullest potential (membership numbers or spiritual growth?)
Be married with a wife and children that are school aged (too bad for Paul! Too bad for guys with toddlers)
Have between 5-10 years experience (the early church grew from the message more than from the actual person)
Be able to sing or play a musical instrument (are you kidding? I am still looking in the Bible for this one!)
Have an Mdiv degree (already shown that a Seminary degree is not a true measure of a successful preacher)
Be able to get along well with people (nice, probably couldn’t think of anything else to say, huh?)
Be experienced with computer technology (again, it is God’s message that transforms lives)
Follow the leadership of the Elders (a pastor is “called” into his position by God. An Elder is someone who aspires to the position. Let the pastor follow the leadership of God. Work along side your pastor. Remember, Paul wrote letters to the churches encouraging them and admonishing them when they had fallen from their first love.)
Be willing to follow the leadership and work with the former gospel preacher (great, if he was truly a man of God who preached the Bible and preached against sin by using the Ten Commandments. But if the church members did not actually get out of the church to reach the lost, why follow him. Why not allow someone who is following God’s lead by making disciples for Christ? Sure he was probably a nice man but listen to God leading the way)

Do a Google search on pastor jobs and you will see that these requirements (or a variation of them) are expected by a very high percentage of churches.

Please understand that I have a lot of respect for Elders and for the Board members. It is their love for the church that they desire only the best for it. Unfortunately, many blindly do more harm than good for their churches.
Instead of allowing God to send the perfect man to your church, a man able to motivate and encourage and get people out of the pews into the streets doing real ministry for God, you have locked out potential leaders because of your unbiblical requirements.
A pastor does not have to be married. If he is married, he must be married to only one woman and not have been divorced. While I am at it, a marriage is between a man and a woman the way God created it to be. The Bible never ever says that it is a union between a man and a man or a woman and another woman. If a man is not married, just understand that the single man is able to devote his time wholly to the church (look at Paul). Maybe you worry that a single man is not able to minister to the married couples in the church. A single man that knows God and His Word can minister to any person regardless of the situation.
Too many churches are looking for the polished performance led pastor. He must be entertaining with a good sense of humor and able to relate the Bible to today’s society in a way we can understand.
Have you noticed though, that all of the pastors who relate story after story that the Bible is relevant for today, they fail in the one aspect that can bring about true change. They do not look you in the eye and tell you that adultery is a sin. They do not look you in the eye and tell you that looking at a member of the opposite sex with lust in your heart is a sin. They do not preach about Hell. More than entertainment, what this country needs most is a pastor who will speak for God. SIN IS SIN! Stop and repent now, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. We need a man of integrity in the pulpit.
(UPDATE) This post was taken out of my book, Locked Doors of the American Church. On Friday, Nov 30, I will post a message geared towards the church-going Christian. On Saturday, Dec 1, it will be a message for the non-church attending Christian and on Sunday, Dec 2, I will be talking about the non-Christian. Be sure to look for each article as I am sure you know someone is each category (including the previous post on Seminaries, Bishops and Pastors)

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