Dave Black posted this on his blog today at 6:27 AM:
Three of the four closest Baptist churches to our farm are currently without pastors. Again. In our area most pastors last about 2 years. Then the cycle begins all over again: a pulpit committee starts looking for the ideal new “preacher.” Even though the Bible makes no distinction between “layman” and “minister,” most Baptists do. Thus most of them would never consider choosing more permanent, stable leaders from among their own congregations. But the advantages of non-hired, local leaders are numerous:
- the fact that the pastor/elder is one of the brethren magnifies the sense of brotherhood
- his lack of financial dependence on the group issues in independence of thought and judgment
- it preserves the priesthood of all believers
- the supported minister is subjected to enervating competition bidding for his services
- a professional ministry causes a loss of identification with the people (the pastor is considered a “hireling”)
- the congregation feels tremendous instability due to a frequent change in pastors
- the non-hired pastor is not considered a member of a class separate from the rest of the fellowship
I wonder if rural churches caught up in the viscous cycle of revolving pastors are not just shooting themselves in the foot.
I have learned first-hand that Dave’s “advantages” are real. Are there “disadvantages” as well?