Do they exist?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by abcgrad94, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    Are there truly any churches out there who love and respect their pastor, are spiritually grounded, willing to serve and work without complaint, don't constantly condemn and criticize the pastor and his family, willing to follow Matthew 18 and not get easily offended over petty things? Are there really churches like this that exist or is it an impossible rose colored mirage?

    I'm trying to figure out if we're just in a bad area, in the wrong denomination of Baptist, or if all churches are just preacher killers by nature. I'd really like to find a church WITHOUT the attitude that the pastor and his family are their personal property to use, abuse, and destroy physically, mentally, and financially.

    In our years of ministry, so far we have only seen two extremes:
    The first extreme is where the pastor is the boss, the sole authority of the church and the people are his little puppets.

    The second extreme is where the church is the boss and does not truly want a pastor, but wants a young couple to keep the pulpit filled, the grunt work done (and they will supervise and critique EXACTLY how it should be done without them lifting a finger) and who burn out pastors and their families at the speed of light only to "find another one" to repeat the whole process again.

    If there truly are any healthy churches out there, how does a godly man find one to pastor?
     
  2. mike

    mike
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    Those churches do indeed exist, however; they are few in the overall landscape and they are still very far from perfect. I am SBC and serve a pretty healthy congregation where the congregation supports its pastor and family and even spoils us to a degree.

    The deacons are truly partners and free me up to concentrate on prayer and the study of God's Word. I have never been expected or asked to do grunt work at any time thus far which is a little over two years serving this particular church.

    I could go on with more things, but suffice it to say; there are good, solid and healthy churches out there. Now for the other side of things: Our church is very small with not much potential for growth as we are situated in a very rural area. The culture is such that change can be very slow, so patience is pretty mandatory.

    As far as how to locate a healthy church to pastor: pray pray pray. I've served one very stagnated but caring church and one fairly toxic one before my current one came to get us. We weren't looking but somehow, they found us. As the son, and grandson of pastors I am VERY aware of how rough and damaging it can be. It's a product of our culture unfortunately.
     
  3. annsni

    annsni
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    Yes, I do believe they exist. You know about the issues we've had but I have to say that the congregation is amazing and supports us SOOOO much. They are a most amazing blessing to us. :) We just face some other issues.
     
  4. exscentric

    exscentric
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    Not saying anything against anyone/any church - just a point or two.

    Eph 4 pictures believers (won by the other believers) being brought into the church for training in the work of the Lord. It is the leaders job to do the training. This should, in my mind, help toward the church you speak of in the positive (Not to say the laypeople shouldn't do some disciple work as opportunity knocks). HOWEVER, we all know that many in the churches are not really believers, others are worldly and just not interested in being trained by the leaders. What else can we expect other than what you describe.

    Point? When someone finds one of those churches that are so great, find the past pastors and give interviews and make some notes of how they brought their people to be what God wanted them to be. Then publish the points far and wide so other pastors can start using those principles - actually they are probably in the Word if some of us could find them and practice them properly.

    I've seen a couple of fairly well functioning churches and both were the result of many years under older men. I rather suspect the 18 month average pastorate is part of the problem, but not throwing rocks - with many of the other churches I've seen I'd say 18 months is an over stay of a very patient pastor.

    The two Churches by the way were churches where there was a strong lay leadership in place that usually ran the church fairly well without a pastor so the church didn't have to grab someone quick so they had a preacher.

    Just thoughts that may or may not relate.
     
  5. 12strings

    12strings
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    Yes, to a reasonable point, those churches do exist. We are in one now...though there will always be people who cause petty conflict. We have had 5-6 years without such things, and have a very caring, unified church at the moment.

    That said....

    “The Serious Christian, set down for the first time in a Christian community, is likely to bring with him a very definite idea of what Christian life together should be and to try to realize it. But God’s grace speedily shatters such dreams....By sheer grace, God will not permit us to live even for a brief period in a dream world.” - Deitrich Bonhoeffer
     
  6. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    Yes, they do...but I do understand the question, as I have felt this way before, too.

    I remember one older brother several years ago suggested that just because a church you pastor is not growing does not mean you are out of the Lord's will. He even said that in the Bible, some leaders led to victory, while others were called to warn of the Lord's judgement against the people (not a happy task).

    Does that translate today? Are some men called to "close down" a church rather than grow it? That's too big a question for me. All I can say is "continue to endure." Don't give up on what God is doing through you. He is working in hearts even when you don't see it. That 10-year old that will surrendur his life to God in full-time ministry, that teenager that makes a critical decision based on the Word of God which you brought to her one Sunday.

    God is working...believe it. Isaiah 6 - remember how encouraging the call is? But also remember the less well known part when Isaiah asked the Lord "how long do I keep on doing this?"

    Isaiah 6:11 (KJV) Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate
     

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