a question for preachers

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by massdak, Dec 9, 2002.

  1. massdak

    massdak
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    should preachers be so important that they have a very plush office and only see people as per appointment?
    i see some very importantly dressed and business man looking preachers that run the church like a fine tuned business i think it is a big turn off and doesn't resemble the new testament churches of the bible. what do you think?
     
  2. Abiyah

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    Massdak --

    I am not a pastor, so I really don't belong here, but
    since no one has answered yet . . .

    But you are going through a lot right now, and this
    will make such things look bigger, worse, than
    they really are. I know this from experience.
    Things take on a darkness, a wrongness, that
    really isn't there and that we would not see at all,
    when we are feeling good.

    While my pastors do not dress in fine suits all
    the time--it just is not their way--even in a small
    congregation like ours (130 - 140), we must make
    an apointment to see them, except on the days we
    have services and they are there anyway, between
    services.

    Why? Because every congregation has those
    who never really need to see a pastor one-on-
    one (very few in number), those who need one on
    occasion, those who need one a lot, and those
    who are very needy. Ask any pastor--those
    who are very needy are really constantly needy,
    and incredible amounts of time are used on them.
    (These are necessary to the congregation and
    they are great maturers of a pastor.)

    The result is that the pastor, who has a family our
    God gave him, which must come first--the family
    should always be his first duty. The church is his
    second duty--whether or not we like it, his job.
    Most of us can get by with working eight hours a
    day, 9 - 5, with weekends off. Not a pastor.

    A pastor must study, prepare sermons, and do
    numerous other jobs directly for the church. He
    is the general overseer of many others in the con-
    gregation; he must be sure these run smoothly.
    Then he must visit the sick and dying, prepare for
    weddings and funerals, And depending upon
    the individual congregation, there are numer-
    ous other jobs to be done or overseen. And he
    must keep appointments to see people.

    Without appointments, his work would be scat-
    tered and haphazzard. He cannot be two places at
    once, doing many things at once, although pas-
    tors are known for doing at least two things at
    once, in order to do all that is expected. 8o)

    You are hurting. I know you have needs. Just be
    patient with your pastor, make an appointment,
    see him on his time, and don't make him feel bad.
    We, as members, have no idea what all they go
    through or what all they do.

    I want you to know that whenever I see your
    name, it goes up in prayer.

    [ December 09, 2002, 07:41 PM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  3. Jim1999

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    As a minister of some 56 years, my office was often a spare space found under a stairwell. In the early days, it was any spare space in the parsonage, or an unused bedroom in an already too small a dwelling.

    I know there are some who enjoy a plush office in the church, and God bless the church for thinking this way.

    Generally, I set aside every Wednesday morning for appointments.....a time when I was always in the office. It was generally known, however, that anyone could call on me with or without notice anytime of day or night. The Wednesday was a known to church and community in hopes that someone may wander in....perhaps a seeking soul; someone in need of assistance; the poor. Wednesday was also a day when I could have another person available to witness whatever happened in the office. One can't be too careful, and must guard against false accusations.

    On average I had 11-12 hours of meetings each week, plus weddings, funerals and counselling sessions, study and preparation for sermons and meetings. Then there are business meetings of the church of which the pastor is a member exofficio.

    A plush chair in a plush office would be a nice refuge to put one's feet up and enjoy a cup of tea inbetween functions.

    In latter years, I made my study at home. A room to house my many books, a desk, phone and a filing cabinet. Throw rugs in places, but never a full carpet.

    In the early days, the deacons' prayer was: "Lord, you keep him humble, and we'll keep him poor."

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  4. Circuitrider

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    How plush the office is and how dressed up the pastor is might well be determined by the congregation. A rural pastor living in a farm or ranch community might have his jeans and cowboy boots on at the church or in his daily office practice. A pastor in a professional community or college setting might well find himself well dressed most of the time. [​IMG]

    As to appointments, they are nice so a pastor can get his studying done and accomplish all that he has to do. However, in my opinion, his office door should be open as much as possible. :cool:

    While a student at Maranatha College, Dr. Cedarholm the president and founder had his office at the head of the main in Old Main. Unless he was having a board meeting or something private his office was open. I often stopped by to say hi, visit a minute or just get some wisdom from him. [​IMG]

    That was a great example for me as a pastor to have an open door to my people. ;)

    [ December 17, 2002, 02:49 PM: Message edited by: Circuitrider ]
     
  5. Rev. Joshua

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    Circuitrider - I agree on the importance of an open door. I do think having a comfortable, practical place to counsel, study, and pray is &lt;i&gt;very&lt;/i&gt; important.

    Joshua
     
  6. SaggyWoman

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    I do not have a problem with a nice looking office and nice furniture. I think it should be in line with what the median income of the church is. But, I do think the expectation of suit and tie all the time has got to go.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    A lot of it depends on teh type and size of ministry. In an upper middle class ministry, a poorly furnished office is a bad image to those who go to work in plush offices in multi-million dollar corps. In a blue collar or rural community, a plush office is a bad image to those who office is a tractor seat or a spot on the line. Look at the community and do your office appropriately. And make it comfortable ... it is where you will spend a lot of time.

    Consider also the size. A plush office in a church of 50 people will not fly quite as well as a plush office in a church of 500 or 5000. Again, use common sense. If I were building a building or had the opportunity to change one, I would make sure the office included a bathroom and shower. It would prove very beneficial. Also, make sure it is large enough to not be crowded with enough bookshelves to not lay books on top of the rows. That looks tacky and unprofessional, even though I do it because I have no space at the moment.

    As for appointments, again, the size of the church is a telling factor. A pastor of small church can have an open door. In most weeks, no one will walk through it. In a large church, there would be a waiting line. The pastor should be inaccessible. Also remember that is the pastor is dealing with every individual, he is not doing his job of studying and praying and he is not doing his job of training people to do the work of the ministry (cf Eph 4:11-15). The pastor should not have to deal with every body. That is what the body is for ... at least if you believe Eph 4:11-15. [​IMG]
     
  8. Speedpass

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    Why? Have you dressed in suit and tie before [​IMG]
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    In my church I have a very functional (certainly by no definition "plush") office. Desk, computer area, shelves and a "No Parking Except for Bob" sign over my chair.

    I have set office days/hours, posted in the bulletin, and have never had day one when someone did not drop by to "counsel" or just "visit" at some point during the scheduled days/hours.

    Other times, I can hole up and work on the Greek so I don't get stumped in Romans 16 this week in SS!

    As for clothing - I will wear casual during the week, and a suit/bowtie on Sunday. Usually wear a sweater for SS, then put on the coat for the worship service. Think I've mentioned before that this summer, I was the only man in long pants for some services . . and I even donned a polo shirt for a couple of Sundays . . . :eek:
     
  10. go2church

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    The more the plush the better! Give me fancy, comfy, overpriced all the way.
    Now if I could only find the church that agrees!!
     
  11. Ben W

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    One of the Best Pastors I know runs a church and is a Brickie (Lays Brick). So his office is a building site! [​IMG]
     
  12. Sherlock57

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    I agree with circuitrider. I also went to MBBC and was a nightwatchman and enjoyed dropping in on the President and chatting for a few minutes. I have no office but usually deal with people in the rooms we use for Sunday School with the door open unless my wife is with me. [​IMG]
     
  13. blackbird

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    Mercy, if I had a big, nice, plushy office--I'd just have a big, nice, plushy pile of paper, notes, books, pencils, pens, paperclips, loose change, mail, etc. to pile up on it and in it!! Give me a nice plush room if you will--but give me a dairy parlor and I'll prove to you that the best job of sermon preperations can be done at either one--oh, yes--and that dairy parlor can be filled with big momma Holstein's--for all that matter---I'll milk 'um while I study!!!!!!

    Your friend,
    Blackbird
     
  14. Hardsheller

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    My church is currently renovating and expanding my office which was a small rathole that was only slightly nicer than the furnace room.

    I am appreciative. I am excited. I am looking forward to having a nice office.

    Many church folks today think being in an office is the equivalent of being at work. Somehow they don't seem to believe that when you're at home studying that you're really studying!

    So if that's the way they think - give me a nice, plush office.
     
  15. Thankful

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    From a church members point of view, I think that an open door policy is good, but appointments are better because when a person has a problem, makes an appointment, it then becomes that person's time with the pastor without interruptions.

    It is impossible to discuss one's problems with some one who is interrupted all the time by visitors or phone calls.

    Our pastor has a comfortable office and most of the time he wears a suit and tie. It sometimes makes him stand out in the crowd, which I think is good. Our deacons wear suits and ties on Sunday Morning and dress causally on Sunday nights.
     
  16. Jonathan

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    This will depend upon what the congregation expects of a pastor (whether or not the expectation is biblical). If preaching/teaching is a significant portion of the expectation, then an office/study that is well equipped for study (and quiet reflection) is an excellent idea.

    Open door policies are excellent but the laity must recognize that there are only so many hours in a day and use such a policy with great discipline.

    Concerning clothing, simple logic concerning professionalism should apply. Since a pastor will want to be known and noticed by his pastoring, it would be helpful that his personal appearance doesn't contribute to a negative public perception (all of the self-proclaimed John the Baptists are duly excepted here). Of course, personal discipline in matters of diet and exercize may also contribute.

    I sympathize with the concern over seeing pastors and churches become CEO and business-like. However, proper stewardship demands careful management.

    Pastors have a sufficient enemy in the flesh to be concerned with, let alone the consistent complaints from members of the congregation. I suppose that's why it is important that there is a closeness between a pastor and the flock.
     
  17. baptistteacher

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  18. j_barner2000

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    I am pastoral intern at a mission church. Our pastor and associate pastor are both bivocational. The office is basically a cubical and pretty spartain. My office is at home. We all study at home and have an open phone policy. Pastor is retired and the other 2 of us work during the day. We just ask for a call and we will arrange to meet at a convenient location.

    As far as dress code, we all keep to business casual, except for services then tie and jacket are what we where but it has never been said that we must do so.

    [ January 14, 2003, 02:03 PM: Message edited by: j_barner2000 ]
     
  19. amen_corner

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    If you want the pastor to "run the church" like a NT church, then you first must decide which NT church you want it to be like. Corinth? Laodocia? Ephesus? Sardis?

    It is not the outward things, such as a office or appointment book that should bother us. It is a haugty spirit, and a selfish attitude. And a blatant disregard for pastoral qualifications as found in Scripture.
     
  20. rufus

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    Did somebody say OFFICE!

    I have turned a small bedroom into a makeshift office. I study there. I pray there. I sometimes counsel there. I write posts and notes there.

    Since I am a professional counselor and a pastor, I do much of my work in other peoples' houses. I know that's not normal.

    I wear a suit and tie on Sunday's because (1) my mom brought me up that way; (2) my wife continues to bring me up that way. The rest of the time I dress casually but nicely.

    I must confess I minister in a rural setting and what's appropriate here was not appropriate in the city church I once worked with.

    Any preacher or pastor who starts thinking he is important needs to remember Paul's advice about not thinking to much of ones' self.

    Rufus ;)
     

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