Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Organic or Imported?

I have been having an interesting conversation over at Brians Blog and wondered what others thought about the following topic...

When a fellowship is seeking a new Pastor/Minister, is it best that this person is homegrown, being raised up from within. Or should we go for expertise by hiring a person from outside according to the church profile and candidates CV?

As always, please comment


Meg said...

Does a candidate's origin or CV matter one whit if he is not born again?

The lovely fellowship I "left" last year was ready to fold and sell off its property before it finally solicited candidates from far away and then found and hired one whose main objective in life was to live and play golf in "a beautiful climate" such as we have here much of the year. The problem: he's never really exhibited any fruits of the Spirit. Instead, he's wreaked havoc and veritably decimated the fellowship.

Does it make a difference to hire from "within" or based on a CV if no candidates who present themselves show any evidence that they just may be a choice of the Lord's to serve as a pastor? I've had it up to my eyeballs with those who eventually turn out to be false shepherds.

Dave said...

False Shepherds will rise from within and without, it is up to us to be on our guard.
The bible seems to promote raising up from within at every point (PLEASE POST IF YOU KNOW DIFFERENT) so I think this is the model we should use, after all if you have known someone for years then it should be all the more safer.

Philip Magee said...

Totally true, whether they are within or outwith they need to bear the fruits of the Spirit.

Philip Magee said...

I guess even if someone within they can turn out to be false shepherd as unfortunately there may things we might not know about them that may come to light when they are pastoring the church.
While knowing someone for years may be a safeguard it isnt neccessary guaranteed to be a perfect solution.

Dave said...

You are correct Phil, for in Acts 20:29 & 30 we see attacks from within and without, though there is no indication that they are in leadership.
It still holds though that every (unless anyone knows different) biblical record of leadership appointment is from within or handed down.
In new fellowships this is not always possible, but in established churches it is surely a sad reflection on previous leadership if there is no one able to take over.

If we have known someone for some time and yet something comes to light in the future that was already there, then I wonder how well we knew them anyway, again maybe a reflection on the lack of intimacy within our churches.

dinsy said...

This thing about "something coming to light" in a person's future - what matters is not whether something comes to light, but how they handle it when it does come to light. Supposing someone has been struggling with a particular sin for a long time, desperately trying to keep it hidden because they are too ashamed or afraid to admit it (eg. porn addiction, which is a problem in many churches). Or a momentary lapse - David's adultery.

If it does come out, I don't see why it should necessarily be a bar to their continuing in whatever role they have, provided they dealt with it in a proper way (honest, repent, seek help to get free from it). No one told David he could no longer be king.

We should not expect our church leaders to be any freer from sin than we are ourselves, nor hold them "more guilty" because they have fallen. We are all sinners, and we all will be while we live on earth. The way in which they handle the discovery of their sin could provide more practical teaching for their fellowship than many Sunday sermons.

Meg said...

Dave, I think that you've hit on a very meaty point, if you don't mind my stating that and veering off just a bit. While a lack of intimacy in a particular church may just happen due to apathy or laziness or backsliddenness, a studied, carefully maintained and severely regimented "aloofness" in a church can be a warning sign of a cult (not a real assembly of the Body of Christ) in operation, despite its alleged affiliation with a denomination. An "us-against-them" mentality that's fostered and encouraged by the pastor is not a good thing to encounter.

How can a congregation like that rightfully and Biblically call a pastor when it becomes necessary to do so? Maybe it's the case that no one in it is born again, which I suspect is more often the case than most Christians would expect.

One needs to run like the wind from such an assembly...

Dave said...


My experience with two very obvious cults has led me to the conclusion that a lot of churches I have also known well, subconciously employ cult methods to control and manipulate people.
Some churches I know also employ an us and them attitude, not openly, but at least by their actions.


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