It is interesting to me how much we continue to mold the church to look like the world around us. Insted of being a thermostat in the community that helps to set the spiritual temperature, we are becoming more of a thermometer that simply reports it. This is evident to me in the process and attitude of how a church obtains a pastor.
The state denominational paper weekly reports churches searching for pastoral staff and encourages sending resumes so that it is like applying for a job. Committees meet and give lip service to prayer and then review the resumes for the correct credentials, and then interview candidates to see who is the most impressive. I cannot help but wonder how a man like John the Baptist, or Elijah, or Paul, or Nathan, or John, or Peter, or Jeremiah, or Amos, or Jonah would have done.
Someone told me that a former pastor at the church I serve was dismissed because of the way he combed his hair. Another said that one was not called because of the kind of shoes that he wore. So where does God fit into this mix? Does it matter whether or not we see our pastor as “called” or “hired”? I think it makes all the difference in the world.
If the pastor is hired, obviously he can be easily fired. But it is deeper than that. If one is hired, then he reports to a group of people. His paycheck is on the line. If he is “Called”, then he is more likely to report to God. Why should I listen to someone who has been hired to fit the bill? How much spiritual authority is there in a sermon that tickles the ears of the overseeing committee or a board of directors? What happens when the status quo is challenged?
I hope I am wrong, but I sense a growing trend to hire us the best preacher and leader we can find. What would happen if we truly believed our pastor was called of God, assigned by God, placed in the role of leader in the church by God? Would it matter? And what did Jesus say about the difference in a true shepherd and a hireling anyway?
Just the musings of a Saturday before adjusingt the sermon to avoid offending, not.