Calling a Pastor
From time to time, for various reasons, a church may be without a pastor. If that church is part of a denomination where ministers are assigned rather than called by the local church, then they simply accept the one that is assigned by headquarters. If that is not the case, the local church must find and call a man to be their pastor. Usually a "Pulpit Committee" is formed and charged with the responsibility of finding candidates who are invited to preach. If there seems to be a positive consensus of opinion then the church is asked to vote.
The qualifications that are sought for may vary greatly. Some churches are looking for a man that possesses great public relations skills. After all, if the church is to grow, it must be well represented and presented in the community. This kind of thinking is based on the idea that we must market the church. Often public relation skills have a greater priority than preaching skills. Other churches are looking for a man that has the gift of oratory. They want a man who can sway the people with high sounding words and persuasive speech. In some cases public speaking ability is rated higher than a mans's ability to prepare and preach sermons that have substantial Biblical content. It doesn't make a great deal of difference if he takes his text from the current news rather than the Bible, as long as he is able to move the people's emotions.
There has also been an increasing demand for what is known in our day as "facilitators." That term can have various meanings. According to the Dictionary, a facilitator is "someone who is able to make something easier or less difficult; someone who can assist the progress." A facilitator is like a moderator. He keeps things moving along. A facilitator in the pulpit may be more of a casual talker than a preacher of sound expositional sermons. Their sermons take on the characteristic of "friendly chats." Facilitators and public relations people usually place a great deal of emphasis on booking various programs ranging from drama to puppet shows. In most cases, whether a church is looking for a "PR" man, a facilitator, an orator or even someone who has certain preaching skills, usually the potential candidate is invited to preach over a weekend. If all goes well, he is voted in by the next Sunday. No extensive time is given to examine the man's life. No one really knows how he treats his wife, how he disciplines his children, whether or not he is disciplined in all areas of his life. It might be a good idea to have a man come and live and minister among the people for six months before a vote is taken. It might result in a different outcome and save a lot of heartache.
There was a very godly minister by the name of Robert Murray M'Cheyne who once said concerning the ministry, "In great measure, according to the purity and perfections of the instrument, will be the success. It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God."
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