Pastors: The End of Your Search for the Perfect Church!

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by USN2Pulpit, May 5, 2003.

  1. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    The situation: you've gotten the call from a church that you feel led to pastor. Not only that, you desire to go there as well. You've rehearsed in your mind the different approaches you might take as you start your ministry there. You've bathed it in prayer...you and your wife and children.

    And then, you find out that there's a worship preference that you don't agree with. What problems in a prospective congregation would keep you from responding to a call from a church body? How important would the difference have to be?...or does everything have to match perfectly?

    This is a serious question...this is the situation I am presently in. Pastors, please guide me with your experience.
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    For the past 13 months I've been interim pastor at a church with a different style of worship and ministry. I have NOT tried to change it dramatically (I will leave June 15 and it isn't my job)

    But I have often been vexed by it. Irritated before I got up to preach. Something I accepted.

    But before pastoring a church like that, I would meet and "talk turkey" with the leaders of the congregation. It would not have to be "my way or the highway", but it would have to reflect my thinking and style and fit into my "comfort zone".

    But if God is truly leading all parties, I think such frank discussion will lead to a workable compromise.

    Caveat: Many churches will "say" they will change, but a year or two later you will find that there has been discontent and undermining because YOU "forced" them to change. Watch out!
     
  3. Hardsheller

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    Advice from the Trench.

    1. No Church is ever perfect
    2. If you find one - you will make it imperfect.
    3. The longer you stay at a church the more it will reflect your values and your philosophy of ministry.

    I'm coming up on my three year anniversary and have just gotten to the point where I feel like major change may very well be possible.
     
  4. td

    td
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    Let me get this straight:

    * The church feels that God has told them you are the one
    * You feel that God is leading you there
    * You want to go there
    * God is giving you a vision for your ministry there
    * You have prayed about it with your family

    Forgive me. I might be wrong, but it almost seems as if you are looking for a way to say no. I don't mean this as criticism, but sometimes God puts something so obvious in front of us and like Jonah, we dig in our heels and make excuses why we should not go.
     
  5. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    Well, that's about it td. You truly have me figured out, because that's what I've been doing in my mind - so you have given me a valid criticism.

    So let me lay the cards on the table as to the specific "worship preference" I speak of in this case: The church that is calling me has a traditional following of a "closed table" for the Lord's Supper. I say traditional because most of the folks aren't familiar with why a church would go with closed communion over open communion - it has just been that way for years. Eventually, this is a subject that will have to be dealt with, because I would like to invite believers who have made a public profession of faith, who are in fellowship with Christ and have been scripturally baptized, to join with us at the Lord's Table.

    So now you know the situation I speak of. Do any of you pastors think this meets "rejection criteria?" And if not, how would you proceed, assuming that you follow this call?
     
  6. Istherenotacause

    Istherenotacause
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    USN,

    I'd have to say that the issue of closed communion would only have to be handled with care and preached from your perspective as you, the pastor, see it. It's not a matter of "my way or the highway", but as the pastor, you would be leading the congregation, not dictating, which would be the case of the tradition of closed communion dictating over the leadership role of pastor, if you don't.

    As the "Moses" in the lives of that "Israel", pastor in the lives of the church, you may or may not be able to lead them across the wilderness into Canaan, but you at least should endeavor to lead them as Moses to the river Jordan, allowing them to decide whether to cross over, or remain in the wilderness, wandering.

    My advice is that if you know it's the will of God to pastor, then put on the mindset of Joshua and Caleb, and go forward! Even Caleb, well up in years, said,"Give me this mountain!"

    Open communion will "open" the church to more membership. Consider those who wish to participate in the Lord's Supper, but have no present membership, might be the right angle in dealing with such a congregation.

    Handle with care, tradition is a hard egg to crack.
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    Personally do not see it as a "decline-the-call" issue. You disagree, but will abide by the church's position (you AGREE to come, knowing their doctrine/practice).

    After many years and teaching, they might change. Or you might. But it is not enough, imho, to say God isn't leading you there to pastor.
     
  8. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    Thank you to all who have offered their insight. I spoke with my pastor today as well. His advice is along the lines of that which has appeared on this thread.

    I will be hearing about it tonight, and if they'll have me, I'll follow God's call and go.
     
  9. j_barner2000

    j_barner2000
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    I just pray that He is glorified in the whole experience. For you and for the church in question.

    [ May 08, 2003, 10:32 AM: Message edited by: j_barner2000 ]
     

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