Here’s one I hadn’t thought of when I wrote this… what if you don’t have a good Biblical church in your area? In my area for instance, one cannot throw pocket change down the sidewalk without hitting six Southern Baptist Churches, and I recently wrote about my cutting ties with the SBC. I even included links to a bunch of e-books from David Cloud’s website on reasons to avoid the SBC.
You may know two or three other likeminded families that may be looking for a church too. David Cloud has this advice…
“Be prepared to commute to a Biblical church, or be prepared to relocate.”
I don’t think this is workable. In this day and age, leaving a job, no matter how bad, takes hours of soul searching and risk. I talk to men all the time who I ask, “when’s the last time you had a job?” and the answer is, “four years.”
I can work at McDonalds if you pay me enough, and tell me I’ll never be fired. Yes, sir. Anything rather than have to face not having a job for that long. There’s a very real possibiility of wanting to relocate to an area with a good church… and not being able to find a job in that area. For instance, the two oldest Baptist churches in the US are in Rhode Island, one of them still in service. But getting a job out there…. yikes. businesses are shutting down in that region left and right. People are literally afraid of losing houses that have been in their families for HUNDREDS of years. LIterally, the first Baptist church in the US is in a building older than the United States of America.
Okay, so, what next? Consider starting a church. If you are NOT called to preach, do NOT start one with you as pastor. Start one, and start looking for a preacher. Write to militarygetsaved, and tell the website owner you’re starting a church, and need a bi-vocational pastor. He’ll put a listing up, so that those considering pulpits know exactly what they’re getting into. Trust me, there’s quite a few pastoral applicants who are comfortable being Bi-vocational for a few years… but be advised, you owe it to that Pastor to be aggressive in witnessing and advertising the church.
Who to choose? In this kind of environment, you’re going to probably get one interested applicant, and let me tell you, it’s exactly the one God intends for you. Because no false teacher or wolf in sheeps clothing is going to spend money to relocate to a place with say a dozen church members.
Have experience? Great. No experience? You don’t either. I’d tell you (if it was me, except I’ve got some experience!) that, “well, let’s learn together!”
What if the applicant is seventy years old, and just coming off 40 years of ministry? JACKPOT! Beg that man to stay and pastor you! “Yes, but he’s old!” So???? Your pastoral position is filled for at last 15 years. Incidentally, I’m 51 years old, and in the prime of my life – yet pastoring websites tell me I’m unemployable, because I’m not 25-35. And don’t have an earring. And I’ve answered a false teacher harshly on my blog, just like Paul, James, John the Baptist, John the apostle or Jude would have.
If you get three pastors inquiring, now you’ve got issues. You have to decide – and not which one you like better, but which one is the one God wants you to have.
So, who do you choose? Pray about it, and get the books from Dan Botterbrodt, because those have advice for pulpit committees, and they’re free.
Some thoughts – again, choose who God wants you to have. Today’s pulpit committee methods are ridiculous. Everyone must be a pastor with 40 years experience, 30 years old, one earring, spends 200 hours a week in prayer, visits everyone in the congregation except for the members of the pulpit committee once a month, has never said a harsh word in his life, and has a Facebook account full of pithy sayings.
Quite literally, this would rule out every one of the 12 apostles, Paul and Jesus Christ. There LITERALLY are churches without pastors for 4 years because their standards are so high.
You should be looking through 1 & 2 Timothy, and Titus to find out who your pastor should be. Those are your guideleines. Hire anyone that today’s wisdom tells you to hire, and you’re going to be 5 years from now kneeling as the Holy Father elevates the Host, prior to your Church’s Mass.
Bottom line – follow Thom Ranier’s advice, and you might as well brush up on your Latin.